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

“Green class & Vertical Gardens”

The aim of the “Green class” was to give the children the opportunity to truly realize what a healthy environment is like, and to experience an environment that differs to their home. PCI took them on a day-trip to Banyu Mili Garden and Pool; this was imperative as there are no free public parks in Yogyakarta. Therefore, PCI had to raise the funds to take the children to this garden in order to show them a well-cared-for green area. The children were allowed to play and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area, which was so unlike the densely-packed “Kricak”. Afterwards, PCI gave the children a blank piece of paper and asked them to paint their dreams for “Kricak”. This was one of their paintings:



In the next step to increase the greenery and gardens in “Kricak”, PCI is in the process of building “Vertical Gardens”. The vertical gardens is part of the “Zero Rupiah Project” campaign. Structures are being built out of recycled materials, such as old furniture, in order to create a frame, and plastic bottles for pot-plants (which the children will decorate) along each rung. The “Kricak” families can therefore grow their own plants and vegetables in the small confines between their houses. This will also encourage more vegetables to be included in their daily diets. The children will be responsible for tending to the gardens, so that from an early age they will understand the value of actively caring for something, which is the next step from their lessons about not polluting the environment.


Project Child green class

Healthy cooking class and “Morning Bite” project

Healthy food is easy to provide when you have enough money. However, to make nutritious food for the family when money is tight, one has to be very smart when sourcing the ingredients. The aim of the healthy cooking class and the “Morning Bite” project is to encourage the “Kricak” families to make healthier choices. When this was raised in a mothers’ meeting, the women asked to be taught healthy international recipes.

The healthy cooking class was an introduction, in which our international volunteers showed the parents how to cook recipes from their own countries, with an Indonesian twist of course! PCI compiled a cookbook with the new recipes with locally sourced ingredients, with an indication of the price per meal on each page. The parents learned that they could cook food in alternative ways to retain its nutrition and minimise the amount of added oil and sugar, thus keeping within the same daily budget.

In order to build upon the growing education in this area, PCI is implementing the “Morning Bite” program. This program aims to provide a healthy alternative for breakfast once or twice a week, to demonstrate that it is possible to source this kind of breakfast for a low cost. Depending on the momentum of the “Morning Bite” project, PCI may micro-finance some mothers to continue the ‘healthy breakfast point’ businesses independently.


Project Child cooking class

University Visit

In collaboration with the Pediatric Unit of University Gadjah Mada, PCI took the children and their mothers on a field-trip to the university campus. The children walked around the campus hand-in-hand with the volunteers and explored all different aspect of campus life; the library, the canteens, student centres, and especially the labs! They were given the opportunity to try various medical and research equipment to challenge their thinking. Meanwhile, the Pediatric and Psychology professors sat with the mothers and discussed the different possibilities that would enable the children to access higher education.

Normally, Indonesian mothers from this socio-economic level never have the chance to find out about different pathways that may ensure their child finishes senior high-school or attend tertiary education. Concepts such as scholarships or even simply creating a financial plan to use when their child turns fifteen, and finishes free schooling, are almost entirely unknown. There are indeed alternatives to these children having to start work at the age of fifteen. Physically visiting the campus and discussing these pathways created a strong impression upon the mothers, who are in so many ways the ‘dream-makers’ of their children.


Project Child university visit

Teaching Children Compassion Towards Animals

One of the dominant themes we learn about in the “Monday Classes” is caring for the animals in both the oceans and on land. As a culmination of our learning, PCI took the children on their very first excursion to Gembira Loka Zoo, in January 2012, with the support of Pandu Indonesian Language Course. These Australian students visited “Kricak” and built a relationship with the children before taking them to the zoo. The children’s English skills really flourished by being able to associate new words with this first-hand experience. Furthermore, as PCI believes in the importance of children learning compassion towards all animals, PCI maintains a partnership with Diving OCEA, an organisation dedicated to marine conservation and teaching the younger generation about how they can contribute.


Project Child animal zoo

Traditional Games

In June 2012, Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel invited the “Kricak” kids to participate in a day of traditional games. The Museum Ambarrukmo is a heritage site and the museum community actively promotes the preservation of traditional culture. The children enjoyed playing Dakon, from which they practiced strategic and mathematical skills, and Bakiak, from which they learnt to developed coordination and teamwork. In every game, they learnt the most important thing – good sportsmanship!


Project Child traditional game