Climate Change in Indonesia: Flood as an Environmental Disaster

Written by Safira Tafani Cholisi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

You might be familiar with the term ‘climate change’. It has been a primary topic of discourse around the world, ranging from governments, business corporations, non-governmental organizations and even private individuals. Climate change is an environmental process where the temperature of the Earth increases due to the heightening level of greenhouse gases produced by human activities, subsequently causing a shift in the regularity of climate conditions around the globe (What is climate change? A really simple guide, 2020). It is known to be one of the most dangerous threats for humanity as changing climate conditions can lead to rain and snowstorms or the opposite such as drought and erosion. Inevitably, this directly impacts daily human activities in a range of sectors including agriculture, food production, and health.

However, this environmental catastrophe actually poses a more pressing threat to developing countries. Most are  geographically located around the equator, making the temperatures naturally warmer. Reasonably, climate change will only increase the already high temperatures in these countries. According to the World Bank, 100 million people could be dragged under the poverty line by 2030 due to the impacts of climate change (Climate Change and the Developing World: A Disproportionate Impact, 2020). Considering that developing countries mostly depend on natural resources and agriculture for economic growth, the direct consequences of climate change will challenge the economic resilience of these countries. Indonesia as a developing country itself is not exempted from these impacts.

As observed through various media and news channels, Indonesia has recently been hit by severe flooding in areas around the country. Earlier this year, intense rainfall and extreme weather conditions caused severe flooding in South Kalimantan. The flood lasted for more than two weeks and is estimated to have affected 712,129 people and displaced more than 110,000 (South Kalimantan Flood a Gloomy Picture of Natural Destruction, 2021). Additionally, the calculated loss in several sectors including agriculture and fishery sector reaches almost IDR 100 billion. Just last week, houses and buildings were awash by severe flooding in Jakarta and surrounding areas (Paat, 2021). Jakarta is notorious for being a hotspot for flash floods for a number of reasons such as uncontrolled groundwater drainage and rising sea levels. While these cases of floods are classified as natural disasters, it is undebatable that both climate change and our involvement has played a part in exacerbating this issue.

The causes of floods in Indonesia are mainly attributed to three factors: loss of tree cover, extreme weather and topography (Sulaeman, Pradana & Hamzah, 2019). However, illegal logging and mining as well as wild forest fires are some of the man-controlled causes of the loss of green spaces in Kalimantan forests. Without tree covers to facilitate water absorption by soil, sudden increase of water volume from extreme rainfall becomes uncontainable and leads to flooding. Climate change further aggravates this condition as higher global temperature causes rising sea levels due to ice melting in the polar regions. In fact, rising sea levels are one of the primary factors behind the prediction of Jakarta’s submergence by 2050 (Mulhern, 2020). These predictions do not only seem terrible and frightening, but they also threaten our wellbeing, particularly those most disadvantaged and marginalized without secure economic safety nets.

Are you wondering about what we can do to face this difficult challenge? There are many actions that we, as an individual, can do to reduce the damages of climate change. You can learn about what climate change is and how it can pervasively impact our lives both individually and collectively through various free learning platforms in your local community library or even the internet. Local organizations can also be a starting point for you to connect with your surrounding community and environment and contribute to social work and mutual aid. Project Child Indonesia recognizes that environmental and disaster issues are pressing to our local communities and incorporates disaster risk management lessons in some of its programs such as Sekolah Sungai and Sekolah Pantai. Whatever it is that you do to act on the danger of climate change, it is a huge step to do good to your community and environment. In resonance with Project Child Indonesia’s motto, “Everyone Can Do Good”, we believe that you too can also do good.

Photo Credit: CNN

References

BBC. 2020. What is climate change? A really simple guide. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24021772> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

KOMPAS. 2021. South Kalimantan Flood a Gloomy Picture of Natural Destruction. [online] Available at: <https://www.kompas.id/baca/english/2021/01/25/south-kalimantan-flood-a-gloomy-picture-of-natural-destruction/#> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

Mulhern, O., 2020. Sea Level Rise Projection Map – Jakarta. [online] Earth.org. Available at: <https://earth.org/data_visualization/sea-level-rise-by-the-end-of-the-century-alexandria-2/> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

Paat, Y., 2021. Weekend Floods Force Hundreds to Leave Home in Jakarta. [online] Jakarta Globe. Available at: <https://jakartaglobe.id/news/weekend-floods-force-hundreds-to-leave-home-in-jakarta> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

Sulaeman, D., Pradana, A. and Hamzah, H., 2019. 3 Main Causes of Floods in Indonesia and How to Prevent Them. [online] WRI Indonesia. Available at: <https://wri-indonesia.org/en/blog/3-main-causes-floods-indonesia-and-how-prevent-them> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. 2020. Climate Change and the Developing World: A Disproportionate Impact. [online] Available at: <https://www.usglc.org/blog/climate-change-and-the-developing-world-a-disproportionate-impact/> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

International Mother Language Day 2021: An Effort to Foster Inclusion through Multilingualism

Written by Safira Tafani Cholisi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Ever wonder how humans are able to come up with wonderful innovations and achieve progress by working together? None of this would be possible without the existence of language in our lives. Language is the way we communicate with each other and reach consensus or express disagreement. It facilitates the sharing of ideas on a wide range of areas: how to conduct our daily lives, how to build a common space and how to find the solutions to the problems we face together in the world. Sometimes, language also becomes a way for us to grow kinship with one another. Those who share a mother tongue may feel as if they are connected to their roots, culture, history and traditions. When a parent recounts a folklore in their mother tongue while putting their child to sleep, it is not only a language but also an important piece of cultural identity and knowledge that is being passed down from one generation to another.

However, the disappearance of spoken traditional languages has recently become one of the greatest challenges to our world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 43% of the 6000 spoken languages in the world are facing the danger of extinction (UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 2021). While a lot of factors influence the emergence of this threat to languages, the most observable reason is because the lack of space given for these languages to be practiced. Standardized schools across nations are favouring several languages on the basis of preserving national unity or the usefulness of languages such as English, Chinese, Spanish and French to conduct business around the globe. As children begin schooling and learn specific languages formally, their chances to speak and practice their mother tongue are significantly reduced. Having been adapted to the world of modern languages, children can grow up struggling to maintain their command in their mother tongue. 

Indonesia itself houses approximately 718 languages, some of which are preserved through spoken practices instead of written (Sukma, 2021). The large number of languages spoken in the country has become one of the most known symbols of Indonesia’s cultural and linguistic diversity. Although Bahasa Indonesia is used as a universal language in the country, every region and individual is still commonly practicing their mother tongue. And yet, today’s easier access to technology and media poses another challenge that looms over the efforts to preserve the richness of language diversity in Indonesia. Especially for children in the urban areas, their mother tongue is being spoken less as common languages such as Bahasa Indonesia and English are becoming more mainstream. Without children and teenagers having proficiency of their own mother tongue, it is only inevitable that more traditional languages go extinct without having the newer generations preserve and carry them on.

To address this danger as well as promote multilingualism and cultural diversity, the International Mother Language Day is celebrated every February the 21st since 2002. The initiative was made by UNESCO not only for the purposes of preservation, but also to educate the public on the significance language holds in supporting development through communication. This year, the theme of “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society” is adapted to ensure that language becomes one of the bridges to unite people from different backgrounds (International Mother Language Day, 2021). When it comes to communities living in rural and remote areas, communicating with them using their mother tongue can bridge the cultural gap and provide space for meaningful conversations and engagement. To maintain peace and guarantee an inclusive world for all, the International Mother Language Day is a way for us to ensure this so that no more languages are erased and that everyone’s part of a culture, tradition and heritage is conserved. 

References

International Mother Language Day. (2021). Retrieved 6 February 2021, from https://www.un.org/en/observances/mother-language-day

Sukma, B. (2021). Keragaman Bahasa di Indonesia: Kelemahan atau Kekuatan?. Retrieved 6 February 2021, from https://labbineka.kemdikbud.go.id/bahasa/konten/berita/3ef815416f775098fe977004015c6193

UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. (2021). Retrieved 6 February 2021, from http://www.unesco.org/languages-atlas/en/statistics.html

Indonesia’s Digital Divide: Disconnected Amidst a Pandemic

Written by Dara Ayu Ariane, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people around the globe to be confined within the safety of their homes. With schools and offices closed under strict health protocols, children and adults have to adapt to remote working and learning arrangements. And yet, not everyone has the same privilege to keep in track with the digital world. 

Although Indonesia ranks 6th in Network Readiness Index for Southeast Asian countries (as cited in Iswara, 2020), the gap between rural and urban internet access remains a great challenge. With Information and Communications Technology indicators made by Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology stating the comparison of those with internet access between rural and urban areas as being consecutively 26,3% and 48,5% (as cited in Hadi, 2018), there is an apparent need to address this digital divide.

The difference in opportunity of accessing information will highly affect the region’s economic growth and social development, especially during these dire times. It was all hands on deck as the government implemented new strategic efforts in mitigating the negative impacts that has been brought upon by the pandemic. 

During the Southeast Asia Development Symposium, the Minister of Finance stated that the government has provided electricity subsidies for the bottom 40% of the population, free internet for students, teachers, and educators, as well as a 35,000km long fiber optic network (Kementrian Keuangan, 2020). And yet, without proper assistance, these government efforts would be in vain as economically vulnerable citizens prioritize getting food on the table instead of utilizing the internet access properly, on top of that, the lack of internet literacy that most middle to lower class groups often struggle with further adds onto this issue. 

But this does not mean we, as individuals, are unable to offer a helping hand. With its notion “Everyone can do good”, Project Child Indonesia successfully conducted the Online Learning Assistance program last year.

It managed a total of 21 online and offline classes in three Sekolah Sungai communities in Code river, Winongo River and Gajah Wong River. The program has helped more than 80 children, 14 volunteers, and 3 (three) interns in the span of three months starting from September until November 2020. Its weekly online learning tutorials done by volunteers for the children in the communities are one of the ways to help children with school tasks and understand their educational materials better. 

To continue helping underprivileged communities in Yogyakarta, this year Project Child Indonesia is ready to kick-start the program once again. Tutoring sessions are now focusing on environmental study material and weekly online tutoring sessions will be utilizing Zoom meetings with small groups of children in one session to ensure the program will still adhere to safety and health guidelines. 

Did you sign up for this year’s volunteer recruitment? If you missed the registration period, don’t worry because you can still make your mark!

 If you’re very much curious in this issue and want to further understand the mitigations that we can do, The Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UN and the International Labor Organization will organize a virtual event with the theme of “A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy”. Not only to commemorate this year’s World Day of Social Justice, but also create a platform for discussions on what we can do in order to overcome the digital divide, provide decent work opportunities, and protecting labor rights in the modern era of digital technologies.

What are you waiting for? Set a reminder for February 23rd 10 am (EST) and watch the live event on the UN Web TV!

References:

Iswara, M. A. (2020, May 19). Disconnected: Digital divide may jeopardize human rights. The Jakarta Post. Retrieved from https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/05/18/disconnected-digital-divide-may-jeopardize-human-rights.html

Hadi, A. (2018, July 1). Bridging Indonesia’s digital divide: Rural-urban linkages?. Jurnal Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik, 22(1), 17-33. DOI: 10.22146/jsp.31835

Kementrian Keuangan. (2020, October 22). Pemerintah berusaha mempersempit kesenjangan digital. Retrieved from https://www.kemenkeu.go.id/publikasi/berita/pemerintah-berusaha-mempersempit-kesenjangan-digital/

Teach Tolerance, End The Violence

Written by Vina Dina Fitriana, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Have you listened to a song titled Heal The World? If you’ve never listened to that song, then you’re definitely missing out! It’s a peaceful and heart-warming song, written and sung by Michael Jackson to persuade the listeners to create a more peaceful world with compassion and tolerance between religions, ethnicities, and countries.

Tolerance is the key to creating a peaceful and safe environment for the human race. Tolerance between religions, ethnicities, and countries are important to prevent discrimination and civil war. How many cases of bullying occur because someone is perceived as different? How often is an ethnic or race being discriminated because of their skin color, religion, or because of the past mistakes of their ancestors? Those who are different and a minority because of their ethnic, religion, skin color or appearance are frequently bullied and treated unequally.

Bullying and discrimination are not a new case, but why haven’t they been resolved?

“Tolerance, like any aspect of peace, is a forever work in progress, never completed”

-Octavia Buttler

Tolerance is a forever work in progress because humans are social creatures who need each other and always live side by side. So, we need to be tolerant since we were young until we become elderly and it’s become necessary to teach tolerance from a young age in order to make children get used to being tolerant, because tolerance is an important behaviour and attitude. According to Rady Children’s Hospital’s page, tolerance means respecting and learning from others, valuing differences, bridging cultural gaps, rejecting unfair stereotypes, discovering common ground, and creating new bonds. Children need to be given the understanding that The Creator created humans in a wide variety and always live side by side. There are many possibilities for them to meet friends who are different from them, and they need to accept the diversity.

We can teach tolerance to children by giving examples of how to live with tolerance. Children learn by imitating and listening to people around them. Hence, we urge ourselves to be tolerant first and pay attention to our attitudes or what we said, so we could be a role model for our children. Moreover, with the development of technology, we can teach children through books, music, films or games. If it’s possible, we can prepare children to live side by side with a diverse environment by sending them to schools which have many ethnicities and religions. Perhaps it could be a good idea if we can choose two or more children as a representative to lead a peer group discussion about tolerance and remind each other as Project Child Indonesia did.

“We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion”

-Mother Teresa

It’s already 2021, the diversity among us is getting wider. While things are dynamic and fast, there is no need to point a gun to make others obey us, no need to use violence to make others agree with our opinion, and no need for hate speech to tell someone is wrong. What we need is mutual understanding, love and compassion for others to create peace.

Isn’t it great to live peacefully? Live with the feeling of safety and sound to grow and develop according to what we want, believe, and what we truly are. No matter where we are from, what race we are, how much money we have, what religion we trust, we are one. We are human. Together we bring peace to our universe, we create a safe place for our children to grow up and be themselves. We don’t have the capacity to judge others and tell them they did wrong. Let’s embrace cultural tolerance and make the world a better place to live.

Picture by: Era.id

The Trend of Using “Batik” Among Young People

Written by Mikhael Sianturi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

For a certain period of time, Batik was a trending fashion choice among the youngsters. Initiated by some videos on TikTok with the hashtag #batikoutfitchallenge, many people blend Batik onto their modern choice of attire. Apparently, the trend attracted a lot of attention, especially in younger generations.

So. What is this trend, exactly? Why is it trending? And how is this treasuring one of our country’s great icons despite the criticism?

The Answers

The trend is very self-explanatory from its hashtag, #batikoutfitchallenge. It is a challenge to blend in a Batik with the person’s casual outfit. The most common combination is a black tee on the upper  half and a Batik on the bottom one circling the wearer’s waist. On a male, the Batik usually covers the person’s thighs. Meanwhile, on a female, the Batik usually reaches the shinbone, almost like a skirt. However, these two are just two examples of more variations out there. 

However, like any other trend, there are always two sides: the pros and the cons. The pros exist mostly in the original place where the trend was born, TikTok, who really supported the idea of blending Batik in their casual attire. The cons arose on Facebook where people criticized the trend for its false method in wearing the Batik.

A lot of Tiktok users supported the idea. Many people view the trend as cool and inspiring. Hence, they also feel the need to do the challenge and show off their take to bring Batik touches to their choice of outfit. 

However, a pro will never complete without a con. Many people criticized the trend for several reasons. Two common ones are the ‘wrong’ method of putting on the Batik and promoting local values being seen as a disguise to simply gain exposure. Quite often, the criticizers used offensive words in their ‘critiques’. Of course, this only added more popularity to the trend, though it is not the best way to do it.

The Silver Lining

However, for the sake of positivity, let us squeeze every ounce of it from this trend. Batik is and has always been a great icon in this country, so great that wearing one would be regarded as a very formal choice of fashion. You can see them in weddings, conferences, and other formal events. Extending that area to a non formal territory would surely be beneficial for the promotion of Batik itself because people do not attend formal events every day. Some people criticize how Batik and modern casual outfits do not go well together. However, since people do not wear them to attend formal events, to blend them with every day modern outfit is inevitable. 

Another ounce of positivity we can extract from here is the fact that the trend exists among younger generations. They have always been the one regarded as the hardest to carry on the country’s great icon. But here they are, wearing them proudly on more frequent daily occasions. 

Of course, a result from this is the promotion of Batik itself. Promoting Batik will not only draw interest and appreciation from foreign people, it will ensure a longer life to itself. As proud Indonesians, we cannot really say no to this, right?

February: A Month of Love for Vitamin A

Written by Vina Dina Fitriana, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

February is known as the month of love because on 14th of February some of us celebrate Valentine’s Day. But in Indonesia, especially in the medical field, February is not only a month of love. This month also commemorates the supplementation of vitamin A for children in the age of 6-59 months and postpartum mothers. Administration of vitamin A capsule is one of the public health strategies to prevent and overcome vitamin A deficiency in toddlers. The delivery of vitamin A capsule is a routine health service, given every six months in February and August.

Doses of Vitamin A Capsule

Supplementation of vitamin A capsule is given every 6 months in a large dose because vitamin A is well-absorbed, can be stored in the liver and able to be used as needed for approximately the next 4 to 6 months. There are two types of capsule, the blue capsule which has 100.000 International Units (IU) of vitamin A for infants 6-11 months of age, and the red capsule has 200.000 IU of vitamin A for children 12-59 months of age. The capsules are delivered in health care services like integrated health care centres (posyandu), hospitals, public health centres, etc.

Why Children Should Take Vitamin A Supplementation Every 6 Months

The aim of vitamin A supplementation is to prevent vitamin A deficiency which might cause visual impairment (night blindness) and increase the risk of infections and mortality. Vitamin A has many important roles for children. It is essential to help their vision process when adapting from a bright place to a dark place, avoid children from having xerosis conjunctiva and bitot’s spot and plays roles in the immune system, growth, and development. Hence, parents need to pay attention to the adequacy of vitamin A and take vitamin A supplementation every 6 months for children in the age of 6-59 months.

Vitamins That Our Children Need

Besides vitamin A, our children need 12 other types of vitamins which are important for their bodies. There are 13 types of vitamins that the human body needs, and they are divided into 2 groups, fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamin consists of:

  1. Vitamin A

    Vitamin A can be found in liver, egg yolk, green vegetables and yellow or orange fruits. Vitamin A has many important roles for our body and has been mentioned before

  2. Vitamin D

    Our body can get vitamin D from sunlight and food such as egg, butter and fish liver oil. Vitamin D plays a role in bone formation and builds strong bones.

  3. Vitamin E

    The main function of vitamin E is as a fat soluble antioxidant and mostly found in plant oil, especially seeds oil like soybean seed oil, corn oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.

  4. Vitamin K

    Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting and bone formation. It’s found in liver, green leafy vegetables, peas, chickpeas, and broccoli. 

The second group of vitamins is water soluble vitamins, it consists of:

  1. Vitamin C

    Vitamin C has so many functions for the body such as in wounds healing, helping the absorption of calcium and iron, preventing infection and as an antioxidant to prevent cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C is most common in fruits and vegetables, particularly those which have sour flavor.

  2. Vitamin B

    There are 8 kinds of vitamin B, vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic Acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), dan B12 (cobalamin). Each of them has different functions for our body.

A human’s body has a complex mechanism to survive and carry out its functions as it should. Vitamins themselves are substances that are slightly needed by the body but have many important roles. Vitamin adequacy in children needs to be highly considered because children are prone to infection which can cause mortality and still in their growth and development. Therefore, parents are expected to pay more attention to what their children consume and how their food is made. In this month of love, let’s give attention to our children’s health and nutritional needs as a gift to express our love!

Sources:

Adriani, M & Bambang W.  2012. Pengantar Gizi Masyarakat. Jakarta: Kencana

Almatsier, Sunita. 2010. Prinsip Ilmu Gizi Dasar. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka

WHO. Guideline: Vitamin A Supplementation in Infants and Children 6–59 Months of Age. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2011

World Cancer’s Day

Written by Mikhael Sianturi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

I Am and I Will

World Cancer’s Day is today! It is the 4th of February! Commemorated to remind the danger of cancer and those who are suffering from it, the special date has a worldwide audience since cancer may attack anyone. Each year, the date has a new motto or theme. The disastrous 2020’s motto was “Progress is Possible”, and the year before that was “Commitment to Act”. This year’s is “I am and I will.”

We can see this theme in the website of the date itself at worldcancerday.org. With its theme, the web encourages people to define who they are and what they can do to make a future free of cancer. It’s a powerful motto considering no matter who we are or what we do, if we all unite and pull an act, surely a large impact is a guarantee.

We are Intelligent People and We Will Act!

First started in the year 2000, the death statistic caused by cancer prior to this year was already horrifying. According to ourworldindata.org, 5.7 million people died from various types of cancer. In 2017, 9.6 million people died, which means there was a 66% increase. However, despite that ugly number, there is a better chance for surviving the disease. From the same source, it shows that throughout from 1990 to 2017, there is a 15% downfall of the death rate standardized by age. It is a small number, considering it took us 27 years to reach this number.

Hence, this is where the motto for this year’s World Cancer’s Day comes in, “I Am and I Will”. A bigger number will be more than achievable if all of us joint force. The simplest action may start from simply learning what cancer itself and informing others. Cancer is a disease in which cells grow abnormally and create an alien mass of tissue namely tumor. It is already a common piece of knowledge, but not everyone is caring enough to implement that piece in their lives. Once again, this can change if people unite and start spreading awareness that is enough to make people both aware and care.

Once you and your friends are packed with knowledge regarding our arch enemy, cancer, here is the arsenal of weaponry that we can use to prevent cancer. According to mayoclinic.org, preventing cancer is not the hardest task in the world. The site suggests to avoid tobaccos, have a healthy diet, be physically active, protect yourself from harsh midday sunlight, practice safe sex, avoid needles, and of course, seek regular medical checkup. If you probably already practice some of these in your life, or even all them, congratulations! If not, you might want to consider your decisions again.

When it comes to treating cancer itself, it is always a trip to the hospital. There is no need to address the different kinds of methods used to treat cancer here. Other than the fact they are expensive, a one-way trip is very possible. Let’s not let cancer win and banish it for good!

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/cancer-prevention/art-20044816

https://ourworldindata.org/cancer

Online Learning Assistance Project: Helping Children Education in a Pandemic

Written by Project Child Indonesia

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disproportionately affected marginalized communities in Indonesia. After the spread of the virus was officially announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Indonesian government conducted a policy about changing the offline learning system in school into distance learning. However, the unequally distributed access to education, forcing the children of the urban poor to encounter hardship in receiving their academic needs. As an example, the marginalized groups in our Sekolah Sungai communities on the banks of Code River, Winongo River, and Gajah Wong River, Yogyakarta, whose general occupations are sellers, laborers, housewives, security guards, freelancers, ride-hailing drivers, and scavengers, it is a struggle for them to facilitate a conducive learning environment for their children. The at-home learning constraints are due to the low either no preparedness of students, teachers, and parents for distance learning, limited internet access, and computer ownership (according to data from Statistics Indonesia 2019, computer ownership in Indonesia at the household level is 20.05% and internet coverage is 66.22%).

Other than parents struggling to afford the gadget facilities and internet data packages purchase, parents are facing issues to provide supervision and guidance to support distance learning. Truth is, not all parents have the privilege to provide such learning assistance, both in terms of time and skills, and this has been proven by testimonials through our research on the field. A testimonial coming from Lani, a 4th-grade elementary school student who lives on the banks of the Gajahwong River, “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.” Another supporting statement coming from the father of Meisya, a 4th-grade elementary school student in Kampung Jetisharjo, by the Code River, “I cannot 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.” Moreover, teachers from formal schools provide assignments for distance learning, but not necessarily equipped to explain the subject materials to children. With a pupil-teacher ratio of 12.68, parental guidance is necessary.

Reflecting on the presented reality and based on the socio-economic analysis, Project Child Indonesia initiated the Online Learning Assistance project to help ease the challenges of children and parents to comprise education concern on children of the vulnerable communities in three riverbank communities of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia that are hit the most. 

Project Child Indonesia through the Online Learning Assistance provides online and offline tutor sessions by our volunteers to children in our Sekolah Sungai communities to help them do their school tasks and understand the school material better. Project Child Indonesia has collaborated with one of the internet data providers in Indonesia to provide affordable internet data quota to support the online learning activities of the children as well as launched a gadget donation campaign to support the online learning process. The project wants to ensure the well-being of the community especially the children amid the pandemic and the project is a form of adjustment of our main program, Sekolah Sungai, to overcome the COVID-19 struggle and uncertainty.

This year, the Online Learning Assistance project has been completed and conducted a total of 21 online and offline classes in three Sekolah Sungai communities in Code River, Winongo River, and Gajah Wong River. It has helped more than 80 children, 14 volunteers, and 3 (three) interns for three months of September, October, and November 2020. Thank you for the great help and support of our collaborators to make this project a reality. In 2021, we will continue to support the children in the river communities through this project and will be very glad to be able to cooperate with everyone who wants to support our cause.

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?