When the tsunami hit the town of Ajuen in Aceh, the Sabri family managed to escape by running to higher ground, but when they returned, their house had been flattened. They lived in a tent for three months then rented a house, but it was far from ideal as it had been partially damaged by the tsunami.
The Sabri family was one of the first families to move into a new house on 1 July 2006, thanks to the joint effort of the British and Indonesian Red Cross Societies.
Ida Sabri said: “I was so stressed thinking about our situation but the new house from the British Red Cross is like a medicine for us and we are thankful to the people in Britain for helping us.”
The Sabris were one of sixteen families to move into the first set of new houses constructed by the British Red Cross. An emotional ceremony was held to officially hand over the properties.
Owners and their homes were blessed in a traditional ritual with rice and holy water sprinkled on the house by Said Fuad, the Aceh Besar district head, followed by prayers with the families.
When Ida moved into her new home with her husband Abdullah and son Fadri, she wept as they opened the door.
Struggling to speak through tears, Ida said: “I don’t know what to say. I am very pleased and happy but so overwhelmed I am crying.”
The new homes are earthquake resistant and built using the principles of safe housing, developed by the British Red Cross to suit the region’s environment.
More stories about building new homes
More about our tsunami recovery programme