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Building Quakeproof Homes in Indonesia

By Laura Sheahen

On September 30, 2009, a powerful earthquake struck West Sumatra, Indonesia. More than 200,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, leaving impoverished residents with no roofs over their heads.

Catholic Relief Services provided immediate help to make temporary shelters, but knew that villagers needed something more durable. CRS and our local partner, WALHI, began a program that helped villagers build quakeproof transitional shelters called "pondoks."

With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and other generous donors, the CRS program created more than 11,000 homes between autumn 2009 and May 2010. Click through the photos to learn more about the homes—and the people who live in them.

Laura Sheahen is CRS' regional information officer for Asia. She is based in Cambodia.

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