Evacuees in Boyolali Need Psychosocial Assistance

At one of evacuation sites near Mount Merapi in Boyolali’s Selo District, there are hundreds of vulnerable evacuees that are in need of psychosocial assistance in addition to basic needs.

MRI-ACT volunteers playing with children in Selo, Boyolali. Currently, the evacuees are in dire need of psychosocial assistance. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, BOYOLALI - The intensifying volcanic activities of Mount Merapi have forced the residents living around the volcano to evacuate. One of the evacuation sites is in Boyolali’s Selo District. In this evacuation site, the evacuees include toddlers, children, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and the elderly.

To assist the children evacuating to Selo District, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) and Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) came to the shelter in Tlogolele Village to perform an initial assessment to make sure of the residents’ needs.

"In Selo, we conducted an assessment of the residents’ needs. In addition, we are also interacting with the vulnerable groups which make up the majority of the evacuees,” said Ardian Sapto from the ACT Solo’s Program Department, Wednesday (11/11).

To further assist the vulnerable groups, ACT and MRI provided psychosocial assistance to the children. They have been affected by not only the Merapi volcanic activities but also by the ongoing pandemic. Their learning activities have been hampered for almost a year. Now, they have to stay in evacuation sites.

Neigen Achtah Nur, Secretary of Tlogolele Village who is also the coordinator of the evacuation site said that they still needed more psychosocial volunteers because the activities in the evacuation site has been limited as they try to maintain health protocols. “Currently, in this evacuation site, there are dozens of children, but there’s no volunteers who play with them," said Neigen.

Apart from psychosocial support, the evacuees also need food. The evacuees would likely increase if mount Merapi did erupt. Although everyone is hoping that the volcano will not erupt, but every party must remain vigilant and alert to anticipate the worst case scenario. []