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Indonesians learn disaster response

Even small actions can be of great help in emergencies if well planned

Indonesians learn disaster response
Javanese Catholic youths learn how to response to natural disasters
Stefanus Tartono, Magelang

February 22, 2011

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A group of young Catholics in Semarang archdiocese have undergone training on response to disasters such as earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption or mudflows that frequently hit the region. “My friends and I are very concerned, because very few Catholic youths get involved in disaster response teams,” said Petrus Stanislaus Kotska Ery Setiawan of Youth Circle, a community of senior volunteers. In partnership with the Youth Spirituality Center in the archdiocese, the community held a three day training session for the youths in Magelang, Central Java. More than thirty young Catholics, mostly university students from various cities in Java, joined the sessions. “Through this program we expect to see more new faces joining the community of volunteers. It will certainly bring new energy to emergency response community,” Setiawan added. He said he is positive about the involvement of young Catholics in handling various disasters in the region. Veny Florencia Angela Sinuraya, 22, a communications student at Diponegoro University, said she had been waiting for such an opportunity as it would enchance her skills. “When the program was offered to me I was very excited, because I believe it would improve my personality and leadership,” she said. “We were taught that to do even the smallest things, but in a well-planned and measured way, will benefit others,” she added. Though she lamented the ignorance of many Catholic youths, she believed that by donating money or used clothes they help others in need. During the sessions, the young Catholics were taught about mapping of disaster zones, planning and managing aid posts, evacuation and rescue techniques, and running a public kitchen. IJ13379.1642
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