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The courage of an orphan
(29 May 2006)
Twelve-year-old Jefri sits amongst the rubble
Islamic Relief is helping families like Jefri's with emergency relief. They receive hygiene kits, blankets, tarpaulin and other forms of aid, but what Jefri and his friends want most is a school like they had before instead of a tent.
Twelve-year-old Jefri lived with his mother and three brothers in a small house in a village near Yogyakarta. Their father had been dead for a year and the family struggled on with the help of an uncle who supported the boys at school. He would visit now and again with a sack of rice for the family.

Although life wasn't easy, Jefri was a talented and intelligent boy who loved studying. His favorite subject was mathematics, and he always got top marks. But on 27th May an earthquake struck mercilessly at the family's already precarious existence.

Hurt in the quake

Jefri was in the shower when the ground started shaking. Gripped by fright, he tried to run out of the house, but a falling object struck him on the back and he fell to the ground. As he tried to get up, a wall collapsed on top of him and he blacked out.

He regained consciousness some hours later and found himself lying in a hospital bed, unsure of what had happened. He couldn't remember the earthquake at first, but as his tearful mother sat by his bedside talking to him, he slowly began to recollect the event.  

A temporary home

Jefri was injured, even so, he could not stay in hospital because of the large number of casualties. Around 33,000 people were seriously injured that day. His uncle came to pick him up and fifteen minutes later he was taken back to the village by motorcycle.

Almost every building along the road home was either in ruins or badly damaged, and Jefri couldn't stop himself from crying.

When they got to his village they found a chair for the injured boy to sit on, while his uncle help put up a temporary shelter for Jefri and his family. As Jefri's uncle worked, other villagers built temporary shelters out of the ruins and looked for the dead and injured in the rubble.

When the work was finished, Jefri insisted on limping without any help into the shack that would be his home for some time to come.

It took a week for Jefri to recover from his injuries, but he will have to live in a temporary home for some time longer.

Tent school

The school where he loved to study was also destroyed in the quake, but this did not stop Jefri from learning. As soon as he recovered, he started attending a tent school with his friends.

Islamic Relief is helping families like Jefri's with emergency relief. They receive hygiene kits, blankets, tarpaulin and other forms of aid, but what Jefri and his friends want most is a school like they had before instead of a tent.

Your donation can help families like Jefri's receive the help they need after this disaster.

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