The tsunami that destroyed the coastline of the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 is considered one the worst natural disasters in modern history. The Province of Aceh, in northeast Indonesia, was one of the hardest-hit areas. Approximately 160,000 people died, thousands of homes were destroyed and dozens of villages were literally wiped off the map. The call to solidarity was strong in Canada and Development and Peace raised over $10 million to help communities recover from this tragedy.
Development and Peace relied on its extensive experience in community development to work with local organizations and empower them in their own efforts to rebuild their communities. This type of support allowed for local groups to engage the participation of those most affected, to reach the most poor and vulnerable, and to design community-driven responses.
The documentary, After the Tsunami – Rebuilding our Village, our Lives, which was produced in 2009, presents the story of the local group UPLINK, which with the support of Development and Peace, built 3,300 homes, as well as roads and other infrastructure for 23 villages levelled by the tsunami. Ten years later, this project still stands out as one of the most successful in Aceh, and this powerful experience continues to influence Development and Peace’s reconstruction programs in other countries affected by natural disasters, such as Haiti and the Philippines.