Posts

The Crisis of Clean Water in the Riverbank Residents

by: Nadya Haira
Teaching Learning Assessor intern (Sekolah Sungai)


The rise of population growth has prompted higher water use. The necessity for good quality water means not just any readily available water but that which can be used to fulfill daily needs, such as drinking, bathing, washing clothes, washing dishes, and gardening. Moreover, the needs of water has also increased.

The main sources of river water pollution/contamination in Indonesia come from domestic or household waste, generally in the form of feces, dish and clothing detergents, animal excrements, and fertilizers from plantations and farms. There are also traces in the water supply of medical drug contamination from sources such as birth control pills to pesticides and oil. Filth and urine waste contamination have played a role in increasing the levels of E. coli bacteria within the water. In big cities such as Jakarta and Yogyakarta, the levels of E. coli are outside the normal range not only in the river but also in the underground well water in the areas where residents live. Contaminated water such as those seen in Indonesia can cause different sorts of diseases, such as: Diarrhea, Hepatitis A, Lead poisoning, Malaria, and Polio.

According to WHO, in every year there are 1.7 million kids who die from diarrhea brought by an unhealthy environment, mainly because of contaminated water. In Indonesia, clean water is a provision ensured in Article 33 UUD 1945 passage (3) which peruses “Earth and water and the natural resources contained therein are controlled by the state and are utilized for the greatest prosperity of the general population”.

“Bumi dan udara dan sumber daya alam yang terkandung di dalam didukung oleh negara dan digunakan untuk kemakmuran terbesar rakyat”.

More recently, the policy was emphasized in Law No. 23 of  2014 concerning Regional Government, reaffirming that fulfillment of clean water for the community is one of the responsibility and obligations of the administration and local government as part of the public services.

The National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas) by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noticed an expansion in households which have access to decent drinking water sources in Indonesia. In 2012 just 65.05 percent of households units had access to decent drinking water sources. In 2014, 68.11 percent of households had such access. This figure rose again in 2017 to 72.04 percent. The low access to clean water was because of problems in the implementation of drinking water and sanitation. On a global scale the problems are:

(a) The scale of the need – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene to Half the World’s Population.

The slight scale of the issue is a test in itself. It will be no little accomplishment for half the world’s population to get sustained access to safe water, essential sanitation and great good hygiene practices (and to do as such in 15 years). In fact, critical institutions like health care facilities and schools lack water and sanitation. A study in 54 low- and middle-income countries found that 38% of health care facilities lack access to an improved water source, 19% lack sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing (World Health Organization & United Nations’ Children’s Fund, 2015). The scale of the need will increase, especially as populations grow, available freshwater is utilized and polluted at increasing rates and the climate changes.

(b) Maintaining Long-Term Water, Sanitation and Cleaning Services

The focus over the past few decades has been on water and sanitation infrastructure. This approach requires a highly educated, skilled workforce and often does not reach the most marginalized communities. All the while the poorest communities are most lacking in quality water and sanitation. Nearly all the poorest 25% of the world lacks tap water and coverage inequalities between rich and poor are even greater for sanitation than water (Joint Monitoring Program of UNICEF and WHO, 2014). The ongoing operation and maintenance of this infrastructure is very challenging. For example, 30% of water pumps in Africa do not work. The failure of community water and sanitation systems is often a failure of operation and maintenance, not because of failure of basic technology. Moreover, public awareness to conduct clean and healthy lifestyles is also still low. They do not care about the sources of water itself and just use it.

Furthermore, according to the United Nations, more than one billion people do not have access to clean water, three billion people do not have adequate sanitation services, and the death rate from infectious diseases through less clean water reaches three million deaths per year. In addition to people who live in areas with poor water availability, poor water quality causes those who live near water bodies to also have difficulty in accessing clean water and good sanitation. River water pollution, such as from industry, agriculture, and domestic activities, burdens the river so that it is no longer able to provide people living in the vicinity with good quality water. Residents of the riverbank are currently forced to use dirty water for daily activities.


This phenomenon can be seen in Jogja. There are three major rivers as the heart of the city including Gajah Wong River, Winongo River and Code River. One of the rivers that deserves the spotlight is the Gajah Wong river. Behind the beauty and splendor of the city of Yogyakarta, it turns out there is still one urgent matter that is still neglected and lacks attention: the Gajah Wong River.

Garbage is still scattered here and there. The mountain of garbage have become a common sight for people around the river. Gajah Wong River has experienced pollution due to the disposal of organic and inorganic waste from the surrounding environment. Most of the garbage around the Gajah Wong river is the waste of plastic food wrap. In addition to the mountainous waste around the Gajah Wong river, the color of river water has changed to black and moldy due to pollutants originating from deposits of organic waste.

Gajah Wong river is located in the middle of the city and also near the Sunan Kalijaga UIN, a fact which has led to the construction of many boarding houses near the river. The accumulation of garbage is due to the lack of control of the people (including UIN students). They use the river bank as the location closest to dispose of their garbage every day. Even though around Gajah Wong river, it is difficult to find land or infiltration wells during the rainy season.

This greatly affects the people who live in the villages around the riverbanks. One of their main water sources is from the Gajah Wong river. When the river is polluted, they will find it difficult to find the availability of other clean water to use in their daily needs such as bathing, washing dishes and clothes. As a result, they will forcefully use the Gajah Wong river water.

Moreover, since 2013, there is no longer a river that meets quality standards or is in good condition (not contaminated with waste or any impurities). The number of rivers with fulfilling status to light pollutants is also zero per 2014. Meanwhile, the moderate-polluted status of the river per 2015 is zero. Similarly, the number of heavily polluted rivers has a smaller number. That is, rivers that meet quality standards or in good conditions are increasingly difficult to find. Not surprisingly, households increasingly rely on bottled water as a source of decent drinking water, along with the deteriorating quality of rivers in Indonesia. This problem regarding water needs serious handling, if Indonesia does not want to experience a water crisis in 2025. Water crises can also lead to conflict.

Therefore, as almost all human activities require water, the need is absolute. Water is also the right of life for every person protected by laws that must be fulfilled. In addition, deteriorating water quality will increase the costs that must be incurred in obtaining clean water sources and are suitable for consumption. Not only the government, the community also has to maintain clean water sources so they are not contaminated.


Read more:

Socialization about stunting in Kricak

On March 14th 2019, Project Child Indonesia held “Sosialisasi & Pemeriksaan Tumbuh Kembang Anak” at Sekolah Sungai Kricak. The event started at 08.30 until 11.30 WIB and 43 mothers with their children came at this event. It is one of our events which planned to be held in Kricak and the community was so enthusiastic to participate in “Sosialisasi & Pemeriksaan Tumbuh Kembang Anak”. During this event, we also collaborate with one of community groups in kricak “Pembinaan Kesejahteraan Keluarga” or known as “PKK”.

This event has two agendas, firstly, socialization about stunting and secondly, screening on the children’s health and growth. Both agenda assisted by dr. Alya and dr. Indira, graduated medical students from Gadjah Mada University.

In the first session, the facilitators were talked about the extensive definition of stunting, the effect of stunting on children’s life and also the steps to prevent stunting. Based on dr. Alya presentation, stunting has serious impacts on children because of the lack of nutrition supply. It will deter the developments of children cognitively and physically. For instance, cognitive impacts like poor cognition and physical impacts like impaired growth which caused children to be underdeveloped. Thus, Indonesian government’s nowadays has a big mission to reduce the number of stunting to help the children grow well according to the standard growth.

In the second session, dr. Alya and dr. Indira in collaboration with PKK leaders held a health screening to the children. This health screening, also include the examination of children’s weight and height. After measurement, the doctor gave personal analysis and consultation to each mother with their children.

There are two important points of outcomes from the “Sosialisasi & Pemeriksaan Tumbuh Kembang Anak” event. Firstly, mothers got insights to improve their awareness about children health especially stunting. Secondly, mothers can understand and control their children nutritions supply based on the doctor personal suggestion.

Dance Workshop in Code

Project Child Indonesia held Dance Workshop in Kampung Wisata Code. This event took 5 meetings from 25th January 2019 until 8th March 2019. It is one of our agenda which plan to be held in Code to support the community for developing their potential to become community-based tourism. The dance workshop usually held at 18.30 – 20.00 WIB in each meeting, usually around 5 mothers and 13 children came in this workshop.  During this workshop, we collaborate with the head of dance community in Code.

The purpose of this dance class is to activate and develop their competency as a dance performer in the community. We invited mothers and children who often perform dance in various shows in their community. This workshop assisted regularly by Jon Charette, Project Child Indonesia intern who were actively join a dance studio back in his hometown New Jersey U.S. The choreography in this workshop are meant to collaborate mothers and children in one song of contemporary dance. In addition, this dance illustrates the synergy and togetherness in diversity.

They practiced once a week for both mothers and children. So, they can learn the detail of each parts of their own. During the workshop, they learned step by step and the correct position of their moves. Then, the class will be finished after three or four times of a whole practice. They really enjoyed the lessons given and were not ashamed to ask which part they did not understand. It made Jon as a trainer happy because they gave him a lot of feedback.

In the last two weeks, the dance workshop were held simultaneously for mothers and the children and they had the practice together in one session. On the last week, the media team of Project Child Indonesia have recorded their full dance practice as a documentation for the team to have an independent practice.

WASH – der Schlüssel zu einem gesunden Leben

written by Alice Pidgeon


Sauberes Wasser, sanitäre Einrichtungen und Hygiene sollten kein Privileg sein. Es sind einige der grundlegendsten Anforderungen der menschliche Gesundheit, und alle Länder tragen die Verantwortung dafür, dass jeder Zugang zu ihnen hat

– Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Der Mensch braucht Wasser, um zu überleben, Hygiene, um gesund zu sein, und sanitäre Einrichtungen, um in einer sicheren Umgebung leben zu können. WASH ist das Akronym für Water And Sanitation Hygiene, ein von UNICEF ins Leben gerufene Konzept. Es ist gleichzeitig eine einprägsame Erinnerung daran, dass saubere Hände, hygienische Standards und unbelastete Umgebungen der Schlüssel zu einem gesunden Leben und Wohlbefinden sind. Die Botschaft und Forderungen von WASH sind klar und deutlich: Sauberes Wasser, sanitäre Einrichtungen und die Verfügbarkeit von Seife und Wasser zum Waschen, alltägliche Grundlagen unseres Lebens. Was wie eine einfache Botschaft und Alltag für die meisten von uns klingt, ist für andere oft nur schwer zu erreichen, da die notwendige Infrastruktur und benötigte Einrichtungen und damit auch das Nötigste eines gesunden und sicheren Alltags fehlen.

Obwohl Indonesien in den letzten Jahren ein positives Wirtschaftswachstum verzeichnet, ist es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass viele Gemeinden immer noch unter einem schlechten Zugang zu sauberem Wasser und sanitären Einrichtungen leiden. Eine von UNICEF iniziierte Studie zu WASH in Indonesien zeigt, dass sanitäre Einrichtungen, wie beispielsweise Toiletten im privaten und öffentlichen Bereich sowie der Zugang zu sauberem Wasser, zentrale Treiber für das gesunde Wachstum von Kindern und deren kognitiven Entwicklung darstellen. Ein ungleicher Zugang zu diesen grundlegenden Leistungen kann das Wachstum und die Entwicklung eines Kindes negativ beeinträchtigen. UNICEF berichtet, dass Unterentwicklung von Kinder in Indonesien um das 1,4-fache wahrscheinlicher ist, wenn eine sichere Hygiene- und Sanitärversorgung in Gemeinden nicht gewährleistet ist. Dies führt zu starken intergenerationellen Unterschieden, die zu vielfältigen, zukünftigen Problemen führen können. Um faire Rahmenbedingungen für alle Kinder zu gewährleisten, müssen Gemeinden und Kinder über die Bedeutung von WASH und dessen Auswirkungen auf ein gesundes Leben und gesteigertes Wohlbefinden aufgeklärt werden.

Im Rahmen des Programms “Sekolah Sungai” (Schule am Fluss), arbeitet Project Child Indonesia (PCI) mit drei Gemeinden in Yogyakarta zusammen. Ziel ist es, Kinder durch projektbasiertes Lernen zu aktiven Akteuren des Wandels und Vorreiter für ihre Gemeinden auszubilden. Dazu unterstützt PCI die Kinder, Belastungen und Probleme ausgelöst durch schlechtes Wasser und mangelnde sanitäre Einrichtungen und Hygiene zu verringern, indem Lösungen und Verbesserungen für bestehende Missstände aufgezeigt und erarbeitet werden. Das von PCI vermittelte Wissen basiert auf den Grundlagen der drei Komponenten von WASH – Wasser, Sanitärversorgung und Hygiene. Die Lektionen im Rahmen von WASH vermitteln den Kindern alltagsnahes Wissen und handfeste Fähigkeiten, die ihnen dabei helfen sollen, physisch, mental und sozial gesund heranwachsen zu können.

Im Detail werden folgende Inhalte vermittelt:

Wasser

Wasser ist überlebensnotwendig für jeden Menschen, was zum Problem wird, wenn in Gemeinden der Zugang zu “sicherem” Wasser nicht gegeben ist. Ist Wasser nicht sicher, weil es beispielsweise verunreinigt ist, kann es nicht ohne Bedenken genutzt oder gar getrunken werden, somit mangelt es den Menschen dort an einer der wichtigsten Lebensgrundlagen. Verunreinigungen können an der Quelle (z.B. in Flüssen oder Brunnen), während des Transports (z.B. in einem schmutzigen Eimer) oder zum Zeitpunkt des Verbrauchs (z.B. durch schmutzige Hände) auftreten. Um Wasser “sicher” zu machen, müssen Zugangs-, Verarbeitungs- und Speichermethoden auf lokale Bedürfnisse zugeschnitten werden, um den Menschen Zugang zu sauberem Wasser zu ermöglichen.

Sanitärversorgung

Sanitäre Anlagen garantieren das sichere Sammeln und Entsorgen von menschlichen Abfällen. Dazu gehören grundlegende sanitäre Einrichtungen, wie beispielsweise Toiletten, aber auch Maßnahmen, die die Verunreinigung von öffentlichen Gewässern und Straßen verhindern. Ein Mangel an sanitären Einrichtungen kann zu ernsthaften Gesundheitsrisiken durch Fäkalien führen, die in die Umwelt gelangen und zur Verbreitung von Krankheiten wie Durchfall, Cholera und Ruhr beitragen. Darüber hinaus steigern sanitäre Anlagen das Sicherheits- und Selbstwertgefühl, insbesondere von Frauen und Kindern. Wenn “die Natur ruft”, ist ein sicherer und privater Ort erforderlich. Eine ordnungsgemäße Sanitärversorgung trennt die menschlichen Abfälle von öffentlichen Bereichen und garantiert so, dass andere Menschen nicht mit diesen in Berührung kommen. Infektionen und Krankheiten werden verhindert und Leben gerettet.

Hygiene

Bei Hygiene geht es in erster Linie um Maßnahmen, die ergriffen werden, um die Sauberkeit und Gesundheit von Menschen, Häusern, Schulen und Gemeinden zu gewährleisten. Eines der einfachsten und effektivsten Mittel ist das Händewaschen mit Seife, das die Übertragung von Bakterien und Viren einschränkt. Nur weil Keime nicht sichtbar sind, bedeutet das nicht, dass sie nicht existieren. Da kontaminierte Hände eine der Hauptursache für die Übertragung von Durchfall sind, ist es wichtig, Kinder, insbesondere aber auch Pflegekräfte, über die Bedeutung des Händewaschens aufzuklären.


WASH kann nur dann erfolgreich umgesetzt werden, wenn alle drei beschriebenen Komponenten in ihrem Zusammenhang betrachtet werden. Eines kann ohne die anderen nicht verwirklicht werden, genauso, wie Einzelpersonen, insbesondere Kinder, die Probleme nicht ohne Hilfe und gemeinschaftliche Zusammenarbeit überwinden können. Ein jeder innerhalb einer Gemeinschaft muss seinen Teil dazu beitragen. Auch wenn beispielsweise sauberes Wasser zur Zubereitung von Speisen verwendet wird: Wäscht die Person, die die Speisen zubereitet, nicht ihre Hände, kann das Essen mit lebensgefährdenden Bakterien verunreinigt werden, die über die Nahrung von der Gemeinschaft aufgenommen werden. Verunreinigen menschliche Abfälle öffentliche Plätze, an denen Kinder spielen, bringen die Kinder durch die Fäkalien übertragene Krankheitserreger mit nach Hause. Beide Beispiele zeigen eindrücklich, wie wichtig ein gemeinschaftliches Verständnis über den Zusammenhang von WASH ist.

Betrachtet man die Grundgedanken von WASH in Bezug auf die von der UNO aufgestellten Nachhaltigkeitsziele, wird die Bedeutung der drei Komponenten noch deutlicher. So beeinflussen diese das Erreichen von Nachhaltigkeitsziel 6 (sauberes Wasser und sanitäre Einrichtungen), Ziel 3 (gute Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden) und Ziel 13 (Klimaschutz) positiv. Durch den voranschreitenden Klimawandel und immer häufiger auftretende Naturkatastrophen werden Gesundheitsrisiken durch verunreinigte Lebensmittel und durch Wasser übertragene Krankheiten stetig erhöht. WASH sowie die Umsetzung der Nachhaltigkeitsziele und die damit einhergehende, verbesserte Bildung, Ernährung sowie Armutsbekämpfung leisten einen wichtigen Beitrag, um die Risiken einzudämmen.

Gesundheit ist eine Voraussetzung dafür, dass alles gedeiht – eine Chance, die jedes Kind verdient. Verunreinigtes Wasser sowie schlechte sanitäre Einrichtungen und Hygiene sollten heute kein Hindernis mehr darstellen, das Kinder in Indonesien und auf der ganzen Welt an einer gesunden Entwicklung hindert. WASH unterstützt die Armutsbekämpfung, das Wirtschaftswachstum und gesunde Ökosysteme, indem es zum sozialen Wohlbefinden, integrativen Wachstum und nachhaltigen Lebensgrundlagen beiträgt. PCI leistet mit dem Programm “Sekolah Sungai” einen wichtigen Beitrag, um WASH in Gemeinden erfolgreich umzusetzen und Kindern auch in benachteiligten Gemeinden ein gesundes Wachstum und Wohlbefinden zu ermöglichen.

References:

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/28505/W17018.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/wes.html

Freiwilligenarbeit von Jugendlichen unterstützt Ziele der nachhaltigen Entwicklung

By: Felice Valeria, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia


Wir können nicht immer die Zukunft für unsere Jugend gestalten, aber wir können immer unsere Jugend auf die Zukunft vorbereiten.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nach Angaben der Vereinten Nationen (UNO) leben aktuell 1,8 Millionen Menschen im Alter zwischen 10 und 24 Jahren auf unserer Welt. Diese sind die bisher größte Generation von Jugendlichen der Geschichte. Das macht mehr als deutlich, wie entscheidend ihre Rolle zur Anregung und Umsetzung von nachhaltigen Veränderungen und tiefgreifendem Wandel für unsere Zukunft ist. Auch der UNO ist bewusst, wie wichtig eine aktive Beteiligung der jungen Generation zur Erreichung der Ziele der nachhaltigen Entwicklung (engl. Sustainable Development Goals, kurz SDG) ist. Viele Länder, insbesondere Entwicklungs- und unterentwickelte Länder, stehen aufgrund von beispielsweise fehlendem Zugang zu Bildung und notwendiger Gesundheits- und Hygenieversorgung, vor großen Herausforderungen in Bezug auf die Erreichung der SDGs, was zu strukturellen sozio-ökonomischen Problemen führt. Entsprechend ist es ein Anliegen der UNO, das Engagement Jugendlicher bei der Lösung dieser Probleme zu unterstützen und insbesondere Freiwilligenarbeit junger Generationen zu fördern. Für die UNO werden Freiwilligengruppen durch ihren Beitrag zu einer der zentralen Interessensgruppen, um die selbstgesetzte Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung 2030 zu erreichen.

Freiwilligentätigkeit, die meist in gemeinnützigen Organisationen durchgeführt wird, hat einen nachhaltigen Einfluss auf alle beteiligten Interessengruppen, darunter nicht nur die gemeinnützige Organisation und begünstigten Empfänger, sondern auch die Jugendlichen selbst.  Die Organisationen profitieren von der Unterstützung bei der Umsetzung ihrer Mission, von innovativen Ideen, verstärkter öffentlicher Aufmerksamkeit und einem gesteigerten Interesse neuer Unterstützer und Freiwilliger. Die Jugendlichen selbst bekommen die Möglichkeit, sich selbst zu entfalten, zu lernen und Verantwortung zu übernehmen. Sie verbessern Empathie, Selbstwertgefühl sowie die körperliche und geistige Gesundheit und erlernen neue soziale Fähigkeiten. Darüber hinaus bestehen eine Vielzahl an weiteren Möglichkeiten, kontinuierlich zu lernen und andere psychologische und intellektuelle Fähigkeiten zu entwickeln.

Auch hinsichtlich der wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Entwicklung von Ländern und Gemeinden kann der Freiwilligendienst einen wichtigen Beitrag leisten, Probleme, wie Armut oder mangelnde Bildung, Gesundheits- und Hygienestandards, zu lösen. Nach Statistiken des Internationalen Forums für Freiwilligenarbeit sind Länder und Gemeinden mit einem hohen Anteil an Freiwilligen in ihrer Entwicklung dynamischer und können den Hauptzielen der SDG besser entsprechen.

Auch wenn der Beitrag von Freiwilligenarbeit für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung und die Erreichung der SDGs für Gemeinden unbestreitbar ist, fehlt es oftmals an benötigter Unterstützung. Hinzu kommt, dass viele Jugendliche trotz der genannten Vorteile den eigenen Nutzen von Freiwilligenarbeit nicht erkennen. Die Gründe dafür sind oftmals auf unzureichende und schwer zugängliche Informationen, Zeitmangel oder mangelndes Interesse zurückzuführen. Da die Freiwilligenarbeit trotz ihrer Bedeutung nicht in die Agenda der UNO Millenniums-Entwicklungsziele (engl. Millennium Development Goals, kurz MDGs) aufgenommen wurde, mangelte es auch von UNO-Seite lange an der benötigten Unterstützung und Förderung, was sich nun geändert hat. Im Rahmen der Youth & SDGs 2030 – Kampagne zeigt die UNO Möglichkeiten auf, sich als Jugendlicher im Sinne der SDGs zu engagieren.

Es liegt nun einerseits an den Gemeinden, Freiwilligenarbeit von Jugendlichen aktiv zu fördern sowie an den Jugendlichen selbst, gegebene Chancen zu ergreifen und von den Vorteilen freiwilligen Engagements zu profitieren. So kann nicht nur ein entscheidender Beitrag zur Erreichung der SDGs geleistet, sondern darüber hinaus nachhaltig Gutes zur positiven Beeinflussung unserer Zukunft beigetragen werden.

Also, auf geht‘s junge Leute! Wartet nicht länger, lasst uns Freiwillige sein, um Hand in Hand die gesetzten Nachhaltigkeitsziele zu erreichen!
Mehr zu den Möglichkeiten der Freiwilligenarbeit bei Project Child hier

4 WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGH VOLUNTEERISM

Written by: Felice Valeria (Content Writer Intern)


In our previous article about youth volunteerism, we had stressed enough its utmost importance in enhancing personal development, whilst giving back to the community simultaneously. Hence, it is highly recommended for youths, as the next agents of change, to get involved in this kind of activity due to the abundant benefits it might generate, especially for the future. Nonetheless, several things are easier said than done; although people are willing to carry it out, many of them might have not known the feasible ways or channels to do it, which would then discourage them from contributing to their communities through this means. Therefore, here are some suggestions that you could take into account, which might be useful to assist you in seeking for any volunteering opportunities:


Join any youth or non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Of course, the most obvious and feasible way to find any volunteering opportunities and getting involved in them is by joining any NGOs or youth organizations in your community! Usually, those organizations would have specific programs or events that allow people, either the members or non-members, to partake as volunteers, especially in grassroot communities. In order to easily find out any organizations existing in your community, you could ask your friends or relatives who are active to be volunteers, as well as seeking for information from the student organizations in your schools/universities, especially those who focus on social services. Usually, they have numerous links to those kinds of organizations. Just give it a try!

Find out the information on any websites which specifically provide volunteering opportunities.

There are many websites that are specifically established to provide volunteering opportunities! Of course, it is one of the feasible ways also. The activities or opportunities being featured could be done either locally or abroad. You could try to visit websites such as volunteermatch.org, allforgood.org, idealist.org, and many more, which you could find out through search engines. Just match the filters with your criteria, and voila, you will see a bunch of them!

Tutor a student in your schools/universities.

Volunteering is not only limited to being involved in grassroot communities. Being a tutor to a student could be considered as one of the ways to manifest your altruism as well! If there are any of your peers or your juniors in school/university who are seemingly in need of an academic assistance, you could probably offer your help to them. Not only you could develop your teaching skills, you could also make lasting friendships with them!

Offer your helps to any community organizations that suit your interests.

Community organizations have different causes one another, and it is your rights to find any community organizations that suit your interests in terms of volunteering. You could volunteer in a local school, a club in your university, or even in a hospital! You could contact any of the officers if there are any volunteering opportunities available. You would definitely make the most out of your volunteering experience if you enjoy where you are working at and what you are doing.


Those are a few of many volunteering suggestions that might help you to find any volunteering opportunities that suit you best. Being a volunteer is indeed an investment for your future, as it would give you unforgettable and invaluable experiences that you would hardly obtain anywhere else. No doubt, it would absolutely be worthy. Hence, let’s be a volunteer!

On Three Dimensions of Literacy

by Muhammad Nur Alam Tejo, Research Intern PCI 2018


Technology plays a significant role in the society. One of its impacts includes the changing use of media from the printed ones to digital. Despite this shift, we need to act and react as wisely as we could. Therefore, meticulousness in perceiving the concept of literacy will help us understand the challenges within.

Todays, literacy has complicated conceptual problems. Even some researchers has preferred the term “literacies” to “literacy” (such as: Street, 1995; Hamilton, Barton, Ivanic, 1994) as it is assumed to be more apposite for social, cultural, and ideological matters which ‘we perceive, act, and read culturally’ (Street, 2001: 11). Diverse perspectives on literacy lead us to more complex social problems since they involve various layers of people. This is one of the literacy challenges related to social situation in the society.

Prior to digital era, the concept of “literacy” merely referred to the ability to understand information through reading and writing. Meanwhile, now it has been extended into the ability to write, read, and comprehend information through digital media, such as videos, voice records, graphs, and audiovisual. In fact, the impacts should be taken into account since digital literacy could contribute to people’s paradigm shift philosophically, sociologically, pedagogically, and culturally. This literacy is always closely related to people’s cultural and social contexts.

Three kinds of literacy dimensions proposed by Green (1988), the operational, cultural, and critical, define how literacy runs practically in the society. Due to the lack of attention on those dimensions, our pedagogical system too much focuses only on the operational one.  On the other hand, the cultural and critical dimensions seems to be left behind. It is proven by Indonesia’s low literacy rate in showing that we were in the 60th out of 61 surveyed countries, according to the result of PISA (Program for International Students Assessment) 2015. Should we implement the concept of those dimensions, we could foreshadow the challenges.  

The operational dimension is the basic one from literacy concept. It emphasizes on the ability to understand technical activities, including reading, writing, and comprehending information. In digital literacy context, it refers to the practical skills to understand how to operate digital media and fully make use of its features. The problems would be related to technical matters, for instance coding skill, graphic design, and statistical analysis.

The cultural dimension aims to upgrade one’s comprehension of cultural and social aspects in digital literacy into a specific context. It is important to apprehend cultural symbols and rituals for meaning making so that the values of literacy will still suit one’s cultural context. It might not be the primary discussion in the overview of our educational system even though it is substantial in shaping the base of human knowledge. It works in a non-materialistic matter which means cultural values and characters also play a role in meaning shaping on one’s knowledge.

On the other side, the critical dimension highlights one’s critical skill on texts and artifacts into issues like social agents and power, social representation, and other instruments. In digital literacy, this dimension consists of collective knowledge of each human. It defines the steps to be taken by human according to the analysis on the real problems.

It is important for us not only to reflect an educational system which accommodates digital literacy but also consider the dimensions on literacy concept. The objective is real simple which is to construct our people’s values, characters, and critical skill. We hope that all the hustle and bustle in digital space will not be a pain in the ass in the society. Digital literacy education that could beautifully combine the operational, cultural, and critical dimensions is expected to be the cure to any negative outcomes. Hence, Indonesians could enjoy the benefits of technology, not only the drawbacks.


References:

  • Green, B. (1988). Subject-specific literacy and school learning: A focus on writing. Australian Journal of Education. 32 (2)
  • Street, B. (2001). Literacy and Development: Ethnographic Perspectives. London: Routledge.


THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR CHILDREN FROM VULNERABLE ENVIRONMENTS

by Melissa Nas

If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate
violence from the world within one generation
Dalai Lama


Indonesia, a nation which lays in an area which is prone to natural disasters, has experienced over 30 major earthquakes, more than 50 floods and landslides, volcanic eruptions and disastrous tsunamis (Asian Disaster Reduction Center, 2016).  Hence, Indonesian residents are repeatedly exposed to significant traumatic events. In these situations, emergency first-aid responders face the task of how identify the means by which distress is expressed in Central Java culture as well how to treat such a large population for health problems.

In the aftermath of disasters, children are among those at the highest risk for developing psychological trauma, such as overt-aggression, withdrawal, post-traumatic stress symptoms, suffer increased anxiety and fear similar disasters arising from their memories (Belfer, 2006; Norris et al., 2002). Unique to this developmental period, is the possibility that these distressed children may exhibit decreased school performance. A study done by Widyatmoko et al. (2011) point out that working with local teachers for identifying and screening distress among children impacted by a disaster provides important insights into the context of trauma for that particular community. Two years after the earthquake in 2006, teachers identified that children exhibit decreased school performance (decreases in student achievement, lack of motivation to study, absences, and the inability to concentrate and master school lessons), a fear of the traumatic experience re-occurring and emotional problems.

Large-scale screening for children’s mental health problems in the wake after a disaster is challenging, through emergency health care providers report feeling unprepared to respond to the children’s mental needs. There is a need for a more efficient screening tool that is able to identify post-disaster mental health problems in children. Therefore, it is important to recognize the potential utility of teachers as an effective resource for assessing the psychological state of children exposed to disasters. Thence, first-aid responders have started to partner up with schools (Widyatmoko et al., 2011).

This article does not only address the potential teachers have for screening mental health problems in children after disasters, but also address their role of implementing yoga exercises in schools for children to cope with the aftermath of disasters. This could eliminate the decreased school performances and help to care for the children’s feelings of anxiety and distress. Several studies indicate the beneficial effects of yoga in children. According to Telles et al. (2012) yoga can be used in managing trauma related to natural disasters, combat and terrorism and interpersonal violence. Learning yoga can empower a person’s self-determination and regain their sense of being in control of their lives. Yoga can be used as a preventive technique as well as a means of improving children’s well-being, improve adjustment among self-regulatory capacities and stress, including rumination, intrusive thoughts and emotional arousal (Telles et al., 2013).

Although yoga can benefit children’s well-being in many ways, this article mainly focuses on the effect that yoga can have on stress and anxiety levels in children. After a tremendous disaster, anxiety is a major disorder having significant impact on a child’s behavior in the classroom, their ability to focus, their overall physical health and well-being. Teachers can provide vital information regarding the child’s need and present a setting that is structured and supportive. Rosenberg’s study (2018) found that 10 minutes of daily yoga practice in the classroom had a significant impact on the anxiety levels of children. Therapeutic yoga appears to be useful in helping children cope with stress and anxiety by practices encompassing asanas, pranayama and mindfulness/meditation sessions as it brings a calming effect to the mind. Breathing techniques (pranayama) and deep relaxation (yoga nidra) induces change in brain activity, lowers oxidative stress, activated the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore reducing the heart rate. When children learn these practices and do them consistently, they can distress themselves, connect with their inner world through the coordination of mind, body and breath. Thus, they may not need to depend on medication whenever they are stressed (Nanthakumar, 2017).  

The NGO organization, Project Child Indonesia, located in Yogyakarta, wants every child in Indonesia to have the opportunity to learn, to have a healthy start, and to feel supported and secure living in a clean environment that is prepared for natural disasters (Project Child, 2019). Project Child’s Sekolah Sungai offers an alternative form of education to children of a vulnerable community which is prone to natural disasters. Therefore, they could make a start implementing a 10 minute of daily yoga at the beginning of their classes to calm the active physical behavior and minds of the children. A ‘sun salutation-exercise’ at the beginning of each class with an additional 2-minute breath exercise could make the children be more aware and focused before the class starts. Because of creating awareness, yoga could help the children understand that they can contribute to the solution instead of being a part of the problem of their community. Additionally, a full 45-minute yoga class could be implemented each semester to let the children connect with their inner-selves and experience the environment around them in a new way.

Several studies mentioned in this article have shown yoga may be a great benefit to a child’s mental health. Therefore, I strongly recommend integrating yoga into the curriculum of schools after it has become a viable option to address emerging emotional and physical health problems in children. If yoga sessions are incorporated as a part of physical education or after school hours (such as Project Child Indonesia) as an extra activity, it can enhance psychological health in children. Therefore, schools should give equal importance to yoga as other school subjects as yoga’s positive impact on holistic health have been uncontroverted.


  1. The Indian science of living, yoga, includes several practices such as physical postures (asanas), voluntary regulated breathing (pranayama), meditation, conscious sensory withdrawal (pratyahara), and philosophical principles (Taimini, 1986)
  2. Anxiety is generally a state of unwarranted fear of nervousness about real or imagined circumstances. There are many symptoms, and they may vary from one person to another, affecting physical and mental health. Anxiety causes stomach aches, headaches and dizziness in children.


Reference:

  • Asian Disaster Reduction Center (2016). Disaster information archive: Indonesia. Retrieved February 22, 2019 from Asian Disaster Reduction Center website: https://www.adrc.asia/countryreport/IDN/2016/Indonesia_CR2016A.pdf
  • Belfer, M. L. (2006). Caring for children and adolescents in the aftermath of natural disasters. International Review of Psychiatry, 18, 523–528.
  • Nanthakumar, C. (2017). The benefits of yoga in children. Faculty of University Studies, HELP University, Journal of integrative medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.008
  • Norris, F. H., Friedman, M. J., Watson, P. J., Byrne, C. M., Diaz, E., & Kaniasty, K. (2002). 60,000 disaster victims speak: Part 1: An empirical review of the empirical literature, 1981–2001. Psychiatry, 65, 207–239
  • Project Child Indonesia (2019). Sekolah Sungai. Retrieved February 25, 2019 from http://projectchild.ngo/our-program/sekolah-sungai/
  • Rosenberg, M. (2018). Reducing Anxiety in Elementary School Children by Implementing Yoga. The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing Undergraduate Honors Theses. Retrieved February, 25, 2019, from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/nursuht/66/
  • Taimini I.K., (1986). The Science of Yoga. Madras, India: The Theosophical Publishing House
  • Telles, S., Singh, N., & Balkrishna, A., (2012). Managing Mental Health Disorders Resulting from Trauma through Yoga: A Review. Department of Yoga Research, Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, India. Retrieved February 25, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388328/
  • Telles, S., Singh, N., Bhardwai, A.K., Kumar, A., & Balkrishna, A. (2013). Effect of yoga or physical exercise on physical, cognitive and emotional measures in children: a randomized controlled trial. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health: 37. Retrieved February 25, 2019, from https://doi.org/10.1186/1753-2000-7-37
  • Widyatmoko, C. S., Tan, E. T., Seyle, D.C., Mayawati, E.H. & Silver, R.C. (2011). Coping with natural disasters in Yogyakarta Indonesia: The psychological state of elementary school children as assessed by their teachers. School Psychology International, 32 (5), 484-497

Safe drinking water in Yogyakarta

by Ian Granit


Safe drinking water is essential to human wellbeing and is a basic human right. The water availability in Indonesia is naturally sufficient due to its heavy rainfall, it is one of the countries with the highest water availability in the whole world. However, approximately 1 out of 8 households in the country lack access to safe drinking water, increasing the chances of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea. A survey in Yogyakarta Province in 2015, through the Government and UNICEF, showed that 2 out of 3 drinking water samples were contaminated by faecal bacteria. Another research study from Bandung Health Office (2012) showed that only 13.33 percent of water samples from tap water had good quality.

The impact of contaminated water has shown to have detrimental consequences on children’s long-term health. Furthermore, dehydration due to lack of drinking water has a severe effect on cognitive functions, limiting school performance among other things for children across the. Proper sanitation technologies and lack of integrated planning is a major obstacle in developing countries suffering from shortages of clean water. One solution to Indonesia’s lack of clean water is the implementation of water filters.

One of the programs in Project Child, the Drinking Water Program (DWP), is working towards the implementation of water filters in elementary schools in the Yogyakarta region. The filters are cheap and easy to maintain considering the benefits that they are able to provide. Utilizing tap water through filtration produce many advantages to children’s health by increasing the availability of water, especially clean water. Furthermore, the filters have positive effect on the environment by reduced single plastic use. The filters present an alternative to plastic bottles, the most common way of accessing clean drinking water in Indonesia. Further and increased use of water filters will therefore decrease the single usage of plastic in addition to the health benefits it brings.

The implementation of water filters is therefore an effective way of reducing plastic waste, increasing clean water usage, decrease dehydration and therefore increase the quality of education. This aligns with 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals:  

  • Point 6; Clean water and sanitation – water filters have the ability of providing clean water and better accessibility of water were tap water is not safe to drink.
  • Point 3; Good health – better accessibility to clean water will increase water consumption, increased water consumption has several benefits towards people’s health.
  • Point 4; Quality education – decreased dehydration amongst students due to water and less diseases from contaminated water will lead to better capabilities of coping with education.
  • Point 13; Climate action – water filters provide an alternative to plastic bottle usage, the impact of this will decrease the plastic waste that affects the environment in a negative way.

There are several benefits if more water filters were to be implemented in Indonesia. However, many children are raised to never drink tap water and a large part prefer to drink other things than water. The access of drinks containing sugar, caffeine and the perception of these drinks are an obstacle that Indonesia need to address if water filters are to be accepted as an alternative to plastic bottle use or boiled water. Project Child are aware of these difficulties and in addition to providing the schools with water filters they have supplementary education about the importance of water, health, environment and how the filters can help all of these areas.  

In the future, to increase usage of the water filters, awareness needs to be raised about the importance of drinking clean water and using water filters. This includes support from communities, other NGOs, government organisations and a change in how people perceive plastic usage and the filtration of water.

Commemorating the First-ever International Day of Education: Indonesia and the World to Take Bigger Steps to Achieve Educational Equality

Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.”
Chief of UNESCO at the Inauguration of the International Day of Education


Education has played a crucial role in the efforts of achieving all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); therefore, its importance could not unquestionably be overlooked. The establishment of the International Day of Education by the United Nations indicates further awareness and commitments of the international community to embody the 4th SDGs, which is quality education. The UN chief emphasized during the inaugural day, that the world could not afford a youth generation who have inadequate necessary skills to compete in the 21st century economy. He stated so as there are still at least 262 million children, adolescents, and youth who are out of school, in which most of them are girls; millions who attend the school are not mastering the basics.  It could be seen that unequal access to education has become a major obstacle for most countries in achieving inclusive growth, and therefore, should be taken into account by all layers of the society.

Each country has different levels of educational disparities within it, regardless of whether it is a developed or developing, a poor or rich nation. The United Kingdom, despite its position as the world’s 5th largest economy, is ranked 23th in the world in primary school inequalities, according to UNICEF’s report, An Unfair Start. The driving factors of the inequalities might be due to unequal income distribution, as well as low quality education.This also happens in Australia, where educational inequality has largely taken place, with the discrepancy of socioeconomic status and parents’ education as the main influencing factors, which also have contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor. Aside from those aforementioned factors, the conduct of discriminatory practices might also be the cause, either based on race, religion, gender, and so forth.

Indonesia is no different compared to the aforementioned countries; it is also experiencing high educational disparities. While a child in Jakarta could pursue 11 years of schooling, a child in Papua could only be expected to complete 6 years of education in schools. It could be seen that the access to education in rural areas is still highly limited. To add further, the significant discrepancy of income in Indonesia has made the problem becomes worse; high-quality education remains inaccessible for those who come from poor families. Only those who come from financially-capable families who would be able to choose between private or public schools. Students with disabilities also experience educational inequality and inaccessibility, as according to the research carried out by the University of Indonesia, almost 70% of disabled children do not go to school, and 66.8% of them even only have the chance to pursue their education until the primary school level.  Those cases indicate how inclusive education still remains a challenge that Indonesian government and society should strive for it harder to make it into the reality.

Currently, education has increasingly mattered more than ever, as people could pursue better opportunities and live better lives if they are sufficiently educated. Nonetheless, the increasing educational inequalities in the world has made achieving inclusive and quality education becomes a challenge that should be resolved by the international community. Universal access to education should be guaranteed through collaborations among government, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and other relevant stakeholders in order to make sure that the “No One Left Behind” tagline is not merely a talk, but also an act.

written by Felice Valeria – Content Writer Project Child Indonesia