Science, Tech & Environment

Aceh's orphans

We're at this children's home for tsunami survivors. This orphanage sprung up in the wake of the tsunami and has since moved into a complex of dorms. The charity has promised to support their 90 girls until they get a job or marry. But some other post-tsunami orphanages haven't fared so well. This woman used to work at another orphanage that recently closed. She says for the children this short term support is far from ideal because they need to feel like they're part of a family and when they move between orphanages frequently, that doesn't happen. In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, there was a tremendous amount of outpouring but as time went on, some of the resources dried up and this aid worker says programs that have ample funds don't always spend them where they're needed best. The aid worker says the tsunami survivors in this town aren't Aceh's neediest children. She says the children who need the most care today are those who weren't affected by the tsunami. This boy's father was an Acehnese separatist rebel but the tsunami gave momentum to a peace agreement. This fighter says he has no interest in picking up arms again but the children of combatants who died might not still have families. An estimated one-third of children who lost parents in the conflict drop out of school. this social worker says in an ideal world, these children would also receive psychological treatment and therapy. She helped run a group therapy program for villagers but it was closed down last year because its mandate was only for emergency care and not long term. This government analyst says there's a huge need out here but there isn't much interest from international aid groups.

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