Rizky*s reunification with his father and grandmother

One of the lucky ones: reuniting Rizky* with his family

Throughout the terrible suffering caused by the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami which tore through Palu, Central Sulawesi in 2018, stories of hope – and good fortune – shone through.

One such story was that of Rizky* (7) who was separated from his family after the destruction. He was found in the ruins of his previous family home by some university students, who kindly took him home and registered him with the local ministry of social services.

Bringing families back together

So many children are separated from their families when disasters strike, not knowing whether those closest to them are living or dead. Save the Children, through its local partner YSTC, worked alongside the Indonesian government and other aid agencies in the massive recovery operation, with one of the main priorities being to bring these families back together again, wherever possible.

One of the lucky ones

After a heartbreaking two weeks watching the death toll rise and wondering if he would ever see his beloved family again, Rizky got the news he had been wishing for. Through the family tracing and reunification work conducted by Save the Children’s local partner, in collaboration with the ministry of social services and UNICEF, Rizky’s father and grandmother had been identified.


Rizky* (7), who was separated from his family in a tsunami, is reunited with his father and grandmother - credit: Ardiles Rante / Save the Children
Rizky* and his father embrace after two weeks apart

Reunification at last

As he waited eagerly for a first glimpse of his family, Rizky* (7) was comforted by Aduma Situmorang, who works with Save the Children’s partner in Indonesia. Finally, the time where he could embrace his father and grandmother came; an incredibly moving moment for all who had been a part of their reunification.

Save the Children has been working in Indonesia since 1976, and has a long history responding to humanitarian disasters in the country, including the recent earthquakes in Lombok and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

What you can do

Read the incredible story of a mother who fought to dig her youngest child out of the rubble of their house, to save her life and keep their family together.

Help us continue supporting children – Donate to our Emergency work.

Watch this moving video from 2018 to see more photos of Rizky and his family:

Leave a Reply