Hello me! Let’s be Friend

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia 

I was born as a social being. Interacting with other people has become a demand even before I was born. In my toddler, mother and father taught me how to speak, the purpose of which was to establish communication with them. As I grew up, I was introduced to a wider environment. The school requires me to socialize, interact, and make friends with those around me. People say, at least we must have one friend who will always be there for us to survive. Where we share stories, complain, laugh, cry, do many things together. People said we can’t live alone. People said life will be lighter when shared. Therefore I was demanded from childhood to always be kind in front of many people. Gathering people who can be my “friend” so that I didn’t get lonely. I try to hold my ego to be able to apply the value of the “each other” words in a friendship. Share, understand each other, love each other, everything is reciprocal. But do you mind if I think a little weird and different from you all?

I admit that I am a social being who needs others to survive. But don’t forget the fact that humans are also individual beings with their interests and difficulties. I am me with my own troubles, pleasures, responsibilities, and rights. In my opinion, how deep we build a friendship or whatever it is, in the end, we will fight on our own behalf. I don’t really into the basic value of “each other” words in friendship. I know that my friends have their own problems and excitement, and I think i don’t need to add to the burden of thinking about the problem I have. No, that doesn’t mean I censure the value of that beautiful friendship. I cherish it when there is someone who always cheering for my joy and crying along with my sadness. But doesn’t it means that I also have to do the opposite to “repay” their services? This is where my problem starts. I was too absorbed in my duties as a friend. No, I’m Not pretending to be attentive, but I feel that I worry too much about people around me and forget about myself struggling alone.

But it’s never too late for this. I have to be able to endure the label of a social being as well as an individual being. I am grateful for the presence of my friends. They were very helpful to my difficult times and they were also happy in my happy times. But from now on I will start to befriend myself. Understanding, appreciating, caring for, and caring for myself who have struggled through the days after days that I could not even predict the good and bad. Thank you for always surviving in all circumstances, happy friendship day, myself!

Between The Environment and The Pandemic

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia 

In recent years many environmental issues have been called for, especially about plastic waste. Various trends have emerged ranging from the use of straws, drinking bottles, cutlery, and shopping bags that are environmentally friendly and can be used repeatedly. Making the sea turtles and habitats as the object of cruel attention to plastic waste that is not managed wisely by humans. In addition to the use of environmentally friendly goods, there is a suggestion for eating at the place / dine-in at the restaurant to reduce food/beverage takeaway and also delivery orders. But once the Covid-19 pandemic appeared, all the calls seemed to be forgotten. As recommended by the government, restaurants can only serve to take away and deliver orders. For example, what happened in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, before the implementation of the PSBB (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the daily waste volume of 7,500 to 8,000 tons/day was reduced by 620 tons/day. Doesn’t that mean the volume of waste is decreasing?

Overall the volume of waste has indeed declined, but there has been a shift in the waste-producing sector. Head of DKI Jakarta Environment Agency, H Andono Warihm, said that during the PSBB period, the volume of plastic waste generated by households was higher than before the pandemic. Of course, this happened because there was a shift in the consumption patterns of the people from those who could freely eat at restaurants or buy drinks with their drinking bottles, also shop at supermarkets with their shopping bags, now everything must be done online. Food and beverage delivery orders, online shopping for daily necessities, to necessities such as clothing and household appliances also require plastic bags or other types of waste that are not environmentally friendly.

We can’t just shut up and close our eyes knowing this fact, right? We must be able to pay attention to the environment while still obeying rules according to health protocols. The simplest way we can start in our kitchen. Cooking our food is the easiest way to stay concerned about the environment at a time like this. Besides, we can also pay attention to our daily nutrition intake and fill our free time during quarantine or work from the home period. What’s more, we don’t need to worry about viruses because we don’t make physical contact through any objects with strangers. But, we need to pay attention to food ingredients and wash everything before consuming it!

References 

https://www.liputan6.com/news/read/4283340/sampah-plastik-di-dki-jakarta-meningkat-saat-pandemi-coronahttps://www.aliansizerowaste.id/post/2020/04/16/menerapkan-zero-waste-di-masa-pandemi-corona

Education Over Pandemic

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

The level of the spread of Covid-19 which is increasingly fierce has made community activities seem to stop. The social distancing policy makes public places closed, including schools. The implementation of Pembelajaran Jarak Jauh (PJJ) policy is an alternative for all schools in Indonesia to be able to carry out teaching and learning activities. Various virtual learning features are developed and used by teachers and students to keep interacting and learning. But the government forgot that Indonesia is not a country with a population that has an equal economic status. There are still many who are less fortunate and cannot enjoy online learning facilities. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency in 2019, internet penetration rates in rural areas are at an average of 51.91%, and in urban areas, they average 78.08%. The ownership of computers, which is an important medium for learning, is very low. In rural areas as much as 9.93%, while in urban areas as much as 28.43%. The Ministry of Education and Culture realizes that learning will not be optimal due to uneven facilities. The government has done this by providing PJJ broadcasts on TVRI and RRI, but that has not reached some regions yet. Their hopes in reaching knowledge seemed to bud because it was limited to learning facilities. Of course, this needs more attention from the Indonesian government

However, the problem is not an obstacle for teachers and students who are less fortunate with extraordinary enthusiasm. There is already a lot of information about teachers who go from house to house of their students who do not have access to online learning both television and the internet. They deliver learning materials following the curriculum to each student like a private course. Things like this need to be appreciated. Not just giving material to students, but there is a struggle and a burning passion there. Not to mention the distance between student homes that are not close is a big challenge. This is the picture of the educators needed by our nation today. Teachers become the second window of knowledge for students after books in the field of formal education. For those of us who are currently able to sit comfortably enjoying online learning facilities, shouldn’t we appreciate it with a higher enthusiasm for learning?

Reference

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/maj alah-52642997

https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/04/18/140342165/kisah-pak-guru-avan-mengajar-dari-rumah-ke-rumah-karena-siswa-tak-punya?page=all

The Importance of Parenting in The Issue of Racism

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia 

At an early age, children will pay attention to physical differences, including skin color. Research shows that 5 years old children can show signs of racial bias, such as treating people from one racial group better than another. Surely parents need to be called consciously the following racism. Parents need to talk in a way that is easy-to-learn for their children to understand. Ignoring or avoiding the topic of racism is the same way as not protecting children. By choosing not to care, is the same thing as exposing them to the bias that exists wherever we live. Moreover, this happens to children who experience racism. If no one cares about this, and the child is not easy to tell, then they will be psychologically hurt.

  Through conversations between parents and their children, parents can help children to think and talk about racial inequality that is around as a step towards creating a more complete society. Children needed to be convinced that their parents would do anything to ensure their safety. However, the fact that some young people are less secure than others in the outside world because of their race provides the opportunity to teach all children about injustice. This is also an opportunity for children to develop empathy, compassion, and citizenship – learning about roles that can help their families in improving society.

But, we often find in Indonesia, in the region around us, parents protect their children excessively and make their children think and act as perpetrators of racism, whether through small things like speech to violence. A superior sense arises due to excessive protection. For example the assumption in Indonesia that those who have light and fairy skin are beautiful. This could also be caused by the historical factor of Indonesia which was a former colony of white people who were then considered as the upper class. It is difficult to leave this long-standing identity. However, precisely departing from parents, as the foundation of children’s learning, as much as possible parents educate themselves about this and instill teachings to their children that all are born the same. It must be declared that the difference that is present in their environment is diversity.

Parents must be able to talk about race and must adjust how they frame the conversation according to the child’s age. Children’s questions and problems will change as they grow. Adults do not always have the answer! And when children ask “Why?” It’s okay for parents to say, “I don’t know; let’s find out together. ” Children are observers who learn about how people work to overcome problems regarding racial problems and inequality. Use convenient ways to introduce children to various cultures and people of various races and ethnicities. Invite children to interact directly with a variety of people from various ethnic groups, races, ethnicities, cultures, and religions also foster empathic feelings and instill positive thinking. Explore food from other cultures, read stories, and watch films of different types of races and tribes. Parents also need extra attention to the content of bias racial in books and films and look for people who portray people from different racial and ethnic groups in various roles, consider stories that feature minority actors who play complex characters or main characters, which can be very helpful in dealing with racial and discriminatory stereotypes. Parents are an example for their children and an introduction of children to the world. Here it means, what they see and what you do is as important as what they hear.

References

https://www.unicef.org/parenting/talking-to-your-kids-about-racismhttps://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/Talking-to-Children-About-Racial-Bias.aspx

Skills for Resilient Youth, Celebrating World Youth Skills Day 2020

Written by : Anna Safira Salsabila, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

The world is changing. There are more and more challenges to face and each day is different and with that means there are also a lot of new things we need to learn and prepare for the sake of our future. None of us know what will happen a month later or even tomorrow in our life. Preparing ourselves is a must needed especially as young people. That’s why every July 15th the world celebrates World Youth Skills Day to inspire young people to have acquisition and development skills. For this year, World Youth Skills Day is focusing on “Skills for Resilient Youth”. We all agree that this year we are facing the same challenge that is very new to everyone which is a global pandemic COVID-19 and lockdowns. Many aspects in our life are affected by it and the crucial part is our educational system. Since the pandemic occurred, all activities and work are run online which definitely limit the access to help developing skills. Many youth communities then create their programs from offline to online. One of the local youth communities that has such a program is Project Child Indonesia (PCI).

Project Child Indonesia (PCI) provides internship programs that support acquisition and development of youth skills. Internship programs give opportunities for youth to enhance their skills and passions. In the internship program we can learn more about Practical Health, Environment and Disaster Education, Creating a Holistic Learning Experience, Technology Education, and Volunteer Engagement by joining the Program Team, Research Team, Human Capital Team, Media & IT Team, or Partnership Team. This way, the Internship Program helps prepare youth to face the working world in the future by giving them experience in work. Even though we are in lockdowns, the Internship Program is held through online meetings so everyone can still experience the program at home. 

Help the Teachers in Need

Story by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

It’s been three months since I am stuck at home, preferring not to go out rather than risking my health amids the coronavirus pandemic. I am very lucky to be able to stay home and continue my learning online. Since my university shut down its offline classes last March, online classes had been in full swing. My lecturers, although not many of them are internet savvy, have been able to conduct online classes without any difficulties.

Unfortunately, not all teachers, lecturers, and students are lucky. Many out there are unable to gain access to an electronic device, more or less accessing the internet. As students, it might be difficult to continue learning, but for teachers and lecturers, the inability to access the internet might cost them their life. There are many stories out there about teachers and lecturers that are not a permanent part of the educational institution. They work as contract workers, so there is not much compensation from the school or even the government if they lose their job.

These teachers are considered as public servants. They work to serve the public: students. Without them, many students would not be able to get an education at all. If children don’t get proper education, what will they become in the future? 

Teachers are vital to the education field, but also they are the ones who are hit the hardest during this pandemic. With the shift in learning methods and their situation of not being able to access the internet, there isn’t much hope for them. If they stop teaching, they immediately lose their source of income.

As privileged citizens, it is time for us to pay back our teachers. They volunteer to teach the future of our nations, it is only fair for us to support their efforts too. There are ways in which we can help:

  1. Write to the government

As individuals, we cannot do much to change the lives of those contract teachers. However, as an institution, the government surely can. We can always use our voice in this democratic nation to help increase the chance of livelihood for those teachers.

  1. Donate, donate, donate!

There’s always a chance for you to do good through donations. This is one of the open donations that you can donate your money to: https://kitabisa.com/campaign/santunanguruhonorer. No matter how much your donation is, it will always be useful and what’s wrong with sharing your blessings, right?

If you ever feel like you don’t have anything to do with the fate of those contract teachers, just remember the face of your favorite teacher. The one who helped you during your school years and educated you to be who you are today. Imagine if the fate of your favorite teacher is the same as those contract teachers, would you still be quiet about it? As a functioning member of society, you have received kindness that your teachers gave to you, now it is time for you to share those kindnesses.

Reference:

How to Help: Ending Child Labor

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Do you remember your childhood? Was it happy? Were you able to have fun with your friends and family, buy toys, and eat whatever you wish? If yes, then you are very very very lucky. You are most likely the only one among ten children to have the privilege to do so. In Africa and Asia, the other nine children have to work hard and are often exploited as a laborer. These children have to work to support their family instead of working on their dreams. Often, they also become the victim of human trafficking and sexual abuse.

The issue of child labor has been nagging on our society for years. Without the proper surveillance and laws, it will be impossible to end it. As citizens, we can urge the government to create better laws to fight this issue. However, having surveillance and better laws is the diplomatic way to end it. We have to use a personal approach as well. Laws and surveillance will not increase the children’s life quality, it will only help against their cases. We have to help in bettering their education so that they have higher chances to be successful in life. Material help such as money and food can’t last very long, but education can. Changing the mindset of these children will contribute a lot, not only for the children individually but for national development as well.

A simple way that you can do to help personally is volunteering. Every child deserves education and if you can help to provide them with it, why not? Volunteering for an organization or program that helps to provide education for children such as Project Child Indonesia’s Sekolah Sungai is a very noble action. You’ll help to give access to education for these children and you’ll play a role in helping them achieve their dreams. It might be a small help, but it will give impact to the children, no matter how small. 

You can help, no matter how. There will always be a way that you can help.

References:

Alone Together: Our Future in a Cyber Society Post Covid-19

Written by : Devina Prima Kesumaningtyas, Intern Research Project Child Indonesia

After President Joko Widodo announced that there were two people infected by COVID-19, everyone uproared with this news. People start to panic buying, and then the scarcity of disinfectants, masks, and alcohol hand rub. Also, everyone becomes aware to wash their hand regularly. Ironically, the pandemic evokes people’s awareness how importance it is to implement good personal hygiene such as to wash their hands and to not touch their face with dirty hands. 

Now everyone starts to reduce their activities outside their homes. The hashtag stay at home and work from home or WFH are viral on social media. This is to remind people to not doing activities outside the home except it is essential and encourage people to keep two meters distance because to reduce the risk of virus contagion. Many applications such as Google class and Zoom are used by people since physical interaction is not possible, such as teaching, seminars, and meetings are carried out using this application. But do you know if this pandemic is kind of a trial for humans about the future of our society in technology, which makes humans themselves have no limits?  

There is one interesting book that has ever talked about human life side by side with technology. This book explains how people build technology with the purpose to help human’s job. Humans are accustomed to creating a variety of artificial intelligence that can facilitate human activities. In industrial 4.0 era, the technology was able to replace human to some extent. And now, people have become so dependent on technology, smartphones with various applications in it have changed the way people work, even the way humans interact.

From this explanation, let us step back for a moment, to a time when the communication and information system was not as fast as it is now. We had to wait for weeks or even months to find out news from someone who lived in different city. Humans sent letters to communicate with people who are far away from them. Likewise, news that can be accessed through newspapers. There were more effort to send messages and to know what was happening around the world. So that human tried to invent ways to have better and communication system, until the discovery of satellites which are the key to changing the long-distance communication system by humans.

Now everything has changed, we had advanced communication technology and its have an impact on human behavior itself. I think millennials know how it feels to texting during their childhood and even their young teens. From shortened messages to save credit, or only text at certain hours, because there are promos and freebies from certain providers. All of that is part of the evolution of human behavior in communication. Now we have facilitated the existence of video call services and even conference calls that allow many people from various corners of the earth to communicate in one big forum, without having to leave their place.

I think COVID-19 becoming trials for humans to live their life in a cyber society. Before this pandemic appeared there were already many borderless jobs, where we no longer need to go to the office just to have a meeting or do our work. Working remotely has become commonplace at this time. Companies do not need to have a large office building. That could only be a mere formality after all meetings and work can be handled through social media. Likewise in the future learning system, maybe school buildings will be quiet and empty because their students can learn on their own via the internet. This pandemic looks to prepare us to live in a new condition when everyone doesn’t need physical interaction.

Manuel Castell once wrote that Several major social, technological, economic, and cultural information came together to give rise to a new form of society”. This quote is taken from his book entitled The Rise of Network Society. The quote illustrates that the shape of our society may change with the times, technological advancements, and an increasingly advanced economy. Our society, which is usually connected in the real world, might turn into a virtual society. After all, this has happened when the rise of social media such as Whatsapp, Line, Instagram, and so on. COVID-19 pandemic is a kind of trial for many people to live their life as a part of cyber society. And we never know what’s going to happen after this pandemic. I think this pandemic will change the way human interaction. And our technology developed also our culture value always changed following the technology itself. 

And now we still don’t know when this pandemic will end. Maybe the vaccine has been found, but it’s still in a trial period that takes a year or more. And then this time was uncertainty for every human. But now the question is, are humans ready to change the way they interact with fellow humans? Maybe after this pandemic ends it will affect the way we interact with others. The habit of not coming into contact with others may also still be left in the minds of each of us, giving rise to its fears for humans. Humans may still say hello, but they can’t be as close as before the pandemic appeared. Reporting from the BBC News Indonesia website Anthony Fauci, a Head of the National Institute in the US for the problem of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said so, “I think we should not shake hands again.” The phrase shows that physical contact made by humans is no longer needed, given there will be many possible diseases that can be transmitted from physical contact between humans. Not to mention the possibility that this virus can mutate into a virus that is even more resistant to any drug. The worst, if these pandemics never end, then what happens is, humans will not be able to interact directly and make physical contact, and humans will be alone, together.

References: 

Sherry Turkle : Alone Together :Why We expect More from T e c h n o l o g y and Less from each other

Manuel Castell : The Network Society A Cross-cultural Perspective

BBC Indonesia :  Virus Corona: Apakah Covid-19 Akan Membuat Kebiasaan Jabat Tangan Punah?

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/vert-cap-52283322

The Earth is Burning, But You Can Help!

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Do you notice that the earth is getting hotter and hotter every time? Not to mention the random heavy rain in a dry season? Without us noticing, the earth is burning up. Last year, there was the incident of the Amazon forest burning up. This year, Australian bushfire happened. Rainforests in Kalimantan were also burning up due to the intense heat. These incidents are not an incident at all, it all could’ve been prevented. It was our fault, humans fault. We exploit the environment and when nature is trying to get us back, we are left helpless. In all those forest fires, millions of animals lost their home and their life. Millions of plants burnt to ashes. Now, more than one million animals and plants are in the brink of extinction. All because of our ego. We take, take, and take without ever giving back.

Regardless of whether you actually care or not, you can do something. You live here too, the least you can do is help to take care of our earth. It doesn’t have to be a drastic measure, small things if being done continuously will end up being a huge help.

Here are some things that you can do to help and it’s free, so you have no excuse not to do it!

  1. Walk, walk, walk. Walking will decrease carbon footprint because you literally emit 0 harmful gas to the air. If you must go somewhere far and it’s possible to be done, take public transportation, you’ll share the carbon footprint of the vehicle.
  1. Stop using plastic. Plastic harms the ocean and the land. It pollutes the water and land, it destroys the balance in nature. Not to mention it also disturbs animals’ food chain. Straws is not the only problem, though. Single use plastic bags and plastic cups are a bigger threat to the environment. Exchange the plastics with reusable cups, bags, and straws.
  1. Recycle! Separate your trash bins. Recycle the plastics and paper and reuse the organic trash. Waste management helps the air, water, and land pollution.

We only have one planet, there is nothing else. If we don’t take care of it, it will turn its back on us and we have nowhere to go. Take care of it now, take small steps but give big impacts.

References: https://swikblog.com/world-environment-day-2020-theme/

Why a Balanced Diet can Help your Immune System to Prevent Infected by COVID-19

Written by : Peeters, Former Community Engagement Project Child Indonesia

As the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 as a global pandemic resulting in countries grappling with imminent dangers that this virus poses to humanity, there are very few measures that individuals can take to fight this pandemic.

Indonesia currently ranks first in Covid-19 mortality rate in Asia. Data shown from John Hopkins University states that due to its poor public health management and regional disparities within its health system, the mortality rate spikes to 8-9 percent. And as a result of widespread testing absence as a matter of precaution, Indonesia has also put 27,549 patients under strict observation for suspected coronavirus infection.

During disease outbreaks, such as today, it is always the most vulnerable and marginalized communities who suffer the most. The lack of high testing rate, tight biosurveillance, solid contract tracing and sufficient hospital capacity, marginalized communities in Indonesia are in jeopardy.

Project Child Indonesia is supporting the community and the government to a certain extent to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among vulnerable and marginalized communities through promotion of healthy food information  that leads to behavior change.

Hence, what have we learned to prevent ourselves from being infected by the virus? We have learned to prevent ourselves from Covid-19 by taking simple daily precautions such as washing your hands, practicing social and/or physical distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep, are several ways to lower risk of infection.

While it is crucial to mention hygiene standards, there are also certain methods to improve your immunity which is paramount at this juncture. The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes that have evolved to protect the body from disease. More than 70% of the body’s immunity is located in the intestinal digestive system. Because of that, intestinal health is one of the keys to maintaining endurance.

Hence, the question arises, how can one boost their immune system or maintain a healthy gut and/or intestinal health to fight Covid-19?

It is a tough question, indeed, mainly because the immune system is not a single-system that can be measured easily, as mentioned prior. It’s an intricate and delicate system with many different variables.

Although no research has been done on foods that help fight against  Covid-19 specifically. There are previous studies that have found consuming certain foods can help improve your gut health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Optimal intestinal health should be considered, especially during times like this. As having too many” bad “bacteria in the gut has been linked to various problems, including allergies, autoimmune disorders and maybe even anxiety and depression.

Research shows, when the number of probiotics Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in the intestine decreases, it will cause an imbalance in the intestine (Gut Dysbiosis). This will reduce the body’s production of immune substances (IgA, CD4 +, B and T, IL-10 lymphocyte cells) by probiotics.

As a result, viruses that enter the body cannot be killed by the body’s macrophages. Hence, if inflammatory reactions occur, especially in the lungs, it will be progressive. As a result of the more severe symptoms of shortness of breath due to Covid-19 will aggravate and worsen and decrease oxygen flow throughout the body.

  1. Tempeh (Fermented Soybean Cake)

This particular food made from fermented soybeans contains a significant number of health benefits, such as proteins that help build and repair muscles tissues.

  1. Kombucha

This slightly fizzy and acidic tea does not only contain probiotics, but also contains B vitamins, which help support the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that does not only contain probiotics, but also a rich  source of calcium and protein.

  1. Sauerkraut

Pickled cabbage is the result of lactic acid fermentation, the process by which bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid. By consuming pickled cabbage it would help keep the intestines healthy by preventing the development of bad bacteria. Furthermore, one cup of sauerkraut provides about 30 calories and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. This food also provides fiber and iron.

  1. Yogurt

A great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system, it is also effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections. Yogurt contains live and active cultures including lactobacillus bulgaricus. Lactobacillus bulgaricus is able to produce lactic acid which helps fight bad bacteria.

  1. Probiotic Supplements

In any case that you are unable to consume food that is rich in probiotics due to unavailability or any other reasons, there is always an option of consuming probiotic supplements. 

This is the time to look at your lifestyle and see what you are capable of changing. Proper hand sanitation is the number one method of control, but you can do more than just that. But remember, it is not about consuming all the healthy food at once, but rather a balanced diet of healthy food.