COVID-19 Attracts Domestic Violence

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

COVID-19 is a nightmare for the human race. With everyone advised to stay at home, the pandemic slows down every aspect imaginable in our lives. The economy collapses, social life becomes non-existent, and the only place where people are allowed to gather is the hospital. However, with the rising number of corona patients, the number of victims of domestic violence is also rising.

Everyone is coped up at home, stuck inside without many outlets to channel their stress. Rising economic pressure with almost zero way out adds on to the individual stress, even more so for a family with a lot of mouths to feed. The fathers, the one who provides financial support in indonesian nuclear families, are in a lot of pressure due to the pandemic these days. Often, the pressure translates into various domestic violence against their wives and children.

Wives are expected to be the one taking care of the households and children. During the pandemic, many women have to take the responsibility to be teachers for their children whose school is halted. Besides, they still have to cook, clean, and do chores around the house which take more than 3 hours of their time daily, 4 times more what it takes for men. However, the rising prices of food and daily necessities due to the collapsing economy during the pandemic has made many women unable to take care of their household properly. This resulted in conflicts between husbands and wives, then escalated to violence.

In Indonesia, there are 319 new violence cases reported during the pandemic, two-thirds of it are domestic violence with the wives as victims. In 3 months alone, from March to June, the number of domestic violence victims are already more than half of those reported during 2019. These constantly rising cases made many NGO focuses on women empowerment and protection went into frenzy because there are just so many women that need immediate help, but are hesitant to go forward due to fear of social judgement. Even if they want to file a case against their abuser, usually they are being held back by family members because being a victim of domestic violence is seen as something shameful.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are trying to seek justice for your case, you can contact various NGO that are willing to help you such as LBH APIK, Komnas Perempuan, and Rifka Annisa. You can also help to spread awareness of domestic violence by joining the 16 Days  of Activism held by the United Nations. The campaign simply asks you to post contents in your social media using contents provided here: https://trello.com/b/2n3wcRVJ/16-days-of-activism-2020 along with the hashtags  #GenerationEquality #orangetheworld #16days and #spreadtheword. Easy, right? Do it and be part of the change, good people!

The Future of Children Is In Our Hands

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

“Children are the future of our nation.” We often find people saying things along those lines. “Children are the future, so they have to try hard and be the best in everything they do.” “Children are the future, so they have to be responsible for their own future.” These kinds of saying are neglecting the fact that in order to succeed, children need to be given the necessary support. That’s the most important thing that most people forget nowadays.

This year’s World Children’s Day celebrates and promotes children’s welfare and awareness among children worldwide. The United Nation acknowledges that children’s welfare is indeed vital for the wellbeing of children in the future.

Us as a society is already basking in comfort of our current societal system that benefits those in power. For children who were born to less fortunate families, having the basic necessities is already out of the question while for those who were born to wealth are already having a better start since birth. It’s a challenge for children from marginal families to even have the proper nutrition that benefits their health, moreover having quality education and finding a way out of poverty.

Discovering the holes that cause this wrecked system that benefits those having money is a challenge that might never be conquered. But, as a community, we can make small changes. Project Child Indonesia’s program Sekolah Sungai and Online Learning Assistance are two among many other efforts that have been done by a lot of sympathetic people out there. It cannot dethrone the system, not yet at least, but it has proven itself to be impactful. As an individual, you can start paying attention to these kinds of programs and projects held all across Indonesia that aims for the betterment of children’s welfare.

Rather than keep saying that the future is children, why don’t we create a better world right now so that our children can live a better future?

Put Children’s Perspective about Diversity through Tolerance Ambassador Project

Written by Theresia Tyas Thea Kirana, Program Coordinator Intern Project Child Indonesia

Do you ever wonder how the world looks like when humans are all the same? We have the same skin colors, same hairstyle, same body shapes, or even the same belief. Close your eyes. Visualize that on your mind. Take a reflective moment for a second. Do you feel weird? Okay, stop visualizing it and get back to our reality, where people from a whole lot of different backgrounds are living on the same planet Earth and we are one of them. I am one of those different people, and you are one of them, too. It is heartbreaking to see people disliking or even bullying and harming others who are not from the same background as them. What is the root of those wicked actions? Are we born with the feeling of hating things or people that are different from us?

According to the argument stated in the United Nation article on International Day for Tolerance which says that people are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe. As a global commitment, International Day for Tolerance is observed annually on 16 November since 1995 to promote tolerance. Project Child Indonesia (PCI) supported and celebrated the diversity among its workers and the beneficiaries by seeing the differences as something powerful that can make people do something good, one action is by making a project called The Child Ambassador for Tolerance.

PCI, as an NGO that works with children and people from the riverside communities, wants to see and educate the children living in Sekolah Sungai communities about the importance of diversity and how to cherish our differences in ethnicity, race, and religion. Thankfully, the matters happen to be the same thing as Williams-Sonoma Indonesia (WSI) has been campaigning about social justice, and the WSI inspired by Sekolah Sungai Program. Therefore PCI and WSI collaborate and initiate this project in September-October 2020.

The weekly mentoring classes were conducted for four weeks and closed with ceremony and campaign activities. In the beginning of the project, the volunteers got a chance to meet Dr. Diah Kusumaningrum, one of the lecturers in International Relations Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), to understand more about what tolerance is about and how to persuade children to be aware and understand about tolerance and diversity from their own experiences. This activity is a training activity to prepare volunteers to become facilitators before going to the field.

The implementation of this project involves 5 (five) child representatives from each location to be fostered as ambassador. Four weeks mentoring classes accompanied by facilitators simultaneously in three river communities. During each class, the volunteers and the children were discussing the experiences they are facing in daily activities related to living in a diverse community. They also met some invited people from Rote, Ambon, and Central Sulawesi. Through the meeting with three different people from different backgrounds, we encourage the children to ask anything about diversity and experience by themselves about another culture. Later, the children made some posters related to the knowledge they have gained during the project, they also practiced the message of their poster in front of the other children and volunteers. The mentoring class activities concluded with a closing ceremony and on-site campaign in each river and digital campaign for the public.

If there is one thing that we can learn from this project, as one of the invited persons said, prejudice is learned and not inevitable. Children can learn and relearn about toleration, it is the environment that shapes our being as a human to have our own perspective. Our perspective may vary, but the key is to celebrate and embrace diversity and use it as our tool to live our best life with other people. As the tagline of this project says, let’s do each other’s favor by “Menyayangi, Berempati, Wujudkan Harmoni!”

Reference:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/tolerance-day

Everyone Can Do Good

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

Kindness should be a basic trait that everyone possesses. It should be the basis of human’s thought, utterance, and action. Unfortunately, that’s a utopia. In reality, our world is cruel and savage. Sometimes, hatred wins more often than kindness. Worry not though! Our world works sometimes and somehow like folklore too. No matter how hard the evil tries to wreak havoc, goodness always wins. That’s what we, as a society, needs to believe in as we celebrate World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Day is celebrated globally on November 13th every year. With the purpose of highlighting the good deeds in the community, World Kindness Day reminds us to focus on the positive power of kindness that bound us together as a community.

Project Child Indonesia, as an NGO, aims to spread kindness by raising funds for several projects including Sekolah Sungai, especially the newly-found project: Online Learning Assistance. The program itself consists of 50% online classes and 50% offline classes that are held within the boundaries of current health protocol of COVID-19. The program aims to help underprivileged children in Yogyakarta, especially the ones that are already joining Sekolah Sungai. Along with PT. XL Axiata, Tbk., Project Child Indonesia has been able to provide, not only much needed teaching assistance, but also the internet data package for those children to access the online material for the online classes.

As per Project Child Indonesia’s motto: Everyone Can Do Good, World Kindness Day resonates the most with us as an NGO. We believe that kindness can be spread in many forms, from small acts of kindness to a grand act of philanthropy. We, as an organization, were able to help 80 children that are part of the Online Learning Assistance, but that’s just us. If you’re willing you can spread kindness too! Start small, but do it with honesty. If you do it right, kindness can go a long, long, long way!

Online Learning Assistance: Contributing Our Way

Written by Adjeng Tunjung Pamase, Partnership Intern Project Child Indonesia

Entering the eighth month since the COVID-19 pandemic spread in Indonesia, Distance Learning or Pembelajaran Jarak Jauh (PJJ) activities still face various constraints. Numerous facilities and infrastructure are required to conduct a successful implementation of PJJ. In addition to the supporting equipment such as laptops and smartphones as well as internet data packages, supervision and guidance from parents are very essential to help to fill the gap in the limited role of teachers during PJJ activities. Conventional or offline school activities provide time for students to ask questions directly during or after class, PJJ tends to narrow the opportunity to interact with teachers in contrast to offline school. Most of the time, the subject materials are delivered to students let alone in the form of a document file, forcing students to read it and learn independently at home. Hence, the assistance of parents and or other substituting figures of teachers at home thus deemed vital for the success of children’s learning.

Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim, remarked that PJJ activities will run smoothly if parents are present to accommodate learning assistance for their children. Nevertheless, he also does not disregard the fact that not all parents have the same privilege to provide such learning assistance, both in terms of time and skills.

“My mom is busy working and taking care of my little sister, she is barely available to accompany me studying. My dad works all the time too,” said Lani, a 4th-grade elementary school student who lives on the banks of the Gajahwong River.

“I can not teach my child because elementary school materials these days are more difficult, different to mine years ago. I also work all day long, so there is very little time to assist my daughter when studying,” said the father of Meisya, a 4th-grade elementary school student in Kampung Kricak, by the Code River.

In acknowledgment of the presented problems on the field especially for those below the poverty line, the government through Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Muhaimin Iskandar initiated to establish “Gerakan Bangkit Belajar”, a movement that administers stations that assists students in doing PJJ activities, the assistance varies from internet network to volunteers with roles to give learning tutorials. This movement has been running since August 2020 with the priority of 3T areas (tertinggal, terdepan, terluar) or remote areas as the beneficiaries.

The Gerakan Bangkit Belajar then inspired many components of society to do similar things, from helping to provide study assistance, donating supporting equipment/facilities, to raising funds to provide internet data. 

Participation and support from various parties to create a viable PJJ for children in Indonesia makes us at Project Child Indonesia desire to continue running the Online Learning Assistance project. This project comprises learning assistance conducted both offline and online by our volunteers to help ease the challenges of children and parents in the Sekolah Sungai communities in three river banks in Yogyakarta; Code, Gajahwong, and Winongo River during PJJ.

Realized since last September, we have been holding weekly learning assistance, conducted the donation of gadgets, and distributed internet data packages in collaboration with one of the internet data providers in Indonesia.

Nonetheless, we believe that there is still a lot to be improved from this Learning Assistance project to deliver a greater impact. One of our concerns is to provide training to volunteers on teaching methods (pedagogy), project management, and child psychology. We conclude this from the results of the program evaluation after one month.

“I still feel the need to learn how to approach children to be interested in learning and encourage them to be more courageous in expressing their opinions.” – Nani, a volunteer for the Learning Assistance program in Sungai Gajahwong.

Here, we need your help in optimizing the project to give a greater impact on the children of Sekolah Sungai. You can contribute by donating at kitabisa.com/campaign/bantuanbelajarss or purchasing Project Child Indonesia merchandise at bit.ly/merchandisePCI.

Together, we can bring out the best of distance learning activities for all Indonesian children. Like what has always been our belief that everyone can do good, you can too.