Indian Ocean tsunami: Survivors say thank you


Nuraisyah received emergency health services, food, water, transitional housing, and permanent housing from CARE. “If someone asks us where we live, we say CARE ‘housing’, and everyone knows it. It’s the name of our neighbourhood now,” she says. Nuraisyah is a rice farmer and lives with her children Marlina (12), Jauhan Hafis (8) and Mirza Ukail (2).

“Then, I never would have dreamed that we would be living here, with all my family. It’s like a dream come true.”

© CARE / Josh Estey

Mariani and Sulaiman have five children and seven grandchildren. They were one of the first families to receive a permanent house from CARE after the tsunami.

“I can’t imagine what would have happened without help from the NGOs and the world. Many of us wouldn't be here right now,” says Sulaiman.

© CARE / Josh Estey

Sukandawati, a midwife, lives with her husband and three children in a home provided by CARE. More than 50 members of her extended family died in the tsunami – including her four-year-old daughter. “We were carried away by the water. I lost hold of my daughter’s hand, and then I was swept under. I couldn’t see my children. I found two of them, but my daughter was gone. I never found her,” she says.

“You can imagine – Banda Aceh was totally destroyed. My house was gone, everything was gone... I never would have thought we would have all this.”

© CARE / Josh Estey

Ainal Mardiyah, who is expecting her third child, comes for regular check-ups at the Lambaro Skep health clinic, rebuilt by CARE after the tsunami. “I will have the baby here, inshallah (God willing),” she says with a smile.

© CARE / Josh Estey

“All this – my house, my business, the people working with me – none of this would be here if the world hadn’t helped us after the tsunami,” says Usman.

“CARE helped me start again when everything I had was destroyed. I'm doing very well now, thanks to CARE!”

© CARE / Josh Estey

Ernawati is a small shop owner who got a small loan from CARE to open a kiosk selling basic household food and supplies.

At her home, built with support from CARE, she still uses some of the things CARE gave her back in the early days after the tsunami. Ernawati walks into the kitchen and picks up a well-used pan and knife, holds them up triumphantly and says “Here! These were from CARE.” She walks through her kitchen, pointing out items that came from CARE. “And these cups, and these plates...”

© CARE / Josh Estey

“I want to say thank you to the people in the whole wide world because they helped us when there was a tsunami,” says Zaharatunisa, a pupil at the school built by CARE.

“Thank you for our school.”

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.