Families served in 2016: 3716
- Population: Over 258.3 million
- Urbanization: 53.7 percent live in cities
- Life expectancy: 72.7 years
- Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent
- Population living below poverty line: 11.3 percent
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Indonesia
Habitat for Humanity started in Indonesia in 1997 and currently works in Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Batam. Its largest program was rebuilding after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami with more than 8,000 families helped. The increase in capacity enabled Habitat Indonesia to respond to other disasters as well as reach out to more families in need through the “I Build My Indonesia” campaign. Habitat aims to galvanize resources to provide an additional 60,000 Indonesian families with decent homes by 2020.
The housing need in Indonesia
Indonesia is the world’s most extensive archipelago with more than 17,500 islands. Despite significant economic growth, more than 28 million Indonesians are living below the poverty line, according to World Bank data. These families face greater hardships in times of an economic downturn or a natural disaster. Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions with droughts, flooding, and mudslides expected to worsen due to climate change. Currently, nearly 70 percent of low-income housing is built by the families themselves rather than by the government or private developers. Almost 25 million families live in urban slums with many others settling along railway tracks and riverbanks, and on streets.
How Habitat addresses the need in Indonesia
Habitat Indonesia strives to provide housing solutions which also address the collective needs of a community such as health and education. In disaster-hit communities, Habitat not only rebuilds homes but also trains people to prepare for and lessen the impact of future disasters. Habitat’s partners include international and local non-governmental organizations, government agencies, corporations,microfinanceinstitutions,cooperativesandfaith-based organizations. International and local volunteers contribute time and labor while families also help build homes with their own hands.
Decent housing for vulnerable families
In Indonesia, Habitat houses usually range from 25 to 30 square meters in size. Concrete blocks and cement board with wooden frames are used in the houses which have cement slab foundations and clay-tiled roofs. With Australian funding, Habitat has also built 231 homes with water and sanitation facilities for internally displaced families in Bitung. Another 120 houses are under construction.
Disaster response and preparedness
Habitat taps on the expertise built after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to respond to disasters. The latest response is to the December 2016 earthquake in Pidie, Aceh. Habitat Indonesia is building much-needed water and sanitation facilities, providing hygiene training and distributing rubble removal kits. Previous responses included helping affected communities after earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and flooding in places such as East Java, Central Java, North Sumatera, North Sulawesi and Yogyakarta. Homes are not only rebuilt but communities are trained to be prepared for disasters and to reduce such risks.
Housing microfinance partnerships
Habitat Indonesia works with partner microfinance institutions to help low-income families gain access to decent housing. The MFIs give out affordable loans for building houses while Habitat provides technical expertise. Such partnerships helped about 303 low-income families to realize their housing goals in 2016.
In 2016, global volunteer teams came from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and USA. Local volunteers from corporations, international schools, and Indonesian universities also lent a hand at large-scale events such as the CEO Build, Habitat Young Leaders Build and 28uild.id. Over at Batam island, Habitat Indonesia hosts a constant stream of volunteers from Singapore who take part in weekend Batam Builds.
Meet a Habitat family
Mujono’s distant memory of living in cramped quarters with his parents and wife and children is replaced by something more joyous. His daughter Diyah, 6, was not able to concentrate on her studies when the family was living in a wooden shack with bamboo wall panels and mud floor. Since the family moved into their house in Selopamioro village, Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, in October 2014, her grades have improved. “I scored an ‘A’ in mathematics and religious studies, and I ranked number one in the class,” Diyah said pride in her voice. The positive change extends to the neighbors’ children who study together with Diyah in the comfort of her house.