Residents of Magelang regency near the volcanic Mount Merapi received a further boost from Singapore last Friday when President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam visited the Dukun sub-district which was much-affected by the 2010 volcanic eruptions and cold lava avalanche.   The Singapore President witnessed the progress of the community after the 14-month post-eruptions reconstruction and risk mitigation efforts by Singapore humanitarian NGO, Mercy Relief (MR).

The Presidential delegation was presented with a rousing welcome by the Jathilan moves, a local mystical dance. MR’s Assistant Director of International Programme  Jaffar Mydin shared on MR’s four-stage humanitarian intervention –relief, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.  More than 4,700 villagers of Sewukan, Krinjing and Keningar villages in the Dukun sub-district have since benefitted from the S$363,000 programme.

Partnering the Indonesian authorities and Magelang’s Muhammadiyah University, MR’s first response team reached the ground within 72 hours from the appeal for international assistance made on 28 October 2010.  During the acute phase, MR helped with the evacuation of the villagers and attended to the medical and psychological requirements of the affected communities, and equipping the main medical centre with much needed respiratory equipment donated by Philips Healthcare. In addition to the provision of essential food and non-food items,  MR undertook the construction of the community water system to help the affected communities rebuild their lives back to normalcy.  Consecutively, given the 5-year spewing/eruption cycle of the Mount Merapi,  MR built evacuation centres at strategic ground points, and worked with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to implement a holistic community disaster risk preparedness programme for future disasters.

The President was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Mary Tan, together with Minister Grace Fu, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi and officials from the Foreign Ministry.

Locals performing Java region’s traditional mystical dance of ‘Jathilan’ to welcome Singapore’s President

MR’s Assistant Director of International Programme Jaffar Mydin providing an insight of MR’s Project 4R for Mount Merapi to the presidential delegation


A trained local healthcare personnel explaining the use of medical equipment provided by MR

H.E President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam with Singaporean and Indonesian officials at the Dukun Polyclinic



MR team distributing hygiene kits and providing medical equipment to the locals during the acute phase


Devastation in Magelang Regency after the eruption


Singapore Civil Defence Force(SCDF) officers training the locals on community and disaster risk management which included evacuation drills

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email

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