Army and Moslem leaders join at ceremony handing over 500 houses in Indonesia.
Tsunami recovery continues
“New House, New Spirit” was the theme conveyed by Commissioner Johannes Watilete, territorial commander of the Indonesia Territory, in his motivational speech to the tsunami-affected community and representatives of the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the recent hand-over ceremony of 500 houses in Meulaboh, West Aceh.
More than 1,500 attended, including government officials and Moslem leaders from each village and sub-district. Major On Dieu Quang, assistant general secretary, and Ms. Karen Ng attended on behalf of The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macao Command, one of the funding agencies, along with about 200 representatives from NGOs. The occasion commemorated those who died in the tsunami a year ago and celebrated the hand-over, through the government, of 500 new houses to families in Suak Ribee and Suak Sigadeng, Meulaboh.
As Salvation Army flags flew, Moslem clerics sang from the Koran and blessed the ceremony with prayers. The Indonesian national flag was at half-mast as a reminder of last year’s events.
Dr. Nasruddin (Bupati), head of the West Aceh region, thanked The Salvation Army for delivering on its promise to build the 500 houses. He said that what had happened was wonderful and that the government would support The Salvation Army in whatever they do.
After the ceremony, the territorial commander and government representatives were welcomed into the new homes by those beneficiaries who lived nearby, and then they visited the Army’s new public health clinic in Suak Ribee, donated by the United Kingdom’s Heathrow Rotary Club.
Later, Commissioners Johannes and Augustina Watilete, together with Tsunami Projects and Development Officer Major Dina Ismael, opened The Salvation Army’s new Women and Children’s Community Center, a project office and staff living quarters.
From an International Headquarters news release