The 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake left long-lasting feelings of trauma for many of the victims, despite positive developments for economically disadvantaged groups, artisans, laborers, and farmers there. In the wake of the disaster, communities in Yogyakarta continued pursuing their livelihoods and businesses with assistance in the form of asset replacement, bank loans, loan funds in cash or material loans from other businesses to be paid back. Victims have started new businesses and re-established old ones. Reconstruction programs have opened windows of opportunity in providing new sources of employment including reconstruction activities which required skilled laborers and materials.
At the close of 2006, Pekerti and German aid organisation The Johanniter made the decision to work together to build 500 temporary houses for victims in Yogyakarta. To accelerate the recovery of communities affected by the earthquake, Pekerti Foundation formed a consortium consisting of itself, APIKRI Foundation, Klinik Konsultasi Bisnis (KKB) and Gerakan Naungan Hidup (GNH), in cooperation with The Johanniter. The consortium shared the common goal of assisting base-level craft producers and poor farmers, the two groups who had the least means to recover post earthquake. The plan was to build 150 houses every four to six weeks in a cluster construction of one group of 15 houses per field worker at a cost of approximately US$350 per house.
Pekerti managed to keep to the agreed budget and was still be able to build above the original expected standard. By the project’s end, 2471 people were housed and thus helped in their emotional and economic recovery.
Program activities began in November 2006 and were specifically designed to provide temporary shelters and to renovate houses for earthquake victims, especially for the economically disadvantaged group including artisans, laborers, and farmers. The temporary shelters built followed the concept of being economical, simple and good quality, and with basic reinforced construction that made them earthquake resistant.
Compared to similar projects done by other NGOs, the project carried out by this consortium was different in the respect that it involved a participatory and gender equality approach, as well as making an effort to apply fair trade principles and to be goal-oriented.
The activities were done collectively and from one district to another, involving the community from the stage of preparation (survey of needs, planning), local self-support and the building process, through to evaluation.