Help offered to Indonesia earthquake victims

Oct 07, 2009

After our last posting about the earthquake in Indonesia, in the West Java area, there was another more severe earthquake near Sumatra.

As part of Amway's Disaster Response Plan, we’ve been working with our local Amway offices to monitor the situation and determine where and how Amway can help in relief and rebuilding efforts. Amway Indonesia is also making special considerations for the business concerns of local IBOs

Following is an excerpt from a note we received last night from Koen Verheyen, the General Manager of Amway Indonesia, with pictures below …

Our standard response for disaster relief is to focus on immediate emergency relief in the form of daily necessities such as food, water, clothes, shelter and hygiene. The funding for these emergency efforts come from fundraising through sms, emails to IBO leaders, donations from staff and PT Amway Indonesia. Under normal circumstances our capacity to raise funds is limited.

From experience we know that we cannot be involved in the rehabilitation of physical infrastructure due to our limited funds. It was only through the exceptional contribution of [Amway headquarters] that we could rebuild the two schools in Bantul (Central Java) destroyed by the 2006 quake.

For both Tasikmalaya and Padang, we sent a team of staff volunteers to coordinate efforts on the ground with IBO leaders in the struck area. In Tasikmalaya, our IBO lead coordinator was Diamond Harry Sampoerna, whilst in Padang our IBO lead coordinator was Executive Diamond Yenni Gunawan.

Our response team left for Padang on October 10 and consisted of three staff and one outside volunteer who has on the ground experience with disaster relief efforts. They had to fly to Pekanbaru since no flights were available to Padang. Our Amway Distribution Center (ADC) operator in Padang had already coordinated the purchase of all relief materials, such as tents, medicines and sandals, whilst we took products from the ADC inventory.

The ADC operator provided us with one of his trucks for the 12 hour journey to Padang. Our team has returned late last night and we will have a debriefing meeting with them today. Telecommunication to Padang is still very difficult and we have to rely more on IBOs communicating with us from Padang which seems to be easier.

Both in Tasikmalaya and Padang we focus our efforts towards IBOs, whilst not turning down others in need. We had only recently opened our Padang APC, serving as a pick-up center for orders delivered from Medan ADC. We also have an Executive Diamond in Padang.

Knowing we probably can't be involved in physical rehabilitation due to limited funds, we [planned to] focus on psychological rehabilitation. However, now that we have a financial commitment from headquarters, we may review our strategy.

Going further, we would like to focus our efforts on providing help with education and nutritional care to orphaned kids. For other help we will wait for the debriefing of the advance team today. A second team of volunteers is ready to go for follow up help.

All our APC staff are safe. Executive Diamond Yenni Gunawan and family are safe. News on other IBOs will be obtained this morning.

Attached are some pictures send by staff when they were on the ground in Padang. Thanks again for your generous support and best regards.

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