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Korean Medical Team Enjoys Great Popularity

Posted January. 06, 2005 22:34,   


A refugee camp at Matai, the southwestern area of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, is the largest camp in Indonesia in which more than 2,000 displaced people live. They lost their homes and livelihoods to tsunamis which hit the region on December 26 last year.

Contrary to one’s expectations that the place would be occupied with sadness, the camp was like a brisk market on Thursday morning.

“The atmosphere is getting better thanks to medicine and food coming from all around the world,” said Dooly (38), who works for the Indonesia emergency relief camp.

The wounded are flocking to the front square of the TVRI, Indonesian national TV network, where medical camps from six to seven countries, including the U.S., Singapore, and Australia, have been established. Among them is a medical camp organized by the Korea Food for the Hungry International (KFHI).

“The Korean medical team is very kind and provides a family-like atmosphere, so many people who received treatment in other camps come to the Korean camp,” praised a person from the Singapore medical team.

On the walls of a center for missing person were filled with hand written posters searching for missing families members. Such posters carry stories and pictures of their loved ones under the phrase “Dicari,” which means “wanted” in English. Both liveliness and scars coexist in towns of Banda Aceh. The public security has been restored under the control of the army, and small markets are brisk with people. Local citizens, however, say that things only look better from their appearances.

“The Indonesian government opened Banda Aceh to the outside world after the tsunamis, and aid agencies from around the world came to the region,” said an interest of Banda Aceh. “Among them are members of Islam extremists who came from Java Island, and they are cautious of Western aid groups.”

Most Indonesians in the region, however, express their gratitude to relief agencies, and do not seem to care about religious and racial differences.