A dance team at Pasigala Children's Festival in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Saturday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Palu Has Risen


JUNE 27, 2019

Palu. Plan International Indonesia Foundation, or Plan Indonesia, held the Pasigala Children's Festival in Palu on Saturday for children who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami last year. 

Pasigala is an acronym for Palu, Sigi and Donggala, the three areas most affected by the disaster in September last year. Plan Indonesia's Emergency Response Team started working in disaster recovery efforts in the areas barely a month later.

The Pasigala Children's Festival was held at the Youth Sports Park in Palu. It featured a variety of stage performances including pantomime and singing, and sports competition involving 262 children and young people from 10 villages assisted by Plan Indonesia. 

"We want the children and young people of Palu to regain their confidence by exploring their creativity," Plan Indonesia's executive director Dini Widiastuti said on Saturday.

Dini said the festival was also intended to raise awareness of child protection in emergency situations and of children's rights, especially for girls.

According to Dini, children face many risks during emergency situations like an earthquake or tsunami, including the risk of violence.

"It's very important for children to understand the risk of violence they face and to be able to respond appropriately to the situation," she said.

The one-day festival was attended by the star of Indonesia's U23 national football team, Witan Sulaiman, and the captain of the national women's football team, Zahra Muzdalifah.

"I'm so happy to witness the enthusiasm of these children. They have risen up from the tragedy that nearly buried them," Witan, who is originally from Palu, said.

Zahra said watching the girls' football competition filled her with joy.

 "I'm very happy to see girls excelling in sports," she said.

The Pasigala Children's Festival is part of Plan Indonesia's Emergency Response Plan in Central Sulawesi, which was begun in October 2018 and had involved a total of 10,118 beneficiaries.

Plan Indonesia's Emergency Response Team has been focusing on four sectors in disaster recovery: non-food humanitarian support, clean water and sanitation support, protection of children and young people in emergency situations or during disasters and education in emergency situations.

The dancing team performing at Pasigala Children Festival, at Youth Sports Park in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Saturday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)​Dancers at the Pasigala Children's Festival on Saturday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)