ITC was deployed to Jakarta 1 month after the 2006 tsunami that devastated areas of Indonesia. ITC, funded in part by Church World Service (CWS), worked with Indonesian health care professionals and psychosocial professionals to design and launch a public health and psychosocial infrastructure customized to local cultural specificity targeting at risk toddlers to 18 year olds and their adult care giving systems exposed to severe trauma secondary to the tsunami. CWS-Indonesia has been working through and with local partners in both emergency humanitarian relief and community development for over 30 years. Recently, CWS-Indonesia has made a conscious effort to strengthen the support psychosocial health of IDPs through a program designed to provide support for children and youth. Experience with this program shows that forming groups for a variety of activities allows the children to decrease negative emotions as a result of conflict and stress in recent conditions, develop positive role models, form friendships, reestablish social networks, and decrease isolation. ITC, as the prime contractor for Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO), designed, developed and launched psychosocial programs for the surviving Social Workers, Doctors and aid workers of ACEH after the 2006 Tsunami. To this day the program continues in many sectors sustained by local trainees, interventionists and CSW support.
Previous studies by the National Institute of Mental Health in Indonesia have shown that early intervention to help children who have suffered trauma due to disaster is critical. Parents, teachers and mental health professionals can do a great deal to help these youngsters recover. Children need to feel that they are being protected from further harm and traumatic stimuli. Encouraging trauma victims to express their feelings and letting them know that it is normal to be scared and upset after an event such as this will provide them an outlet for their feelings allowing them to progress into a recovery phase.
Fun and Educational Activities in Tents (FEAT) will provide children with the gradual routine needed after the chaotic events experienced by them during the past week. After the children have settled into the camps and are receiving basic life-sustaining support including food and health care, children will be enrolled in FEAT. The fun activities include play and art therapy that helps address the trauma they have experienced. (This program is based on the ITC-Global CBI initiative; ITC trained the ACEH staff who then developed these initiatives.)
Training of volunteers: Thirty volunteers were recruited from partner organizations and HIMPSI. The volunteers were trained for four weeks on early education, child psychology and psychosocial mental health in addressing childhood trauma.
Involvement of Parents and Youth Groups: Parents and pre-existing youth groups in the IDP Camps will be asked to assist FEAT volunteers in conducting daily activities as a step to ensure sustainability of program after the three month FEAT program implementation. This activity provides indirect therapy for parents and siblings by allowing them to gain some semblance of a routine to assist others and provides an outlet for communication and relationship building. The mothers of the children participating in the program will be asked to volunteer assistance in preparing the cooked meals the children will receive.