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.

Pasar Mandiri: The Volunteer’s Hard Work

Written by Dyah Prajnandhari, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Behind every successful event, there are always hard working people. Although they are assigned with different parts, all of them become the backbone of the events. The real example is Pasar Mandiri, a project which Sekolah Sungai held on 7-8th of March. Pasar Mandiri is a project that introduces the idea of the importance of thrift shopping which also reduces textile waste to the children. Held in respectively 3 places which are at Sungai Code, Winongo and Gajahwong, this event is successful because of the volunteers and coordinators’ efforts. For the volunteers, it must be a fun journey.

Enrico Ardhana Putra or Rico from Sekolah Sungai Winongo expressed that they had several steps to prepare the event. “For the first step, we have to gather the unused clothes from people.” Following their publication through Project Child social media, they gathered a quite amount of clothes. The same thing is also expressed by Melisa Tanady, a volunteer from Sekolah Sungai Code. “We (the committee for Pasar Mandiri Code) sorted the clothes a week before the event.” The volunteers didn’t work alone. The children also helped them to run this event through roleplaying. They became cashiers, securities, sellers, which is also an exercise for them to learn about the concept of responsibility. Ideas are also exchanged between the volunteers and the children, therefore it is not only mainly from the volunteers’ opinions.

While this event is considered success, the obstacles are still there. A volunteer from Sekolah Sungai Gajahwong, Wani Utami, or Tami, revealed, “It was raining at the morning of the event (03/08).” She added that the volunteers also had difficulty in carrying back the unsold clothes. The same thing happened in Winongo as it was heavily raining in the morning, forcing them to delay their departure to Winongo. “We are supposed to go at 6 AM, but it got delayed to 8.” said Rico. This annual event also benefits both the children and the volunteers. Melisa said she got the priceless experience and the importance of being grateful. “I think personally the children would get the exposure and knowledge on how selling things to customer. They wouldn’t get this kind of education in the school.”

Lastly, all of them wished that the next Pasar Mandiri would also be successful. Tami said that she hoped for more attention in the preparation of the event. Rico said he would expect nicer decoration next year, and Melisa wished that it will always be a useful event for everyone. Despite all the difficulties they faced, we always try to improve ourselves to do good things.

PCI as An Organized Act of Kindness

Written by Dyah Prajnandhari, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

There is a common belief that to succeed, you have to grab whatever chance you have, or else it would be someone else’s. This belief makes us unaware that each individual has a competitive relationship and slowly gets too caught up with our stuff. We may forget that we live as human beings and we’re not living alone. As you may be competitive with everything, you can take a step back to look around you and do a considerate act for someone. Check up on your friend, pay your friend a meal, or tell your mom that you love her.

Kindness is one of the crucial habits that is encouraged in Project Child. People may do kindness in spontaneous ways, such as smiling to strangers, holding a door to strangers behind them, or saying thank you to a barista after they make you a coffee. We don’t always plan for kindness, and we do it because we want to do it. However, in Project Child, we try to do an organized act of kindness. This means we always do kindness to society in an organized way so that we can have an impact on them.

Doing kindness in an organized way means we have to prepare the agents of the event. Interns and volunteers are one of the essential aspects of it. Therefore on Friday, 21 February 2020, we have Kak Surayah Ryha, the Executive Director of Project Child Indonesia, to present the importance of doing kindness in an arranged way.

In this rare chance with Kak Aya, she motivated the interns to be the significant agents to always be helpful for the people around us while not forgetting that we have the capability to do it in a well-organized way, not just doing it without good planning. One inspiring story she told the interns, “A few years ago, we had clothes that were given by exchange students. We think we can distribute to the people who need them. We were giving them freely, but it turned out so bad. We didn’t use our capability to think that we have a more organized way to help them. She then recalled that it was a success after she and her team changed the plan. “We ended up selling them at a very low price, and we included the children in this event. They learned how to bear responsibility, the parents could get what they wanted, and we succeeded in giving kindness that we want.”

Even though it is not always easy to do kindness in an organized way, PCI believes that at least everyone can do good. It also becomes a reminder for us to step back from whatever we are doing right now and look for around you.

How to End Poverty?

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

Have you ever been extremely hungry? Have you ever been living in a condition where you cannot just open the fridge and find various kinds of food and beverages to satisfy your hunger or even just a mere craving? Have you ever been worried about there being no food for the day to come? No? Then, congratulations! You are privileged.

Are you attending a good school, receiving quality education, and having friends at school? Have you ever been worried about eventually being dropped out because your parents can’t pay for your tuition? Have you ever been bullied because you look ragged and cannot afford to spend money in the school’s cafeteria? If you haven’t experienced any of that, once again: congratulations! You’re living a nice life without basic things to worry about.

In 2020 Indonesia, over 25 million people is still living under the poverty line. That means, they don’t have access to basic nutrition, basic healthcare, and quality education. This issue is not something that can be solved using the same solution for every part of Indonesia. The cause of poverty varies from one province to another because poverty is not only an economic problem. It is influenced by the social-cultural values in that certain area which prove it to be challenging to create changes in the society.

Money or government social aid cannot alleviate these people out of poverty. The problem is complex and it requires complex solutions too. Instead of giving free things which will instill the mindset of ‘it’s okay, the government will help’, the government needs to create a programme to educate these people in skills that can generate money and in the long run, will help them to get out of the poverty line.

However, as a government is a big body and there is a lot of bureaucracy that needs to be done before an actual action can take place, citizens need to participate too. For the sake of Indonesia’s economic growth, everyone must take part in getting people out of poverty. An NGO for example, can create a programme to teach any kind of skills to those who live under poverty. An individual can organize a movement to do the same thing. There are lots of things that we can do to help. It’s just a matter of whether or not the impact will become a long-run impact or just a short-term help such as monetary aid.

What You Can Do to Prevent Loss Caused by Natural Disasters

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

Indonesia’s location in the midst of the ring of fire appears to be both a blessing and a curse. As there are many volcanoes scattered all over Indonesia, the lands surrounding the volcanoes are incredibly fertile. In turn, this condition benefits Indonesia in agricultural produce for it is easier for plants to grow and prosper. On the other hand, this condition is a curse for the citizens of Indonesia because volcanoes can easily cause many natural disasters such as eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, and wildfires among many others. 

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reports that there are more than 1500 disasters that happened in the first half of 2020. Even though the number is lower compared to the 2200+ disasters in the same period last year, the disaster had injured more than 270 people, displaced 2.3 million residents, and ended 206 lives. Between January to June 2020, BNPB notes that there are 620 floods,  425 tornadoes, 330 landslides, and 139 wildfires. Not only these disasters devastate people, it can cause harm to Indonesia’s social-economic condition. The disasters can cause so much economic loss due to the damage inflicted upon buildings, roads, and many others.

As humans, there is nothing much we can do to prevent a natural disaster from happening. After all, it’s out of our hands. As citizens, we cannot do much either due to the scale of a natural disaster that is too big for us to handle. The government has to step up and create a coherent disaster mitigation plan that can ensure our safety. However, there are still things that we can do to mitigate the damage of natural disasters:

  1. To save lives, we can pay attention to our location. If you are living under the foot of a mountain, there are more risks of volcano eruptions, landslides, earthquakes, and wildfires. If you live near a river or a beach, the risks of floods, drought, and tsunamis are things that you need to pay attention to. If your living place is prone to disasters, find out your area’s local mitigation plan such as where is the nearest shelter and what are the possible escape routes to safety. Furthermore, ensure that you and your family have access to health and life insurance just in case there will be injuries or death that are caused by these disasters.
  2. To mitigate the economic loss, make sure that your building: house, office, etc. is disaster proof or at least safer than the usual buildings. A strong building will be more beneficial, especially if you are living in places that are prone to massive earthquakes. If possible, place an insurance on your buildings and pay attention to the policies inside and make sure it covers damage due to a natural disaster.

When it comes to natural disasters, we, humans, are in the mercy of nature. No matter how hard we plan around the mitigation plan, we cannot escape it and the damage it will cause. Natural disasters might happen due to natural causes, but there are disasters that are caused by our neglect such as floods and wildfires. However, it shouldn’t hinder us from planning the mitigation strategy and taking care of our environment. Let’s plan well to overcome the damage of natural disasters while continuously taking care of our nature as well. We only have one planet, one place to live in this vast universe. There is no second Earth.

Dearest students and teachers all over the world,

Hi, hello, how are you? Are you healthy and safe? We sure hope you do.

How’s online classes? Is everything going smoothly? Are you bored and tired of the situation?

We know things are different right now during the pandemic. Social and physical distancing are a must, after all. However, don’t lose hope just yet!

School might be different, because it has to be online. You might not be able to meet your friends and peers face-to-face, but the fact that you can still meet each other online is a blessing in itself. So, do your best in class!

For students: please respect your teachers! Online classes have not been easy for them as well. At least, pay attention to their explanation and respond to them. Put on proper clothes and sit properly. Turn on your camera if you can, so that the teachers know who’s behind the screen listening to their explanation.

For teachers: please do your best in teaching! We know that it might be difficult to have restrictions when you’re teaching. It must be difficult to be confined into a screen while having to convey difficult materials to your students. However, it is not right if you just give students a ton of homeworks instead of actually explaining the materials to them. Find ways in which you can actually teach your students effectively. Remember, these childrens are the future of our nation.

At last, we hope everyone will continue to take education seriously. Don’t forget that, sometimes, education is a privilege, but also put your health first and foremost before anything else. If learning online has become overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek help.

Please stay happy, healthy, and safe! 

With concern,

Team Project Child Indonesia

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