Triumph Over Tsunami


Mohammad was born on a mountain top after his family narrowly escaped tsunami waves. Now, as he turns 10, he’s a Grade 4 student who loves soccer and lives in a house built by World Vision during the 5-year tsunami response in Aceh, Indonesia.

“I asked another woman to help me. She didn’t know anything about helping someone give birth, but she tried,” Nadia says. “When Mohammad was born, they cut the umbilical cord with a machete.”

She wrapped him in a curtain—all they could find--and as soon as she was able, the family walked to a displaced person’s camp. There they stayed inside a leaky tent among other survivors who had lost everything.

In the months after the tsunami, Mohammad’s family relied on good will and help from aid organizations. They moved into transitional housing – known as community barracks – as soon as it was available. 

“Staying there made me feel comfortable and calm. It made me feel better,” Nadia says. “It was easy to raise children there.”

When World Vision built permanent, single-family homes, the family returned to the village they knew. Razali returned to the sea to fish.

“I feel blessed because World Vision facilitated this house for our family,” he says. “I thought I’d never be able to rebuild after the tsunami.”

During the tsunami response, World Vision supported recovering families and communities in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The organization built 12,000 houses, plus health clinics, bridges, canals and other infrastructure. More than 40,000 people benefited from vocational training and employment opportunities.

Photo © 2014 Mark Nonkes / World Vision

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