Devastating Earthquake Deepens Students’ Commitment to Help Others


At 5:54 a.m. local time Saturday, May 27, 2006 a deadly earthquake measuring 6.3, struck the ancient city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia and surrounding areas—killing more than 6,200 people and destroying 50-100 per cent of villages. Over one million people have been displaced and assistance is thus far extremely limited.

University of Winnipeg Arts student Kevin Freedman, volunteering for a year with Peace Brigades International was in Yogykarta at the time. Freedman, along with fellow UWinnipeg student Kristy Rebenchuk (International Development studies), collaborated with locals and ex-pats to raise funds in an effort to distribute essential supplies. They have created their own unofficial, non-governmental organization to support the aid efforts. Calling themselves the “Mediocre Crisis Response Team,” Freedman and Rebenchuk are doing whatever it takes to help.

They are, however, struggling against overwhelming odds with conditions at intolerable levels, as a lack of sanitation, food security and distressed psychological states have left many at risk of disease and suicide.

For information regarding the Mediocre Crisis Response Team’s efforts or to offer your support, please visit:

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