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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:

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

World Water Day 2019: “Leaving no one behind”

by Luisa Maria Geller

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.”
UN Water


Billions of people are still living without safe water, struggling to survive and thrive. Especially marginalized groups, like women, children, refuges, indigenous or disabled people are often overlooked and heavily affected by discrimination as they try to access and manage the safe water they need. Worldwide, one in four primary schools have no drinking water service, with pupils using unprotected sources or going thirsty. Consequently, more than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

People are left behind without safe water for different reasons, such as ethnicity, nationality, economic and social status as well as other factors like conflicts, environmental degradation, climate change or population growth.

Addressing the issue: World Water Day 2019

Access to safe water is critical to public health and important for a sustainable and stable development of global society. In 2010, the UN recognized the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life. Defined in Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), the UN aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030. ‘Safe water’ is defined by a safely managed drinking water service. Therefore, the human right to water entitles everyone, without discrimination, to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use, including water for drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene.

World Water Day 2019 on 22nd March tackles the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people still are being left behind. This year’s theme “Leaving no one behind” focuses on the adaption of the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, questioning why there are still billions of people marginalized or ignored. In order to leave no one behind, society must focus on efforts towards including people. Water services must meet the needs of marginalized groups and their voices must be heard in decision-making processes. Regulatory and legal frameworks must recognize the right to water for all people, and sufficient funding must be fairly and effectively targeted at those who need it most.

How does it relate to Project Child Indonesia?

Even though the water availability in Indonesia is naturally sufficient, approximately 1 out of 8 households in the country has no access to safe water, which affects more than 27 million people in the country. 51 million Indonesians lack access to improved sanitation, increasing the chances of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea. Especially children are concerned by dehydration due to the lack of drinking water, which affects the student’s cognitive functions, limiting school performance and physical activity. Project Child Indonesia is aware of these issues. Therefore, PCI developed its Drinking Water Program (DWP), that is working towards the implementation of water filters in elementary schools, providing them not only with safe water, but furthermore with supplementary education about the importance of water, health, environment and how filtered water can improve the situation in all of these areas. The program shows an effective way of increasing clear water usage and aligns with the ideas of the SDG. Read more about PCI affords in our latest post http://projectchild.ngo/blog/2019/02/25/safe-drinking-water-in-yogyakarta/.

How can I help?

World Water Day 2019 is an occasion for PCI to emphasis its efforts concerning safe water within Indonesia. In order to increase the usage of water filters, awareness needs to be raised about the importance of the consumption of safe water. Therefore, the PCI keeps on with its work with local communities, other NGOs and governmental institutions in order to change the situation of people ‘left behind’ within the country. There are many possibilities to support PJI and their work. Learn more about them here: http://projectchild.ngo/get-involved/.

Furthermore, World Water Day 2019 can be seen as an impulse for more people to get familiar with the issue and support people that are heavily affected by poor water and sanitation conditions. Idea is to raise awareness why people are left behind without safe water and what can be done to reach them, about the reality of the water crisis and how it affects every aspect of society. Want to be a part of the movement? Check how to help on http://www.worldwaterday.org/.

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.

WASH: Back to Basics

written by Alice Pidgeon

Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege… These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.

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

The basic principles of WASH, along with busy lifestyles can mean that people become immune to remembering the importance of what, when and why of WASH. Humans need water to survive, hygiene to be healthy, and sanitation to live in safe environments. WASH is the acronym for Water And Sanitation Hygiene created by UNICEF. It’s the catchy reminder that clean hands, hygienic habits and uncontaminated environments are key to maintaining a healthy life and wellbeing. The message of WASH is sharp and clear; clean water for consumption, the presence of sanitation facilities, and the availability of soap and water for handwashing are all needed. While it may sound like a simple message, it can often be forgotten or difficult to achieve as the facilities needed aren’t available. Despite Indonesia having positive economic growth in recent years, it is not uncommon for citizens to still suffer from poor access to safe water and sanitation.

New evidence from the World Bank’s report on WASH in Indonesia shows that owning a toilet, drinking clean water, and living in a community where most of one’s neighbours own a toilet are important drivers of child growth and cognitive development in Indonesia. Unequal access to these services can stunt a child’s growth with impairment to their development, learning and earning. UNICEF reports that stunting odds are 1.4X greater for children in Indonesia without improved sanitation. This causes intergenerational factors that can lead to greater future problems. To level the playing field, children need to be educated on the importance of WASH to lead healthier lives and enhance their wellbeing.

Project Child works with three communities in Yogyakarta in their Sekolah Sungai (river school) program to empower the children to be the agents of change using project based learning. They become positive influences in their communities, working together towards alleviating the incidences and burdens from poor water, sanitation and hygiene they may experience through finding solutions and making improvements. The lessons of WASH translate into life based skills that can help to the children to become healthy citizens physically, mentally and socially. Project Child educates the children based on the three components of WASH including water, sanitation and hygiene;

Water

Water is needed to survive, but if it isn’t safe to drink and use it isn’t helping to survive. Water can be become the problem when it is ‘dirty water’, referring to it being contaminated, unsafe, or if there is an inadequate supply. Contamination can occur at the source (such as rivers or wells), during transportation (being carried in a dirty bucket), or at the time of consumption (dirty hands touching the water). To make water safe, treatment and storage methods can be tailored to meet local needs allowing people access to clean water.

Sanitation

Sanitation refers to safely collecting, treating and disposing of human waste. This includes basic sanitation facilities such as toilets, latrines and stopping open defecation in spaces such as waterways and streets. A lack of sanitation can cause serious health risks from faecal waste making its way into the environment as very serious health risks including diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery can be transmitted. Sanitation also addresses safety issues and undermines feelings of self-dignity, particularly for women and children. When nature calls, a safe place is needed to answer. Proper sanitation that is separated from other people coming into contact with the waste. Infections are prevented and lives are saved.

Hygiene

Hygiene is primarily about health and the actions that are taken to ensure cleanliness of people, homes, schools, communities and other people. One of the most simple and effective means for hygiene is handwashing with soap to prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Just because germs cannot be seen, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. With contaminated hands being one of the main ways diarrhoea is spread, it’s critical to educate children and caregivers on the importance of hand washing.


While the three components of WASH can be looked at separately, the success of them cannot be reached without understanding how they all connect. Essentially one cannot be realised without the others; and without the others, heavy burdens can be placed on individuals and communities, particularly children. For example, despite clean water being used to prepare food, if the person preparing the food hasn’t washed their hands the food can become contaminated with bacteria making the people eating it sick. Or, open defecation leaves excreta where children are playing, and then children bring it into the households. The connection between the three components of WASH also exemplifies the connection for how meaningful progress on the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation) cannot be achieved without an inter-sectoral approach to Goal 3 (good health and wellbeing) and Goal 13 (climate action). Poor WASH heightens health risks that will be further exacerbated by climate change as natural disasters become more prevalent increasing the risk of food and water borne diseases. These are further reinforced by achieving the other SDGs including education, energy, nutrition and ending poverty.

Health is a prerequisite for everything to flourish; an opportunity every child deserves. Poor water, sanitation and hygiene should not be the barrier that prevents Indonesian children, and children around the world from developing, learning and earning. WASH underpins poverty reduction, economic growth and healthy ecosystems by contributing to social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods. Project Child works collectively in their sekolah sungai program, recognising and educating that WASH is a prerequisite for the children and their communities to flourish healthily and maintain their wellbeing.

References:

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

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

Kesukarelawanan Anak Muda untuk Meraih Tujuan-Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan (SDGs)

Kita tidak bisa selalu membangun masa depan untuk para pemuda kita, tapi kita bisa membangun para pemuda kita untuk masa depan

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Menurut Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB), ada 1.8 miliar orang yang berumur 10-24 tahun di dunia, yang bisa dikatakan sebagai generasi terbesar anak muda dalam sejarah. Oleh karena itu, peran anak-anak muda dalam mengadvokasi dan mengeksekusi perubahan sangat krusial, terutama dengan melihat peran mereka sebagai agen perubahan untuk masa depan. Dalam menanggapi fenomena ini, PBB telah menekankan dan mendorong partisipasi aktif para pemuda untuk berkontribusi dalam mempercepat meraih Tujuan-Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan (SDGs). Di banyak negara, terutama negara-negara yang sedang berkembang dan kurang berkembang, banyak pemuda yang mengalami beberapa masalah besar terkait dengan SDGs, seperti kurangnya akses pada pendidikan, layanan kesehatan, dan pekerjaan, yang pada akhirnya akan membuat lebih banyak masalah sosio-ekonomi struktural di masa yang akan datang. Tentu saja, salah satu cara yang relatif terbaik dan termudah untuk mendorong keterlibatan mereka dalam menyelesaikan masalah-masalah tersebut, adalah melalui aktivitas-aktivitas kesukarelawanan.

Kesukarelawanan, yang biasanya dieksekusi melalui lembaga-lembaga non-profit, telah secara signifikan memberi berbagai dampak positif terhadap pemangku-pemangku kepentingan yang terlibat, seperti organisasi-organisasi non-profit itu sendiri, serta para pemuda dan komunitas-komunitas yang terlibat. Lembaga-lembaga non-profit dapat diuntungkan melalui meluasnya misi-misinya, meningkatnya dukungan publik, dan munculnya para pendukung dan relawan baru. Sementara itu, para anak muda dapat diuntungkan dalam hal peningkatan pengembangan diri mereka, yang mencakup rasa tanggung jawab, empati, kepercayaan diri, kemampuan-kemampuan sosial yang baru, meningkatnya kesehatan fisik dan mental, dan perkembangan-perkembangan psikologis dan intelektual yang lainnya. PBB sendiri sudah mengakui grup-grup relawan sebagai salah satu pemangku kepentingan untuk mencapai “Agenda 2030 untuk Pembangunan Berkelanjutan”, yang juga sangat bisa membantu perkembangan perencanaan nasional dan implementasinya.

Dapat dilihat bahwa kesukarelawanan adalah salah satu alat pemacu berjalannya pembangunan berkelanjutan, dan sangat direkomendasikan bagi semua komunitas untuk ikut terlibat. Meskipun demikian, terlepas dari manfaat-manfaat dari kesukarelawanan anak muda yang sudah disebutkan sebelumnya, banyak anak muda yang sayangnya masih belum memiliki dorongan yang cukup untuk melakukan aktivitas-aktivitas kerelawanan, yang dapat disebabkan oleh kurangnya informasi, waktu, ketertarikan, dan sebagainya. Terlepas dari masalah-masalah tersebut yang harus diperhitungkan, kesukarelawanan tentunya akan memberi banyak keuntungan untuk para pemuda dan komunitas-komunitas grassroot yang terlibat, terutama dalam usaha meraih SDGs. Terlepas dari pentingnya dan efektifnya kesukarelawanan, aktivitas ini tidak dimasukkan dalam agenda Tujuan-Tujuan Pembangunan Milenial (MDGs) waktu itu. Pentingnya dan efektifnya kesukarelawanan juga dapat dibuktikan dengan fakta bahwa negara-negara yang memiliki jumlah relawan yang banyak cenderung lebih giat dalam memelihara kondisi sosial dan ekonominya, menurut sebuah statistik dari The International Forum for Volunteering in Development. Banyak aspek dari kemiskinan yang juga dapat secara perlahan diselesaikan melalui aktivitas kesukarelawanan, seperti aspek pendidikan, kesehatan, pekerjaan, dan lingkungan tempat tinggal, yang mana merupakan objektif-objektif utama dari implementasi SDGs.

Jangan tunggu lagi, mari menjadi seorang relawan untuk meraih SDGs bersama-sama!

Youth Volunteerism to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

By: Felice Valeria, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

According to the United Nations, there are 1.8 billion people aged between 10-24 in the world, which could be said as the largest generation of youth in history. Hence, the role of youth in advocating for and executing changes seems to be really crucial, especially by taking into account their role as agents of change for the future. In responding to this particular phenomenon, the United Nations has highly distressed and encouraged the active participation of young people to contribute in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In many countries, particularly the developing and underdeveloped ones, most of the youths are facing several major challenges in terms of SDGs, such as but not limited to the lack of access to education, healthcare, and employment, which eventually would create more structural socio-economic problems in the future. Of course, one of the relatively best and easiest ways to foster their involvement in solving those problems is undoubtedly through volunteering activities.

Volunteerism, which is mostly executed through non-profit organizations, has significantly impacted the stakeholders involved, which include the non-profit themselves, as well as the communities and the youths. Nonprofits could be benefited through the expansion of missions, innovative ideas, enhanced public support, and the cultivation of new supporters and volunteers. Meanwhile, the young people could take advantage in terms of their increase of self-development, which include but not limited to responsibility, empathy, self-esteem, new social skills, improved physical and mental health, interest in learning, and other psychological and intellectual developments. The United Nations itself has recognized volunteer groups as one of the stakeholders to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that might also considerably foster its national planning and implementation.

It could be seen that volunteerism is a prominent fuel for sustainable development, and it is highly recommended for all communities to get involved. Nonetheless, despite the aforementioned benefits of youth volunteerism, a considerable amount of young people may unfortunately still be discouraged from conducting volunteering activities, which might be caused by the lack of information, lack of time, lack of interest, and so forth. As these problems should be taken into account, volunteerism would definitely provide abundant benefits for the youths and the grass-root communities, especially in the efforts of achieving SDGs. As volunteerism was not featured in the agenda of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), despite its significance to be implemented. Further significance and effectiveness of volunteerism could be proven by the fact that countries which have high amount of volunteers are more vibrant in terms of economic and social conditions, according to the statistics by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development. Many aspects that drive poverty could also be gradually resolved from the act of volunteering, such as education, health, employment, and livelihoods, which are the key objectives of the SDGs.

Wait no more, let’s be a volunteer to achieve SDGs hand in hand, young people!

Kunjungan SMSG: Kolaborasi Sebagai Kunci Pergerakan di Bidang Pendidikan

Semua Murid Semua Guru (SMSG) adalah organisasi pendidikan yang berfokus pada kolaborasi. SMSG didirikan oleh Najeela Shihab, seorang pendidik dan aktivis dalam bidang pendidikan. Organisasi ini berfokus pada upaya mengkolaborasikan komunitas-komunitas dan organisasi-organisasi independen sehingga dampak yang diperoleh akan lebih besar daripada jika mereka bekerja sendiri. Bersama-sama, komunitas-komunitas ini akan mampu memberikan dampak yang lebih besar, serta membangun jaringan antar komunitas yang lebih baik.

Project Child Indonesia (PCI) dipandang sebagai salah satu NGO yang telah mampu mewujudkan gerakan kolaborasi dalam program-programnya, khususnya program Sekolah Sungai yang merupakan program pertama yang dijalankan oleh PCI. Program ini adalah bentuk nyata kolaborasi antara masyarakat setempat, para murid, sukarelawan, pendanaan berkelanjutan, dan keterlibatan sukarelawan dari luar negeri.

Sekitar 28 murid dari Sekolah Sungai hadir pada acara kunjungan SMSG pada tanggal 23 November 2018. Co-founder PCI, Surayah Ryha, bersama founder SMSG, Najeela Shihab mendiskusikan pentingnya pengembangan dalam bidang pendidikan alternatif. Banyak komunitas yang bergerak dalam bidang pendidikan masih membutuhkan perhatian lebih, meskipun mereka telah turut bekerja mendukung agenda pemerintah mewujudkan reformasi pendidikan. Organisasi-organisasi ini, salah satunya PCI, sudah terlibat dalam pergerakan pendidikan dengan membangun program-program berkelanjutan yang telah berjalan cukup lama. Pergerakan ini adalah hal positif yang perlu dibagikan pada sesama aktivis pendidikan. Dalam acara ini juga hadir sejumlah media massa nasional yang akan ikut serta menyebarkan berita baik ini ke seluruh Indonesia.

Usai kunjungan, PCI berkesempatan untuk berbagi ide dan pemikiran terkait pendidikan alternatif dengan komunitas-komunitas lain di Hotel GreenHost, serta memperluas jaringan melalui sesi berjejaring yang diadakan oleh SMSG. Kunjungan yang dilaksanakan di PCI ini diharapkan dapat memberi wawasan baru mengenai kolaborasi yang bisa dilakukan oleh SMSG bersama dengan komunitas-komunitas lain. Kolaborasi tersebut tentu berkaitan dengan lingkup kerja Project Child Indonesia. Pengembangan masyarakat merupakan salah satu jenis kolaborasi yang dapat dilakukan dengan melibatkan masyarakat di sekitar lokasi Sekolah Sungai.

Ada pula beberapa hasil yang diharapkan dari sesi berjejaring yang dilakukan dengan SMSG beserta komunitas di dalamnya: semakin banyak berita baik mengenai pergerakan pendidikan alternatif di Indonesia untuk mendorong gagasan tentang volunteerism pada para pembacanya, dan kolaborasi yang mungkin dilakukan dengan komunitas-komunitas yang aktif dalam gerakan serupa. Pada intinya, mewujudkan jejaring yang lebih baik dengan SMSG, media, dan komunitas-komunitas dalam naungan SMSG.

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Penulis: Filla Lavenia Palupy

SMSG VISIT: Collaboration is key in educational movement

Semua Murid Semua Guru (SMSG) is an educational organization which focuses and believes in the power of collaboration. The founder of SMSG, Najeela Shihab, is an educator and activist of education. The organization focuses on how collaboration among independent communities and organizations would have more impact rather than if the communities and organizations worked alone. Together, the communities could build a bigger impact and establish better network among each other.

Project child Indonesia (PCI) is seen as one of the NGOs which has already established the collaboration movement in their programs. Especially, the River School Program which runs as the longest program in PCI. There are a variety of collaborations among the stake holders: community members, students, volunteers, sustainable funding and involvement from volunteer abroad.

There were about 28 students from the river school site present during the visitation. The Co-founder of PCI, Surayah Ryha, and the founder of SMSG, Najeela Shihab, discussed about the importance of educational development among alternative education. There are many underrated communities who are already working on educational movements to support the government’s agenda of reforming education. These organizations, such as PCI, are already involved in this educational movement and have developed sustainable programs for quite awhile now. This good movement is something which needs to be shared among educational activists. Furthermore, there were mass medias from all across the nation who also came to visit and were interested to spread the good news.

After the visitation, PCI is given time to share about the ideas of alternative education among other communities in Green host hotel and to broaden the network by joining the networking session initiated by SMSG. The visitation held in PCI is expected to give more insight upon possible collaborations between SMSG and also other communities. The collaboration would certainly relate to the scope of Project Child Indonesia. The community development is one of the possible collaborations concerning the community members surrounding river school sites.

There are other expected outcomes from the networking sessions with SMSG and the networks within SMSG: there will be more good news about the alternative education movement in Indonesia to encourage the idea of volunteerism to people reading the news, and possible collaboration with more communities under the same movement. Most of all, establishing better networks with SMSG, media, other communities within SMSG network.

 

 

By: Filla Lavenia Palupy