Help the Teachers in Need

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

It’s been three months since I am stuck at home, preferring not to go out rather than risking my health amids the coronavirus pandemic. I am very lucky to be able to stay home and continue my learning online. Since my university shut down its offline classes last March, online classes had been in full swing. My lecturers, although not many of them are internet savvy, have been able to conduct online classes without any difficulties.

Unfortunately, not all teachers, lecturers, and students are lucky. Many out there are unable to gain access to an electronic device, more or less accessing the internet. As students, it might be difficult to continue learning, but for teachers and lecturers, the inability to access the internet might cost them their life. There are many stories out there about teachers and lecturers that are not a permanent part of the educational institution. They work as contract workers, so there is not much compensation from the school or even the government if they lose their job.

These teachers are considered as public servants. They work to serve the public: students. Without them, many students would not be able to get an education at all. If children don’t get proper education, what will they become in the future? 

Teachers are vital to the education field, but also they are the ones who are hit the hardest during this pandemic. With the shift in learning methods and their situation of not being able to access the internet, there isn’t much hope for them. If they stop teaching, they immediately lose their source of income.

As privileged citizens, it is time for us to pay back our teachers. They volunteer to teach the future of our nations, it is only fair for us to support their efforts too. There are ways in which we can help:

  1. Write to the government

As individuals, we cannot do much to change the lives of those contract teachers. However, as an institution, the government surely can. We can always use our voice in this democratic nation to help increase the chance of livelihood for those teachers.

  1. Donate, donate, donate!

There’s always a chance for you to do good through donations. This is one of the open donations that you can donate your money to: https://kitabisa.com/campaign/santunanguruhonorer. No matter how much your donation is, it will always be useful and what’s wrong with sharing your blessings, right?

If you ever feel like you don’t have anything to do with the fate of those contract teachers, just remember the face of your favorite teacher. The one who helped you during your school years and educated you to be who you are today. Imagine if the fate of your favorite teacher is the same as those contract teachers, would you still be quiet about it? As a functioning member of society, you have received kindness that your teachers gave to you, now it is time for you to share those kindnesses.

Reference:

How to Help: Ending Child Labor

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

Do you remember your childhood? Was it happy? Were you able to have fun with your friends and family, buy toys, and eat whatever you wish? If yes, then you are very very very lucky. You are most likely the only one among ten children to have the privilege to do so. In Africa and Asia, the other nine children have to work hard and are often exploited as a laborer. These children have to work to support their family instead of working on their dreams. Often, they also become the victim of human trafficking and sexual abuse.

The issue of child labor has been nagging on our society for years. Without the proper surveillance and laws, it will be impossible to end it. As citizens, we can urge the government to create better laws to fight this issue. However, having surveillance and better laws is the diplomatic way to end it. We have to use a personal approach as well. Laws and surveillance will not increase the children’s life quality, it will only help against their cases. We have to help in bettering their education so that they have higher chances to be successful in life. Material help such as money and food can’t last very long, but education can. Changing the mindset of these children will contribute a lot, not only for the children individually but for national development as well.

A simple way that you can do to help personally is volunteering. Every child deserves education and if you can help to provide them with it, why not? Volunteering for an organization or program that helps to provide education for children such as Project Child Indonesia’s Sekolah Sungai is a very noble action. You’ll help to give access to education for these children and you’ll play a role in helping them achieve their dreams. It might be a small help, but it will give impact to the children, no matter how small. 

You can help, no matter how. There will always be a way that you can help.

References:

Alone Together: Our Future in a Cyber Society Post Covid-19

Written by : Devina Prima Kesumaningtyas, Intern Research Project Child Indonesia

After President Joko Widodo announced that there were two people infected by COVID-19, everyone uproared with this news. People start to panic buying, and then the scarcity of disinfectants, masks, and alcohol hand rub. Also, everyone becomes aware to wash their hand regularly. Ironically, the pandemic evokes people’s awareness how importance it is to implement good personal hygiene such as to wash their hands and to not touch their face with dirty hands. 

Now everyone starts to reduce their activities outside their homes. The hashtag stay at home and work from home or WFH are viral on social media. This is to remind people to not doing activities outside the home except it is essential and encourage people to keep two meters distance because to reduce the risk of virus contagion. Many applications such as Google class and Zoom are used by people since physical interaction is not possible, such as teaching, seminars, and meetings are carried out using this application. But do you know if this pandemic is kind of a trial for humans about the future of our society in technology, which makes humans themselves have no limits?  

There is one interesting book that has ever talked about human life side by side with technology. This book explains how people build technology with the purpose to help human’s job. Humans are accustomed to creating a variety of artificial intelligence that can facilitate human activities. In industrial 4.0 era, the technology was able to replace human to some extent. And now, people have become so dependent on technology, smartphones with various applications in it have changed the way people work, even the way humans interact.

From this explanation, let us step back for a moment, to a time when the communication and information system was not as fast as it is now. We had to wait for weeks or even months to find out news from someone who lived in different city. Humans sent letters to communicate with people who are far away from them. Likewise, news that can be accessed through newspapers. There were more effort to send messages and to know what was happening around the world. So that human tried to invent ways to have better and communication system, until the discovery of satellites which are the key to changing the long-distance communication system by humans.

Now everything has changed, we had advanced communication technology and its have an impact on human behavior itself. I think millennials know how it feels to texting during their childhood and even their young teens. From shortened messages to save credit, or only text at certain hours, because there are promos and freebies from certain providers. All of that is part of the evolution of human behavior in communication. Now we have facilitated the existence of video call services and even conference calls that allow many people from various corners of the earth to communicate in one big forum, without having to leave their place.

I think COVID-19 becoming trials for humans to live their life in a cyber society. Before this pandemic appeared there were already many borderless jobs, where we no longer need to go to the office just to have a meeting or do our work. Working remotely has become commonplace at this time. Companies do not need to have a large office building. That could only be a mere formality after all meetings and work can be handled through social media. Likewise in the future learning system, maybe school buildings will be quiet and empty because their students can learn on their own via the internet. This pandemic looks to prepare us to live in a new condition when everyone doesn’t need physical interaction.

Manuel Castell once wrote that Several major social, technological, economic, and cultural information came together to give rise to a new form of society”. This quote is taken from his book entitled The Rise of Network Society. The quote illustrates that the shape of our society may change with the times, technological advancements, and an increasingly advanced economy. Our society, which is usually connected in the real world, might turn into a virtual society. After all, this has happened when the rise of social media such as Whatsapp, Line, Instagram, and so on. COVID-19 pandemic is a kind of trial for many people to live their life as a part of cyber society. And we never know what’s going to happen after this pandemic. I think this pandemic will change the way human interaction. And our technology developed also our culture value always changed following the technology itself. 

And now we still don’t know when this pandemic will end. Maybe the vaccine has been found, but it’s still in a trial period that takes a year or more. And then this time was uncertainty for every human. But now the question is, are humans ready to change the way they interact with fellow humans? Maybe after this pandemic ends it will affect the way we interact with others. The habit of not coming into contact with others may also still be left in the minds of each of us, giving rise to its fears for humans. Humans may still say hello, but they can’t be as close as before the pandemic appeared. Reporting from the BBC News Indonesia website Anthony Fauci, a Head of the National Institute in the US for the problem of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said so, “I think we should not shake hands again.” The phrase shows that physical contact made by humans is no longer needed, given there will be many possible diseases that can be transmitted from physical contact between humans. Not to mention the possibility that this virus can mutate into a virus that is even more resistant to any drug. The worst, if these pandemics never end, then what happens is, humans will not be able to interact directly and make physical contact, and humans will be alone, together.

References: 

Sherry Turkle : Alone Together :Why We expect More from T e c h n o l o g y and Less from each other

Manuel Castell : The Network Society A Cross-cultural Perspective

BBC Indonesia :  Virus Corona: Apakah Covid-19 Akan Membuat Kebiasaan Jabat Tangan Punah?

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/vert-cap-52283322

The Earth is Burning, But You Can Help!

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

Do you notice that the earth is getting hotter and hotter every time? Not to mention the random heavy rain in a dry season? Without us noticing, the earth is burning up. Last year, there was the incident of the Amazon forest burning up. This year, Australian bushfire happened. Rainforests in Kalimantan were also burning up due to the intense heat. These incidents are not an incident at all, it all could’ve been prevented. It was our fault, humans fault. We exploit the environment and when nature is trying to get us back, we are left helpless. In all those forest fires, millions of animals lost their home and their life. Millions of plants burnt to ashes. Now, more than one million animals and plants are in the brink of extinction. All because of our ego. We take, take, and take without ever giving back.

Regardless of whether you actually care or not, you can do something. You live here too, the least you can do is help to take care of our earth. It doesn’t have to be a drastic measure, small things if being done continuously will end up being a huge help.

Here are some things that you can do to help and it’s free, so you have no excuse not to do it!

  1. Walk, walk, walk. Walking will decrease carbon footprint because you literally emit 0 harmful gas to the air. If you must go somewhere far and it’s possible to be done, take public transportation, you’ll share the carbon footprint of the vehicle.
  1. Stop using plastic. Plastic harms the ocean and the land. It pollutes the water and land, it destroys the balance in nature. Not to mention it also disturbs animals’ food chain. Straws is not the only problem, though. Single use plastic bags and plastic cups are a bigger threat to the environment. Exchange the plastics with reusable cups, bags, and straws.
  1. Recycle! Separate your trash bins. Recycle the plastics and paper and reuse the organic trash. Waste management helps the air, water, and land pollution.

We only have one planet, there is nothing else. If we don’t take care of it, it will turn its back on us and we have nowhere to go. Take care of it now, take small steps but give big impacts.

References: https://swikblog.com/world-environment-day-2020-theme/

Why a Balanced Diet can Help your Immune System to Prevent Infected by COVID-19

Written by : Peeters, Former Community Engagement Project Child Indonesia

As the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 as a global pandemic resulting in countries grappling with imminent dangers that this virus poses to humanity, there are very few measures that individuals can take to fight this pandemic.

Indonesia currently ranks first in Covid-19 mortality rate in Asia. Data shown from John Hopkins University states that due to its poor public health management and regional disparities within its health system, the mortality rate spikes to 8-9 percent. And as a result of widespread testing absence as a matter of precaution, Indonesia has also put 27,549 patients under strict observation for suspected coronavirus infection.

During disease outbreaks, such as today, it is always the most vulnerable and marginalized communities who suffer the most. The lack of high testing rate, tight biosurveillance, solid contract tracing and sufficient hospital capacity, marginalized communities in Indonesia are in jeopardy.

Project Child Indonesia is supporting the community and the government to a certain extent to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among vulnerable and marginalized communities through promotion of healthy food information  that leads to behavior change.

Hence, what have we learned to prevent ourselves from being infected by the virus? We have learned to prevent ourselves from Covid-19 by taking simple daily precautions such as washing your hands, practicing social and/or physical distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep, are several ways to lower risk of infection.

While it is crucial to mention hygiene standards, there are also certain methods to improve your immunity which is paramount at this juncture. The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes that have evolved to protect the body from disease. More than 70% of the body’s immunity is located in the intestinal digestive system. Because of that, intestinal health is one of the keys to maintaining endurance.

Hence, the question arises, how can one boost their immune system or maintain a healthy gut and/or intestinal health to fight Covid-19?

It is a tough question, indeed, mainly because the immune system is not a single-system that can be measured easily, as mentioned prior. It’s an intricate and delicate system with many different variables.

Although no research has been done on foods that help fight against  Covid-19 specifically. There are previous studies that have found consuming certain foods can help improve your gut health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Optimal intestinal health should be considered, especially during times like this. As having too many” bad “bacteria in the gut has been linked to various problems, including allergies, autoimmune disorders and maybe even anxiety and depression.

Research shows, when the number of probiotics Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in the intestine decreases, it will cause an imbalance in the intestine (Gut Dysbiosis). This will reduce the body’s production of immune substances (IgA, CD4 +, B and T, IL-10 lymphocyte cells) by probiotics.

As a result, viruses that enter the body cannot be killed by the body’s macrophages. Hence, if inflammatory reactions occur, especially in the lungs, it will be progressive. As a result of the more severe symptoms of shortness of breath due to Covid-19 will aggravate and worsen and decrease oxygen flow throughout the body.

  1. Tempeh (Fermented Soybean Cake)

This particular food made from fermented soybeans contains a significant number of health benefits, such as proteins that help build and repair muscles tissues.

  1. Kombucha

This slightly fizzy and acidic tea does not only contain probiotics, but also contains B vitamins, which help support the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that does not only contain probiotics, but also a rich  source of calcium and protein.

  1. Sauerkraut

Pickled cabbage is the result of lactic acid fermentation, the process by which bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid. By consuming pickled cabbage it would help keep the intestines healthy by preventing the development of bad bacteria. Furthermore, one cup of sauerkraut provides about 30 calories and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. This food also provides fiber and iron.

  1. Yogurt

A great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system, it is also effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections. Yogurt contains live and active cultures including lactobacillus bulgaricus. Lactobacillus bulgaricus is able to produce lactic acid which helps fight bad bacteria.

  1. Probiotic Supplements

In any case that you are unable to consume food that is rich in probiotics due to unavailability or any other reasons, there is always an option of consuming probiotic supplements. 

This is the time to look at your lifestyle and see what you are capable of changing. Proper hand sanitation is the number one method of control, but you can do more than just that. But remember, it is not about consuming all the healthy food at once, but rather a balanced diet of healthy food.

A Letter from Me to You: Smoking is No Good, Peeps!

May 31st, 2020

Dearest Readers,

Years ago, my uncle was a heavy smoker. He was an amazing uncle for his tiny nieces. He took me and my sister to parks, bought us candies, and played with us. As a kid, I love our playtime, but I hate his smell so much. He never really directly smokes in front of us, per say. His clothes and body smelled like smoke though, and as I kid, I hate that so much. Smoke makes me suffocate in general and I dislike getting my hair smelled like smoke. At my aunts’ urging, I successfully convinced my uncle to stop smoking though the side effect of long term smoking habit had gotten its way with my uncle. His teeth are forever stained yellow from the chemicals inside the cigarettes and his voice had turned hoarse from inhaling smoke for too long.

Few months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about the rising price of cigarettes in Indonesia. Last I heard, the price for a pack of cigarettes is fifty thousand rupiah, which is a lot of money for some people. This friend that I was talking to is a junior of mine, so I’d thought that it would be quite difficult for him to afford cigarettes since it has become so expensive. Turned out, I could not be more wrong. He easily spent more than three hundred thousand rupiahs per week, just to buy cigarettes. As a non-smoker, I was surprised, flabbergasted even. A second-year college student is willing to spend Rp300.000,00 per week just to buy something that’s only going to be burned in minutes. When I asked why, he only said that his mouth feels weird if he doesn’t smoke, so he’s willing to sacrifice money for the cigarettes. No matter how much I argued with him about the side effect of smoking, he stood his ground. Like my uncle, at the age of twenty, his voice is already hoarse and he smells like a cigarette all the time.

When I was surfing the internet, I found lots and lots of cases of people having to have a hole in their throat to help them breathe because of how much damage that their smoking habit has caused. Many developed lung cancer because of it too. Not few even struggled economically to fulfill their smoking habit.

As a non-smoker, I don’t know how it feels to smoke or how addicting it is because I never want to find out. I value my health more than I enjoy short term stress relievers. I’d prefer to do something else like eating out with friends or watching cute dogs videos that have zero side effects on my health in order to relieve my stress.

Moreover, with the growing cases of coronavirus, which targets the lungs, your health is more important than ever! If you smoke, your antibody weakens because you willingly poison your body with dangerous chemicals that tobacco contains. I know that just to stop smoking immediately is not possible. It’s a process and I know you can do it. My uncle did it and he never smokes even once after that and he is beyond okay now. If you happen to be a non-smoker but have smokers near you, beware of the danger of secondhand smoking. It’s worse than directly being a smoker. Keep reminding the smokers not to smoke near you and if possible to stop smoking.

The health and economic effects of tobacco smoking is too big for you to take. There are a lot more useful things to buy than cigarettes. There are a lot of better things to do than smoking. By stopping smoking, you help the earth with air pollution, you help yourself and people around you with your health and their health, plus you help your own wallet with less miscellaneous spending.

It’s not easy, but it is doable. Let’s stop smoking and save our earth, people you  love, and yourself.

Sincerely,

Me who worry about you <3

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

Technological Advances for Your Benefit

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Project Child Indonesia

Today we celebrate World Telecommunication Society Day. It’s all about how technology has helped in our daily communication. In the 1800s, it was unimaginable for people to even have the idea of using lamps. Simply because electricity was not yet found. People live their everyday life without worry that their activities will be halted because the electricity has been cut. After all, they don’t even have one. Nowadays, it is unimaginable for us to not have electricity. Everything we do and use is connected to electricity. Our lives will come to a stop if there is any electricity cut.

In the late 1800s, Alexander Graham Bell founded telephone, and later in the early 1900s, Eric Tigerstedt founded a pocket-size folding phone. Now, a hundred years later, after the first portable phone is invented, our phones are smarter than ever. The invention of the internet in the late 1900s helps enhance the quality of our mobile phones nowadays. As a generation of internet users, it must be difficult for us to comprehend the idea of not being able to google something.

The invention of mobile phones and the internet have created a fast-paced society. Information sharing can be done across the globe in less than half of a second. This proves to be an advantage for our generation. People from different countries and continents can easily communicate and exchange their opinions through the internet.

With everything turned into an online form due to the COVID 19 pandemic, remote communications prove to be more important than ever. This pandemic has also sped technological reformation to the extent that was thought to be impossible before. The change into everything online also has its own challenges for the older generation. Sadly, the change is inevitable, and everyone has to learn to adapt sooner or later.

As a community, technological advances have helped us connect with each other. It is up to us to make and create something out of it. We cannot hide behind the protective shield of ‘I can’t understand technology and communication nowadays, so I might just as well give up’ forever. Those who are unwilling to adapt will be left behind. If, as an individual, we can adapt, these technological advances have proven to bring about many economic advantages as well. So, are you willing to utilize the technology for your benefit?

Peace in Trying Times

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Project Child Indonesia

Since 2017, UNESCO has been celebrating the International Day of Living Together in Peace. The day is celebrated in its relation to the UN 2030 Agenda: achieving world peace. For years, we have been living in constant fear of acts of hatred, tensions, rejection of others, and discriminations. Most of the time, economic issues and technological differences are the cause of the actions.

In Indonesia, we have not achieved the peace and tolerance that every individual should have experienced. There is an unseen tension between ethnic groups, religious groups, and political groups. Moreover, the wide social gap between social classes creates huge obstacles for us to overcome. Riots and demonstrations were not an uncommon practice. As citizens, sadly, we also have gotten used to displays of hate speech, hate-motivated bombing, and many more crimes that were committed as an act of hatred. It will take all of us, as Indonesian citizens, to eradicate this tension and to fight against those kinds of hate.

In this trying time, as a global citizen, it is time for us to build our tolerance and empathy. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? It will be challenging to create and maintain peace in society, moreover, with how diverse we are as a society. Though nothing is impossible. Babies were not born with hatred, they grew up to be a hateful person because of the influence of society. If we believe that everyone is inherently good, peace in society could be achieved. Tiny differences should not be the dividing force between us. 

This is the perfect time for us to pursue peace as an individual and a society. There will be more challenges such as economy difficulties, chaos in our daily life, and changes in technology. But, those challenges will only make the results sweeter, won’t it?

Safety and Health at Workplace: No. 1 Priority

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Project Child Indonesia

Working from home has been a privilege that not everyone can have. Healthcare workers, government officials, and those whose work are providing services for the general public cannot enjoy such luxury. Healthcare workers have to work to provide quality treatment for those who are sick, especially in this current pandemic. Government officials have to work to ensure quality service in every aspect of its citizens’ life and make sure that the economy is not collapsing. Even several social workers cannot work from home because there are so many people who do not even have homes and cannot care for themselves. 

This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work is more important than ever. Not only at hospitals, governmental buildings and various public places are at risk of infection spread. Police officers are not having less risk than healthcare workers. Sellers in the marker are not having less risk than government officials. This pandemic threatens us all, regardless of our workplace.

Awareness of safety and health at work demands to be increased as the pandemic becomes more and more life-threatening. As the government, we need to ensure the safety and health of our officials when they come to the workplace. As employers, we need to ensure the safety and health of our employees. Precaution and understanding the same ground rules need to be stated to everyone who works out of the house. If you have to go to work and you feel sick or you feel like you have symptoms of any sickness, please call in sick from work. It is better to be safe than risking infecting others at your workplace. If you own the workplace and you have employees coming in to work, some precaution might be needed. Checking everyone’s temperature and making sure everything is sterile and sanitized can be one of the ways you can prevent the spread of infection in your workplace. Educating your employees on how to stay safe, clean, and healthy is also highly needed. If you have provided all the necessary precaution, but failed to educate your employees of the importance of the precaution’s reinforcement, then the precaution will fail to be effective.

Going to work during this trying time might be difficult. If you have the privilege to stay at home, please do. If you have to go to work, please make sure to stay safe, healthy, and follow all the health instructions. As a part of a society, we can help to put an end to this outbreak. No matter how small and insignificant your contribution to the world right now, if there is something you can do to cut the pandemic chain, please do. Remember to always stay safe and healthy!

References:

  • https://www.un.org/en/observances/work-safety-day

8 Ways to Discipline Children Learn at Home during Corona Outbreak

Written by : Ade Indra GC – Volunteer Sekolah Sungai Winongo

A number of regions such as DKI Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Central Java, Aceh, Jambi, and several other regions decided to take time off activities at school and replace them with distance learning at home to prevent transmission of the coronavirus (the cause of COVID-19). There are a number of ways to discipline the children to learn at home during a corona pandemic. Distance learning at home means parents or caregivers have an important role to monitor children’s activities at home while school is closed.

If you cannot implement the distance learning system, children can be left behind compared to other students when school starts returning to normal. Not to mention, students such as 12th, 9th, and 6th grade students will look for the school and university to continue their study.

Here are some ways to discipline children to learn at home.

  1. Explain the situation
    Explain that studying at home is a form of corona virus transmission prevention. Crowded places like schools and other public spaces can increase the potential for virus transmission.
  2. Consultation with the teacher
    Also tell the child’s development while studying at home so the teacher can anticipate the next learning step.
  3. Make a regular schedule
    This schedule can follow the child’s learning schedule at school or create a new study schedule that is more flexible. For example, such as waking up regularly, bathing, eating breakfast, studying, resting and playing, and studying until the specified time, free activities, bathing, and sleeping.
  4. Study and work together
    Activities of parents who have to work from home can be combined with learning with children. Children will feel more just and encouraged to learn when parents also work together.
  5. Help children to learn
    Also help children to understand the material being learned. Explain well to children about what parents understand. If you don’t understand the learning material, don’t hesitate to ask the teacher or find the right source to explain the material to the child.
  6. Take advantage of online learning media (online)
    Parents can also apply online learning media provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture as well as a number of institutions that provide free access such as Zenius and Ruang Guru.
  7. Good atmosphere
    Create a comfortable atmosphere for work and study at home. Being active at home means having the freedom and freedom to explore. Parents can invite children to study in the family room or yard to get open air.
  8. Interspersed with fun activities
    So as not to be boring, always prepare fun activities with children. Fun activities such as playing video games and watching movies. Do not forget to encourage children to do physical activities and exercise during activities at home.

If you implement a way to discipline your children to study at home during the outbreak, it will be the same as your child when studying at school as usual. So that it does not interfere with your child’s achievement during school.