Picture 1: Otniel Nahoga conducts disaster management training
Disaster brings serious disruption to the community and society functions at different scales due to its interaction with conditions of exposure, vulnerability, and capacity, which affect one or more of the following aspects: human, material, economic, and environmental. (UNDRR.org)
The Church as an inseparable part of a larger community group has a diakonia service where they play an active role in disaster management, especially to assist the community in order to face any disaster that may occur at any time. Diakonia is a responsible service of the gospel by deeds and by words performed by Christians in response to the needs of people (www.oikoumene.org). Disaster preparedness is one of the services/interventions that can be implemented by the church in order to increase the ability of church congregations who are interested to be volunteers when a disaster occurs. This is in alignment with National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) regulation number 17 of 2011, which defines volunteers as people or groups of people who have the ability and concern to work voluntarily in disaster management efforts.
Picture 2: Ratna Dewi Susianti facilitates discussion during training
East Nusa Tenggara Province (NTT) is a disaster-prone area where in April 2022 Tropical Cyclone Seroja hit Sumba Island and other cities in the province. The Synod of Christian Church of Indonesia (GKI) of the Central Java Region collaborated with the YAKKUM Emergency Unit (YEU) to conduct disaster management training at the Synod of Christian Church in Sumba (GKS).
This training was carried out on 24-26 January 2023 at the East Sumba Integrated Mission Training Center (PPMT). YEU sent its facilitators, namely Mr. Otniel Nahoga and Mrs. Ratna Dewi Susianti to facilitate the three-day training where there were 29 participants, consisting of Pastors, older people, and church members.
Some of the disaster management training materials provided are on the disaster events in Indonesia, especially in Sumba Island and its neighboring region; the introduction to the disaster cycle; on disaster mitigation measures for the church/region; Code of Conductin disaster management; interview practice to collect the Sex, Age, Disability, Disaggregated Data (SADDD); and finally to make an action plan.
By the end of the training, the participants showed increased interest and understanding of disaster management within the church, classis, and synod, which might lead to the development of the church’s preparedness efforts.