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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.


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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.

Learn and Play at Desa Wisata Pulesari

The long awaited outdoor activity for this batch in river school program has finally concluded. Last Sunday, on 9th December the Code river school site went for a field trip in Desa Wisata Pulesari, Turi. The trip was something we had been planned since the beginning of this batch. As a community based NGO, it is one of our mission to bring an alternate form of education for children in order to implement our belief of a learning environment to be more fluid, flexible and fun. We have learned from our past, that formal education has been involving a lot in a facility that does not relate to recreational activities. In addition, field trip study is proved to be a prominent necessity in order to truly establish and adopt the idea of alternative education. Stones and earth are such adequate substitution of both pen and paper, and where being soaked, getting dirty and wet are regarded as a form of education.  However, the main purpose of field trip is to give a form of a reward for the children for their outstanding performance, participation, and their immense passion shown through the project activities.

There were total of 30 children and 17 volunteer and staff joining the field trip. It was an enthralling and exciting experience as the students learned how to make a traditional snack called Nogosari. The dish which comes from Java, was made from the snake fruits which are the most common plantation in the area. At the beginning, the mothers from Desa Wisata Pulesari explained the steps on how to make the traditional snack, including the main ingredients. The students were attracted to learn something they rarely or even never seen before. Furthermore, they let the students help peeling the snake fruits, making the dough, and even wrap the dough using banana leaves. It was a good experience as students can get involved in the process of cooking and got chances to ask questions.

After the cooking class, the children were enthusiastically waiting for the main activity that day, which is to go down to the river and explore the river track. There were few obstacles prepared to entertain the students as they enjoy to cross the hanging bridge, climbing through the nets, and  being in the water. As safety become our main concern during the river tracking, our volunteers were always ready to assist the children. In addition, some facts about river, plantation, vegetation, and animals that lives in the river were prepared to give the children some insight about the open river. The children were also asked to differentiate the river in their community with the river they went for tracking. The activity is to make children aware on how river could be a safe environment when it is clean and well-managed.

Lastly, the children were very delighted to know they have been granted with a field trip donation to Desa Wisata Pulesari from The Goods for Good. For the generous donation, on behalf of the children and Project Child Indonesia, we express our deepest gratitude for the continuous support and especially for the field trip surprise. An act of help or assistance, big or small, does not matter. The intention to do so, makes the difference.

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

Pasar Mandiri Code – Project Child Indonesia

On 3rd November 2018, Project Child Indonesia held Pasar Mandiri at Sekolah Sungai Code. It’s one of our most anticipated event at Sekolah Sungai, and the children of Sekolah Sungai Code were very excited in preparing and taking part in Pasar Mandiri.

The original idea of Pasar Mandiri or Sustainable Market, is to allow the riverside community to take part in the process of education for the children at our Sekolah Sungai. In Pasar Mandiri, Project Child Indonesia provides second-hand goods, with great quality and affordable price to sell. The prices range from IDR 1.000 to IDR 10.000. This affordable price range allows the community member of Code to buy all the things that they need. The money that we collected from Pasar Mandiri will directly goes to our educational field-trip for the children.

During this event, we also involved the children of Sekolah Sungai Code directly. They helped to sell, bargain and promote the clothes, bags and shoes to the community member. We involved the children on this event, because Project Child Indonesia aims to raise awareness towards the children about working hard to achieve their dreams. We want the children to understand and put their effort for what they want. And through Pasar Mandiri, they learn about this. They learn that for their educational trip, which they also get to participate in deciding the trip that they want, they have to put some effort in making it happen.

The event start at 09.00 until 12.00, around 50 people came and participated in Pasar Mandiri. We would like to thank all of our kind donors and volunteers for making this program possible.

Storytelling Day – Project Child Indonesia

In the celebration of Sumpah Pemuda, on 28th October 2018 Project Child Indonesia with DESA (Developing Rural Area by Social Activities) in collaboration with Kita Beraksi, 1000 Guru Jogja, and Yogyakarta Mengajar held an event called “Satu Hari Mendongeng Anak Indonesia” in one of our river school, Gadjahwong. The event was initiated as an effort to raise awareness about the importance of literacy in children’s life. The event combined interesting storytelling and games in order to give inspirations for the children that books can be interesting too.

The event was successfully held at 09.00 until 11.30, and was divided into two session of storytelling. The first session was a general storytelling, then on the second session the children were divided by their age group and they listened to another story. Around 27 children came and took part in this event. Instantly, they were captivated and mesmerized by the stories. They were passionate in listening and watching the storytelling.

After the first and second session, the children were given some questions regarding of the stories that they’ve just heard. The children were very enthusiastic in answering questions about the story. The question and answer session were followed with giving out the door prizes. Project Child Indonesia gave out books and school essentials for the children that could answer the questions about the stories.

At the end of the event, in the spirit of celebrating Sumpah Pemuda, the children and volunteers recited the youth pledge. Then the children received tumbler from a generous donation by Travel Lover Yogyakarta. We were so happy to conduct this event in our river school, Gadjahwong. We want to thank you for the communities that took part in our event. We hope to see similar events on other school also!

General Medical Checkup at Code

On 26th October 2018, Project Child Indonesia held an event called “General Medical Check-up for Kids” in one of our River School area, Code. The event was held to help the kids to be aware about their health, and to teach them about basic health. The event was initiated by Australian pediatrician, Dr. Monika Tasoni. During her stay in Yogyakarta Dr. Monika Tasoni contacted Project Child Indonesia, as she wants to do voluntary work and community service to help the children.

The event was successfully held at 14.00 until 17.30, just right after the children finished their school. On that day, around 28 children came and take part in the medical checkup. Dr. Monika Tasoni was helped by two undergraduate medical students from Universitas Gadjah Mada. They helped the doctor to communicate with the children. Most of the problems that the doctor encountered in Code is cavities. Fortunately, Dr. Monika Tasoni came prepared with toothbrushes and toothpastes for the children. The children were very excited as they received a brand new toothbrush set. Later on that day, Dr. Monika Tasoni demonstrated and taught the children the proper way of brushing their teeth. She also reminds them to always brush their teeth three times a day. Thanks to the doctor, the children were very enthusiastic and happy to learn the importance of brushing their teeth.

The event was also enlivened by the participation of PPSMB Universitas Gadjah Mada. Around 10 first year students of Universitas Gadjah Mada, came and helped out the event by entertaining the children. They also gave generous donation of stationaries for the children.

We are happy and grateful for the generous gestures of the people that really cared to help our community. We hope this event could inspire a lot of people to take part in their society. We also hope to see similar event to be held in other river school community!

 

OurOcean 2018 Conference

Project Child Indonesia partook in Our Ocean Conference held in Bali on 29 and 30 October 2018. Started in 2014, Our Ocean Conference’s main objective is generating commitments and taking actions to maintain the sustainability of our oceans. Our Ocean Conference 2018 gathered participants from countries around the world to ensure diverse perspectives from various ocean stakeholders, including prominent figures from various sectors who will influence concrete and actionable commitments to preserve the oceans’ health.

The oceans hold the promise of our future. However, the oceans are under immense threat as an impact of detrimental human activities. Marine pollution, bleaching coral reefs, raising sea temperature, and unsustainable fishing continues to occur. Illegal activities such as human trafficking in fishing operation, wildlife trafficking, as well as arms and drugs smuggling also risks the ocean indirectly. It is our choice to choose the kind of legacy we leave for future generations, therefore the theme Our Ocean, Our Legacy is chosen to reflect our commitment to preserve our oceans as a heritage presented for our children and grandchildren.

The event consisted of plenary meeting, exhibitions, and Our Ocean, Our Legacy Youth Leadership Summit. During the conference, participants are encouraged to announce their commitments as it critically contributes towards global efforts to preserve the oceans’ health. The conference also tracked past commitments and encourage new commitments and partnership that deliver multiple objectives.

The 2018 Our Ocean conference focused on 6 areas which are marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, sustainable blue economy, and maritime security. Project Child Indonesia as one of the participants in Our Ocean Conference 2018 took part to tackle the issues of marine pollution.

Since 2014, Project Child Indonesia has been actively campaigning against single plastic use mainly through Drinking Water Program, as well as other programs such as Sekolah Sungai and Sekolah Pantai. By means of education Project Child contributes in reducing plastic trash threatening our ocean, and introducing environmental awareness to younger generations who will inherit the role of protecting the future of our planet.