“Litter Culture”?

By Pixy Norman
Littering is everyone’s worst nightmare. When it comes to Indonesia, as an individual who was born and raised in this country, I have been taught at school how not to litter and keep our environment clean. But it is another story to get it embedded in our daily life. It has been proved to be a ‘not so easy task’. Personally, it took me years to understand the value of the nature and to respect it. Having to live in Cornwall, England for 3 years made me realize how different it is from where I come from. To me Pacitan is as beautiful as Cornwall; the scenic beaches, the green roads, the hills. But Pacitan is dirty and here we don’t really care about our garbage management.

It is proven that there were huge east Java scout campers. They arranged their pitch and tents in a very attractive manner while there is not a single trash can in sight. We managed to spot one away from the campers but not one within reach of those little hands of junior scouts. We are sure of their management system of organizing big event but the shameful fact of not educating those pity little generations is a disgrace to their own motto. Aren’t this camping weeks supposed to be a media to educate Indonesias future generations?

The irony is that this scout organization, which clearly understands and knows about the big problem of littering in our culture, has done nothing in order to change this embarrassing behavior. I have been reading through their professional website out of curiosity and I clearly found it written down in their guidelines that we should love, respect and embrace the nature. The campers stayed for nine days. Our frustration came on day one and lasted until day nine when I realized that being angry was no solution but instead doing something about it.

Witnessing the last few days there is clearly plenty of room for improvement. I just can not wait to start this project and hopefully gather everyone and talk about things which matter for the future of our environment.

Project Child has just started the Sekoah Pantai project in Pacitan and the program will emphasize on environmental education. These programs aim to raise environmental awareness especially among children in a school age.

Project Child Frohe Weihnachten

Donation event of the Kepler high school Freudenstadt

Every two years the Kepler-High school Freudenstadt organizes a fundraiser in the name of “Aktion Tagwerk” to support charitable and beneficial projects. Last year all children under the age of 14 participated in a charity run while the older kids worked for one day. Half of the money earned, has been donated to “Aktion Tagwerk”. Project Child, a charitable aid organization which offers free education to children and communities who live in poverty in Indonesia, received the other half of the money.

Recently Marvin Kiefer, Management of the sister organization Project Child Germany e.V., introduced the organization Project Child and furthermore explained specifically what happens to the donations once they reach Indonesia, to teachers and students of the Kepler high school.

Kepler Vortrag 1

Project Child is an aid organization located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which has put their focus on the education of children and their communities, who live below the poverty line. The emphases of the educational programs are on the topics of environment and health, which conduce to a sustainable improvement of the living situation of all partner communities. In Indonesia more than 43% of people live in poverty. This means that many families have to get by on a monthly budget of 20 Euros. Despite of most public schools in Indonesia being free of charge, covering the costs for buying all necessary materials is almost impossible for most families. In addition do most children have to go begging or working after school, to provide strongly needed support for the family’s income.

For Project Child education represents the „key to the chance for a better future“. They want to help children and parents individually by taking on the problems of the everyday life. “Helping people to help themselves” is the slogan, which means that no direct financial help is given, to prevent dependencies from developing. A sustainable and long-lasting cooperation with the communities should help those people.

The students of the Kepler high school are very proud of the collected sum of 5.978,97 Euro of donations, which enable Project Child to build a school building for the project “Sekolah Pantai”, translated Beach school, in Pacitan. With this project people this region can also benefit from the free educational program offered by Project Child. The construction is planned to start at the end of the raining season in April 2015. About only a month later the lessons will start.

After the presentation of Mr. Kiefer, all of the students were excited by the plans of the organization and proud to have been part of the building of a new school, if only indirectly by doing exhausting charity runs and hard work. Like Mr. Kiefer already said:” Everybody can help another person in his or her own way.”

Text: Sandra Umpierrez

Charity Run of the Anne-Frank high school Rheinau

On the 19th of December 2014, it was Marvin Kiefer’s pleasure to personally introduce Project Child and our project ‘Sekolah Sungai’ to the Anne-Frank high school in Rheinau Germany. During the school’s closing event before the Christmas holiday, the donation from the school to Project Child was officially handed over, and Marvin introduced what we are planning to implement in Indonesia with their support.

This summer, the 400 high school students organized a charity run during which they collected the incredible sum of 5.728,26 Euro. Project Child will use this donation to build a community building and classroom on the site of the beach school in Pacitan, as soon as the wet season ends in spring 2015. This community center and classroom, which will offer enough space for up to 50 people, is part of the proposed learning centre, and will include a library and pc work stations. Furthermore, this space will be used by teachers to prepare the classes that will be held not only at the centre itself, but also in more outer lying communities across the region of Pactian.

The Project Child team, also representing the children, wishes to thank the students for their superb commitment to help to improve education for the children of Pacitan. Additionally, we wish to thank all the regional sponsors who supported the charity run.

We are proud to have such an ambitious partner in the Anne-Frank high school, who Have chosen to assist with the development of Project Child and our work with the people of Indonesia in the long term.

Under water with our partner Diving Ocea

We thank the Foundation Diving Ocea for promoting Project Child !!

As both our organizations share the ideals of ocean conservation and environmental awareness we are glad to have a strong partner to exchange ideas and experiences about developing our educational programs in order to work hand in hand with Indonesian communities for cleaner beaches and oceans.

About Diving Ocea: Recently established and based in Yogyakarta (Central Java, Indonesia), this NGO is a voluntary organization concerned with activities relating to the environment and also pastimes. Diving, walking, trekking, discovering sites of exceptional beauty in an environmentally respectful and responsible manner.

First Aid Class

On the 24th of August 2014 two doctors from Germany joined the Monday class to teach the children the basics of first aid.

Since “Kricak Kidul” is a riverside community there are obviously some hazards that can occur on a daily basis. Cuts from walking barefoot in the water while fishing, because of sharp rocks, shattered glass, or old rusty nails are one of the most common health threats. The lack of education, especially among the youngest of the community, often disables them to take proper actions when somebody gets hurt. Badly treated wounds can be the cause of infections that ultimately lead to more severe illnesses.

The children where excited to meet the German doctors. After their formal introduction and a big round of applause, Dorina and Daniel taught the children about burns, open wounds, cuts, and cramps and how to behave when they face them. They also showed them what to do in case somebody chokes and how to measure someone’s pulse. The children were eargerly participating and also voluntered to do some excercises. During the class some of them were chosen to become “dokter kecil” (little doctors). They received a first aid kit and are the ones chosen to be consulted in case of accidents. You could really see that the children were very impressed by the presentation. Even after class most of them sat down together to measure each other’s pulse and discussing the necessary actions in case of emergency.

We would like to thank Dorina and Daniel for their visit and their presentation. They provided essential insights on how to make every day life in “Kricak Kidul” a lot safer.


Project Child Sekolah Sungai first aid class

Indonesian Children’s Day

The 23rd of July is “Hari Anak Nasional”, or Indonesian Children’s Day. Hari Anak is a day to focus on improving the lives of children by making them feel secure, valued and loved by involving them in community activities.

For Hari Anak 2014, “Project Child” hosted a “football day”, where the children from our Sekolah Sungai were taken to the local futsal field to play football. Leading the training session was Kristian Adelmund from Liga Indonesia Premier Division team PSS Sleman, also based in Yogyakarta.

We are happy to report that the football day was a huge success! The children had a fantastic time, running around after multiple balls flying around and diligently following Kristian’s direction. A few children were extremely determined to score a goal against a PSS Slemen player, often taking advantage of distraction and other foul play. After the session, the children flocked to Kristian for him to autograph their shirts and footballs.

Involvement in sport is a crucial facet of a child’s development. Many children, especially in developing countries, are often not motivated or educated about the importance of being physically active. Sport provides a fun, social way to remain active. Sport also teaches valuable skills including teamwork and social skills, and with conscious coaching, can also build self-confidence and self-esteem.

Many thanks to all the volunteers, especially Kristian, for making the day an absolute success! Terima kasih! Many Thanks & Vielen Dank also to “Education For Indonesia” who helped us through their support from Germany to have this event.


Project Child Sekolah Sungai sportsday

Free Health Check-Ups

“Project Child” has now provided Free Health Check-ups on two separate occasions for the people of “Kricak”. The first was held on Sunday the 5th of May 2013 and the most recent on Sunday the 23rd of February 2014. PCI collaborated with CIMSA UGM (Centre for International Medical Students Association, Gadjah Mada University) for this service. Dr. Didik Setyo Heriyanto Sp.PA, Ph.D and his medical students assessed each resident individually, for general health including blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and tuberculosis.

Meanwhile, the PCI volunteers taught the children the importance of using clean water. This is crucial in an area such as “Kricak” which is built on a river, as the river is misused as both a rubbish dump and a water source. Correct water use is a regular theme in PCI classes. Each child received their own bar of soap and had a healthy lunch.

Basic medicine and child food supplements were provided. In response to the 2014 Mount Kelud eruption, new face masks were also handed out to protect against volcanic ash.


Project Child healh check up

Cheap Bazaar

“Project Child” collected many generous donations of second-hand clothing and other household items from people around Yogyakarta, such as international exchange students, friends and from Olifant School Yogyakarta. PCI decided to set up a cheap ‘bazaar’ so that recipients would not be merely taking a ‘hand-out’, but rather, consider the need or value of each item. Every item was priced between IDR 1,000-10,000 (USD $0.10 – $1). PCI assisted the children as they busily set up their bazaar in “Kricak”, and sold the items to the parents. At the end of the bazaar, PCI collected and redistributed the money equally amongst the children, and discussed what it could be used for. This project was part of PCI’s ‘Zero Rupiah Project” campaign. PCI did not personally contribute or receive any money for this project.

Here are some of the things the children said:

“I usually go and help my father selling hand-made toys every Sunday, but this Sunday I wanted to do the bazaar, so the money I earned today I will give to my Dad.” – Deni, 8 years old.

“I’m going to put it in my ‘celengan’ (piggy-bank) to buy books and pens for next time at school.” – Yolanda, 10 years old.


Project Child Program

Natural Disaster Awareness and Precaution Day

Merapi volcano erupts on average every four years. The last eruption occurred in 2010, resulting in devastating flow-on effects to the riverside kampung in Yogyakarta. Millions of cubic metres of pyroclastic material were swept down the river, clogging and raising the level of sediment on the riverbed. Now, in the tropical wet season, the river is easily flooded and water overflows onto the low-lying lands of “Kricak”. The dangers of floods affect not only the simple infrastructure of the slum but are also a severe health risk to the Kricak people.

In July 2013, University Gadjah Mada held an international Summer School program to ‘enhance the role of young Health Professionals on Disaster Medicine and Management.’ This was an internationally recognised program, with students from Germany, Austria, Egypt, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Japan, Spain and Slovenia. PCI collaborated with this program for the opportunity to bring this expert, international-level knowledge to the “Kricak” children and parents in an interactive, easy-to-digest format. Also, for the first time, the “Kricak” community learnt how to perform First Aid. PCI believes it is fundamentally important to facilitate disaster awareness to vulnerable communities that live in disaster-prone areas.


Project Child disaster class

Environmental Theatre

In February 2013, thirty PCI children performed in a play about the environment. This cute piece of theatre was held in Olifant International School and was an open-house event. The storyline conveyed both the beauty of living on a riverbank and the problems faced in this environment. In this way, the children (and the audience!) learned that conserving this environment is crucial for the people living there.

This play was performed in the early stages of PCI, and we were thrilled and grateful to work with the Olifant School professionals of child education. Special thanks also goes to Prianka Rama, the young “Kricak” man who wrote the story out of concern for his kampung and the students of STMIK AMIKOM Yogyakarta, who created the colorful costumes entirely from recycled materials.


Project Child environmental theatre