For over a century, Muhammadiyah had been concerned with disaster management. Before Indonesia’s Independence Day, Muhammadiyah had sent humanitarian workers to Blitas, East Java to help eruption victims in Kelud Mountain. It was an essential history of the disaster movement in Indonesia that is poorly known to the public. That was a statement from the Vice-Secretary of Muhammadiyah Council for Higher Education, Research, and Development (CHERD), Adam Jerusalem when delivering his remarks. The statement was mentioned in the closing ceremony of the National Meeting of SAR Mapala (Student Association for Environmental and Adventure Activity) Muhammadiyah Indonesia (SARMMI) in UM Purwokerto Auditorium, Sunday (07/08).
He continued that on 20 May 1912, the Kelud Mountain erupted and caused many deaths. At that moment, the President of Muhammadiyah Central Board, Kyai Sujak in Kauman, Yogyakarta took strategic and effective plans to support eruption victims. It inspired Kyai Sujak, KH. Ahmad Dahlan and other boards established a special body, named PKU (Assistance for the Relief of Public Suffering).
Year by year, the philanthropic movement in Muhammadiyah was actualized across borders, distance, religion, and other barriers. “The Philanthropic movement of Muhammadiyah has been actualized across barriers because Muhammadiyah movement and preaching genuinely exists in that way (without borders),” he stated online. The Muhammadiyah movement does not stop in public sermons, fiqh, worshiping practices, or an agenda. However, it also involves community practices, especially to assist communities in various ways.
For the roles of SARMMI in disaster management, Adam Jerusalem considers SARMMI relevant to what the founding fathers of Muhammadiyah fought for. “SARMMI has significant and essential roles because SAR is urgently required when facing a natural disaster, health catastrophe, and humanitarian disaster,” said Adam Jerusalem.
Therefore, he continued, the new board program of SARMMI in 2022-2024 should be more progressive and advantegeous to the communities and Muhammadiyah – ‘Aisiyiyah Higher Education Institutions (MHEIs). SARMMI with various agendas should create one capacity-building program for members. This capacity-building program was closely related to providing assistance and supporting the victims of natural disasters.
Apart from that, Adam Jerusalem highlighted the need to strengthen collaboration, communication, and coordination among SAR organizations in MHEIs. SARMMI is a Safe and Rescue organization that has Muhammadiyah characteristics that differ from other similar institutions. “So when a natural disaster happens, you can consolidate to produce an efficient and effective support program,” he added. In front of all participants of the National Meeting, he prompted all Muhammadiyah members to sympathize with doing something. “Also when a natural disaster occurs, people in communities, MHEIs’ academicians, especially the students should be more responsive in responding to the disaster,” Adam Jerusalem concluded.