Palu - The Gift of the Givers brought smiles and hope to the people of Petobo, Palu, when it distributed food packs to 300 families in the disaster-stricken city.
A total of 7 500 kgs of rice, 12 000 packets of noodles and 3 200 litres of water were delivered on Wednesday morning.
The organisation plans to deliver more aid around Palu on Thursday.
The city was rocked by earthquakes and a tsunami, killing at least 2 000 people and displacing more than 60 000 people from their homes.
The non-profit organisation distributed rice, noodles and mineral water to families.
The gesture brought smiles to some of the destitute families who have lost loved ones, friends and neighbours and are being currently housed in camps.
Markes Butler, a volunteer with the organisation and the Free State disaster management head, said the food would make a difference for the people.
“It always bring a joy to your heart to see the people who need aid, receive it. It gives joy and pleasure to give out aid, even though our primary purpose when we arrived was to do search and rescue. With the challenges we are facing, it is good that the organisation does have a humanitarian purpose, that's why we are so adaptable, this is the spirit of Ubuntu,” he said.
Parents, grandparents and their young children rushed to collect the food parcels as locals and the volunteers helped distribute the parcels.
“When you look into someone's eyes and they have been struck by a disaster of this magnitude, you can see the joy that this food aid will bring to them because they know they have something to eat tonight,” he said.
Indonesian local, Nut Hikmah, lost her husband and her home during the earthquake. The food aid she received will help her and three children - two daughters and a son.
“I am looking for shelter. I have no source of income. I lost my husband in the earthquake. I am really devastated right now.
“I don't know what to do. We will have to take it day by day and we are really thankful to get this aid,” she said.
The organisation also delivered packs to 22 families who were identified during medical workshops earlier in the week.
The Gift of the Givers were also building temporary shelters for the people of Petobo, Palu.
* Cash contributions to assist the victims of the disaster can be deposited into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052278611, Branch Code 057525. Please send deposit slip to [email protected] for acknowledgement. You can also donate online here.
** Independent Media journalist Sihle Mlambo is in Indonesia with the Gift of the Givers team.