Along my journey I have met some amazing individuals who are Beacons of Light, they bring light where it is dark. Their compassion to serve humanity inspired me.
Mohammad Cahyo is an architect and has created something amazing from his travels. It all started from his love for travelling and taking photos of the places he visited which started as a hobby when he was a university student. In every place he travelled he created relationships with the local people, he made many new friends from each place he visited, and they become his family, he says “they are my brothers and sisters.”
When he heard about the Tsunami and earthquakes hitting regions of Indonesia. He managed to created a team of people to help by using his skills as an architect and his love to help his brothers and sisters.
Cahyo now gives talks and runs workshops to help educate people on preventative measures to be taken when a disaster hits.
I interviewed Cahyo and this is what he had to say:
What inspired you to do what you’re doing?
“Due to Indonesia being located within the ‘ring of fire’ as part of ‘pacific ring’ of fire and the meeting of several tectonic plates beneath, Indonesia quite often experiences earthquakes and volcano eruptions causing massive fatality and destruction of housing and settlement in the city. In some areas earthquake occur together with the tsunami. We have to care and pay close attention to this issue, to decrease the number of fatalities and damage caused by natural disasters in the future.”
What has been the psychology behind what you do?
“I’ve travelled to many places in Indonesia and creating relationships with many people with a strong bond as a close friend, or family. Once a natural disaster hits in their area I want to help to rebuild their courage and spirit after the disaster, and with my team to help them to rebuild their houses and their environment. The most important thing is to educate the people of Indonesia about disaster preparedness and learn from what we’ve already experienced in helping the survivor.”
Have you faced any challenges and how have you overcome them?
“I believe the challenge is always there to be solved. In the society and community where people have lost everything, the challenge is to give them hope and create trust. As volunteers we stayed with the survivors in the same area and conditions, never treating them as a victim but treating them as family, as a friend.”
What’s your vision?
“We have to provide knowledge (one of the ways is to put it in book form) and create a system to train people about disaster preparedness with only one simple vision, to make fatalities and damage as minimum as possible.
Our traditional society have very good knowledge about natural disaster preparedness and mitigation, but nothing is written down. My vision is to record and document as many traditions and local wisdom of our traditional society, so it could be spread and learn by the future generation.”
If you would like to learn about Cayho and would like to get involved, please email Cahyo at firstname.lastname@example.org
What piece of advise would you give us, the public?
“We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness.”
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