Building homes (and hope) after the 2004 tsunami

On the 26th of December 2004 a tsunami hit Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, killing an estimated 230.000 people in fourteen countries. The province of Aceh in Indonesia was the worst hit area. In the summer of 2007,  I spent a few days with an organisation that helped rebuild homes in the most devistated areas of Aceh. A photo story.

90.000 people died in Banda Aceh the day the tsunami hit. In July 2007, 2,5 years later, you could still see traces of the devastation that the raging water had caused. Hundreds of people were still waiting for a new home. While I was there, the Australian Zero to One Foundation was rebuilding whole communities with funding from donor partners. The beauty of the whole project wasn’t just that, but also that the company recruited Indonesians for the construction works, unlike other foundations. Including local people in a major project like that required a decent amount of time and patience. I thought it was an admirable effort to create not just employment but a sense of pride, solidarity and hope as well. It felt great to be a part of it, even if it was as small as taking photos on film of the workers involved.

Zero to One Foundation: