Cyclone Seroja child survivors in Lembata begin to recover

A month has passed since the flash flood and landslide that was caused by Cyclone Seroja hit the East Nusa Tenggara Province, which has also hit the Lembata District. After undergoing an emergency phase, the Lembata district has now entered the recovery phase, as announced by the local government in late April.

Following this, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia), a humanitarian organisation that has been working in Lembata since 2006 with approximately 10 thousand sponsored children in the region, joins the effort of recovery. Especially, the focus is on providing recovery support to sponsored children and their families who are most impacted by the disaster.

According to Plan Indonesia, 1,178 of its sponsored children are affected by the disaster in Lembata, with 1,058 among them currently moved to nearby evacuation centres. To help the disaster-impacted children and their family, Plan Indonesia will be distributing aid in four main areas until the next six months, including the provision of emergency shelter, education in emergency, child protection in an emergency, as well as WASH (wash, sanitation, and hygiene). Aside from that, Plan Indonesia will also distribute cash voucher for children and their family that can be used to purchase their urgent needs in the shelter, WASH, and protection sector.

The source of recovery aid comes from Plan International’s sponsorship funding, Plan Indonesia local fundraising and START Fund, a consortium consisting of 42 organisations that focuses on strengthening the humanitarian aid system. The latter has added 69,201 EUR for recovery aid distributed through Plan Indonesia for an initial 45-day response.

The aid will be distributed gradually until the next 6 months, with the initial 45-day response phase starting from 16th April. The initial phase will focus on cash voucher transfer, as well as the provision of handwashing stations and recreational kits. The second phase will follow right after, with a continued focus on emergency shelter, WASH, child protection in an emergency, as well as education in emergency.

Up to April 23, Plan Indonesia and local volunteers in Lembata have been conducting recreational activities, part of psychosocial support and children protection efforts, for children in 6 evacuation centres. The activity is typically attended by 30-40 children while still adhering to COVID-19 health protocols. Plan Indonesia has also been processing a set of aid, which include 750 emergency shelter tool kits and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) kits, as well as 1,221 school kits for sponsored children.

In providing aid, Plan Indonesia continuously adjusts the type of aid to the current situation and needs. Currently, there is a shortage of recreational kit for the children and the absence of accessible child protection report mechanisms. Furthermore, there is a gap in educational aid for children who have not yet received any support, either from the government or other humanitarian agencies. Plan Indonesia is in close coordination with local government and other humanitarian organisations to fill in the gap.

This recovery effort begins after the emergency period conducted by Plan Indonesia since the beginning of April 2021 in Lembata to support the impacted communities at the initial stage. At that time, Plan Indonesia distributed 370 emergency shelter tool kits and MHM kits for affected children and families.

Aside from that, Plan Indonesia continues its fundraising effort to invite public support through a donation. The public can donate via the crowdsourcing platform of with the link as follows or

As an organisation that strives for the fulfilment of child rights and equality for girls, Plan Indonesia prioritises the needs of and protection for children and their families in every situation including in an emergency. Children, women, and people with disabilities have more attention in our effort as they have greater risks to their survival and recovery during disaster and shock situation that this can lead them to further vulnerabilities.

Editor Notes:

About Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia)

Plan International has been working in Indonesia since 1969 and officially transformed into a national foundation in 2017, namely Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia). We aim to strive for children's rights and equality for girls. Together with youth groups and activists, we attempt to ensure youth meaningful participation in decision making that will impact the fulfilment of the children's rights and equality for girls. We also mobilize resources with partners from the private sector, donors, philanthropic foundations as well as individual donors to have a wider impact on Indonesian children.

Plan Indonesia implements its activities through four programs, namely Child Development Program, Adolescent and Health Agency, Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship and Humanitarian Resilience Program. We work in 7 provinces which includes East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi DKI Jakarta, Central Java, and West Java targeted to benefit 1 million girls. Plan Indonesia also has 36,000 sponsored children in East Nusa Tenggara.

The Plan Indonesia's emergency response is part of the Humanitarian & Resilience Program, which serves as one of the organisation's main pillars. Plan Indonesia has been consistently carrying out emergency responses to help affected survivors, in partnership with local government agencies and other relevant parties. The activity is typically carried out when a disaster occurs, such as when an earthquake, tsunami, flood, or when the COVID-19 pandemic happen.

Media resource persons

  • Ida Ngurah, Humanitarian & Resilience Program Manager, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia
  • Erlina Dangu, Emergency Response Team & PIA Manager Lembata, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia

Media contact

  • Intan Cinditiara (Olla), Media and Communications Manager, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia, Ph: +62818928764, E:
  • Masajeng Rahmiasri (Ajeng), Programme Communications Specialist, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia, Ph: +628170040274, E:


Cyclone Seroja Child Survivors Wish to Study

Education is among the basic rights of children. No child should be deprived of this right, not even the Cyclone Seroja child survivors in Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara.

Among the affected children, we met is Jary, a 14-year-old girl who tried to run to a safer place when the disaster hit her house. She was separated from her parents. Luckily, Jary and her younger sibling could reunite with their mother and family at one of the evacuation centres. Since then, they have been living there for their safety.

Even as she was able to adapt to her surroundings, Jary still has one unresolved worry. The third-year-middle-school student wanted to resume learning soonest as the final exam period is approaching.

“I want to return to school. I also need books and other school kits that we currently don’t have here,” Jary said to Plan Indonesia’s team.

A similar concern was expressed by Cey (15 years old), a young girl from Lembata. Before the disaster, Cey was busy attending classes that were held in turns to adjust to the current COVID-19 situation in Lembata. However, the learning process was disrupted by the disaster. Cey is now unable to attend classes and could only help with her parents in the evacuation camps.

“I am sad. I want to return to school,” Cey stated.

Plan Indonesia has recorded that 1,178 of its sponsored children, including Jary and Cey, are affected by the disaster in Lembata. About 1,058 of the children are moved to nearby evacuation centres.

To help with the children and their family’s welfare, Plan Indonesia will be distributing aid in three main areas, which include education in emergency, child protection in an emergency, as well as WASH (wash, sanitation, and hygiene) through the Cash Voucher Assistance mechanism.

The aid will be distributed gradually, with the initial 45 days of response (starting from April 16th) funded by START Fund--a consortium of 42 NGOs working together to strengthen the humanitarian aid system--that has provided 69,201 EUR for the response. Plan Indonesia has also secured an emergency response fund through Plan International’s sponsorship funding and local fundraising.

Children are always affected differently in every disaster. Let’s continue to help with the recovery process in Lembata so that the children could resume their study and could stay empowered even after Cyclone Seroja.