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Family as the Safe Place for Children

Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

“I wish I grew up in a house where I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, or where I could approach my parents without fear of being judged or disgraced.”

How many times have you heard those words? Or how many times have you said those words? Growing up in a good family is such a blessing for us. It can also be said as a privilege. Some of us have it, and others don’t. 

Family is the most fundamental element of our society. It can be said that life begins in the family, for example, we learn how to write, to speak, or to behave. It has been proven that children acquire a variety of experiences in varied family situations by participating in various activities and are constantly exposed to a range of influence and expectations from the people with whom they live. Therefore, it is really important to realize that we, as someone who will build a family or have children, need to create a good environment for the sake of their development. 

A good environment in this context is a “safe” place for children to grow. They learn and explore their potential. They feel safe to ask and to experience something without any pressure. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget about this and blame the outside environment for the bad influences which happen to children. So, at this moment, I want to share about what we can do as an adult in the family. 

What can we do?

Let’s start by choosing our words wisely. The voice we use to talk to our children will be the voice they take with them for the rest of their lives. What we say and feel about them forms the foundation of their self-esteem. We need to reflect with our family, “Is this family a positive place for them to thrive in or a family that is full of hurtful words and actions?”. A voice of encouragement, love, and patience, support, and acceptance. This is the voice we should instill in our children. No other person will have as much of an impact on our child as we who live with them in one home.

Next, don’t forget to give our child praise and proper encouragement. For example, when we help children to learn about mathematics. They usually feel pressured because we insist them to count it right. If they make a mistake, we get annoyed and snap at them. Children will feel defeated and afraid to try. However, if we try to support their way in learning by giving them feedback when they make mistakes and praise their efforts, children want to keep trying because they get our encouragement. When we encourage children through compliments, constructive praise, and feedback, they connect with you. When we critique their abilities without commending them for their hard work, effort, and a job well done, they shut down.

The other thing, Show your affection for the children. When children are hurt and have done something wrong or broken rules, it is critical to show them affection. This demonstrates to them that even when things go wrong, we love them unconditionally regardless of the situation. 

Last but not least, spending quality time with children is the best and most efficient strategy to develop them and teach them that their home is a safe and loving environment. We can do basic things like share family dinners or go for a walk around the neighborhood and talk. It’s about spending time with them without electronics or distractions and letting them know how special they are. Simple things like taking a walk together or grabbing a cup of ice cream to just sit down and talk is all you need.

We can build a child-friendly environment that will prepare them for the future by providing them with access to relevant information, community treatment, and the realization of their goals. What we need to remember is that no house is perfect, and no day is perfect. There will be hard times in the family, but we have to make it as the stepping-stone for a child-friendly environment.

Reference

The Pragmatic Parent. Set the Tone for a Happy Home: Create a Positive Home for your Kids. (2015, August 3). The Pragmatic Parent. https://www.thepragmaticparent.com/positivehome/

Encouraging Creativity in Children

Written by Arlenea Halyda, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

One of my most vivid childhood memories was sitting on my mother’s lap one evening, with the noises from our square-box TV fading into nothing more than white noise as we read a book together. The book’s binding was already frayed, due to age, and it had several of its pages missing. But instead of finding another book, my mom suggested that we fill in the blank ourselves—pick up where the protagonist last left off, and rewrite the story however we like.

I suspect that moment was when I first discovered my love for reading, which then morphed into a whole other passion (writing!) later on.

That experience led me to believe that children’s freedom to create something—anything—has the power to shape their minds and leave an everlasting impact on their lives. Whether it breeds into a lifelong passion, or molds the way they perceive the world, or even simply as their first form of self-expression… Having an outlet in which they could channel their boundless imagination would be an invaluable and unforgettable experience for children.

This is not a mere personal opinion, fortunately. The World Economic Forum, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), and the Ministries of Education around the world value creativity as one of the most essential skills for children.

There are a variety of reasons for this; through creativity, children can develop their problem-solving abilities, practice their fine motor skills, aid muscle growth, and foster their cognitive development, to name a few. Furthermore, O’Connor (2012) stated that children would remember activities they experience through senses on a deeper level, which is why developing such a wide array of skills and exposing them to brain-stimulating activities is so crucial to do at an early age.

If you ask me, though, what I think the most important part of letting children be creative is how it’s simply fun!

The reason is not only because it can lead to a better psyche, and therefore nurture the well-being of the children themselves, but also because I believe everyone deserves a happy childhood. Every child deserves a chance to explore the world, to see how things are while everything is still basked in a golden light of childhood innocence and naivety. Because once that light dimmed, usually through the jaded lens of adulthood… There’s no turning back. The least we could do is give the children around us happy memories they can smile at whenever they reminisce about their early days.

So, with this in mind, I’d like to show you a few ways we can encourage the children around us to be creative!

Create, Create, Create

The classic answer people think of when posed with the idea of ‘being creative’: creating things! Be it a crayon drawing, watercolor painting, folding origami to create animal shapes, or any other arts and crafts project, can boost the development of children’s sound fine motor skills, and improve their hand-eye coordination.

Research shows that by the age of three, children have entered Piaget’s preoperational period. What this means is that children now have the ability to use symbols and representations to conjure words, images, and ideas! It might be good to let them pour these thoughts into the world through creativity, and it can be so rewarding for children to see their creations being displayed out in the world!

Being Kings and Queens (or, really, anything we want to be!)

Other than creating things with their hands, we can also encourage children to create things with their minds. A mind is a powerful place, and children’s imagination is a vast and uncharted territory waiting to be tapped into—so let’s tap into it!

Playing make-belief where children get to be whoever they choose to be can do wonders for children’s development. Whether they want to be a king, a queen, a knight, or a hero, the choice is theirs, and they will have the liberty to set off to a magical land of their own choosings. This can help them in practicing language and communication development, and enhance their social skills and heighten their emotional senses!

Befriending Technology

In this modern age, having children engage with technology is inevitable. The good news is, technology can be our best friend in encouraging children’s creativity! It’s portable and convenient, so children can be creative while on-the-go, or when we simply don’t have the time and space to do any artsy activities or play make-belief.

We can utilize technology to our benefit. There are a lot of good educational shows on Netflix or YouTube that you can watch with children! Maybe it’s a children’s show, or maybe it’s a documentary, or maybe it’s even games—the media form almost doesn’t matter. What matters more is that children can interact with it! You can ask them questions about the show (what they think of it, who are their favorite characters, what’s their favorite part). This allows them to think critically, and not to mention that it’s an excellent way for you and the child to bond!

When encouraging creativity with children, always remember: they’re children. Sounds obvious, but it’s a reminder we have to constantly remind ourselves. They’re children—which means they can be messy (spilling things all over the floor, getting paint on your clothes…), and they might not always be cooperative. While it’s important to encourage creativity, it’s vital to remember to not cross a line and force them into anything they’re not comfortable with. Always have their best interest in mind! Let them explore, let them be creative, let them mess up, and most importantly, let them be kids.

So, let’s encourage children to be creative! As Albert Einstein says once:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

References:

Creativity Matters. Legofoundation.com. Retrieved from https://www.legofoundation.com/en/why-play/skills-for-holistic-development/creativity-matters/.

Nurturing Creativity & Imagination for Child Development. Brighthorizons.com. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/nurturing-creativity-and-imagination-for-child-development.

O’Connor, D. (2012). Creativity Development in Early Childhood: The Role of Educators. Educational Tales Of The Unexpected: Children And Creativity, 41-51. https://doi.org/10.1163/9781848882942_005

Piaget’s Preoperational Stage of Cognitive Development | Lifespan Development. Courses.lumenlearning.com. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-lifespandevelopment/chapter/piagets-preoperational-stage-of-cognitive-development/.

The Importance of Pretend Play. Scholastic.com. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/parents/kids-activities-and-printables/activities-for-kids/arts-and-craft-ideas/importance-pretend-play.html.

Raising Happier and Healthier Child: What is the Best Parenting Style?

Written by: Louis Budiman, Grants Researcher Intern Project Child Indonesia

Family is a fundamental and primary agent of socialization for every human being to grow. Creating a happy, healthy, and safe family environment for children requires a proactive role by parents. To achieve this, good parenting is essential and the very basic aspect that shapes not only child behaviour, but also their likelihood to be a responsible and successful adult in the future. Every parent surely loves and cares for their own kids, but we might want to wonder and ask: what is the best parenting style?

Most researchers and experts agree that there are four major parenting styles (Morin, 2019): authoritarian (focus on obedience and punishment over discipline); authoritative (create positive relationship and enforce rules); permissive (do not enforce rules; ‘kids will be kids’); uninvolved (provide little guidance, nurturing, or attention). In fact, most parents do not necessarily fit solely into one of the categories as they often adopt combined approaches (Lloyd, 2016). This is because every parent and the child have different characteristics and family background, which makes generalization a little bit tricky. Nevertheless, most studies as well as parents agree that authoritative parenting style is the most common way to raise happier and healthier children (Morin, 2020). Such a parenting approach can also mitigate negative consequences that other parenting styles often create. Moreover, the truth is that everyone can be a more authoritative parent. 

There are some starting points for parents to be more authoritative in parenting. First, parents should be aware of their child’s emotions and feelings. This is crucial particularly when children cry or get angry. Telling them to stop crying might be the reaction by most parents, but it is also important for parents to acknowledge what their child is really going through as it might be a big deal to them. To do so, parents can start by considering their child’s feelings, validating their child’s emotions, and being a good listener. This can help parents to provide positive attention and prevent behavioural problems. 

Enforcing rules is also essential in raising children to be responsible. Permissive or uninvolved parents tend to put a little effort on this aspect, while authoritarian parents can be too intense in establishing rules and too excessive in giving warnings. Authoritative parents often set clear rules and explain the reasons behind them to their child – and this could be an ideal way to not only enforce the rules but also to help children understand and expect consequences by following or not following the rules. When children make mistakes, parents must avoid shaming, guilt-tripping, and imposing corporal/physical punishments to their child. Instead, give children consequences that teach life lessons and learning opportunities. This is necessary to maintain child’s anger management, conflict resolution skills, and sense of responsibility. In addition, incentives or rewards could also help and motivate children in getting used to good behaviours. 

Last but not least, parents shall build a positive and healthy relationship with their child. Instead of aiming to control children, it is better for parents to encourage their child’s self-discipline. Parents need to be a good role model and give enough quality time to preserve their child’s mental health. Being a more authoritative parent needs compassion, affection, and patience – and these are the keys to raise a happier and healthier child.

References

Lloyd, C. (2016). What’s your parenting style?. Retrieved from https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/types-of-parenting-styles/#:~:text=Studies%20have%20identified%20four%20major,academically%20strong%20and%20emotionally%20stable

Morin, A. (2019). 4 Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Kids. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/types-of-parenting-styles-1095045.

Morin, A. (2020). 12 Ways to Become a More Authoritative Parent. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/ways-to-become-a-more-authoritative-parent-4136329.

Thompson, H. (2018). What’s the ‘best’ parenting style to raise a successful child?.  Retrieved from https://www.mother.ly/child/whats-the-best-parenting-style-to-raise-a-successful-child.

Volunteer dan Internship, Why Not?

Ditulis oleh Vina Dina, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Pernahkah kalian bergabung menjadi volunteer saat kuliah? atau menjadi anak magang? Hmm, mungkin sebagian mahasiswa bertanya-tanya, kenapa harus menjadi volunteer? Apa sih pentingnya magang? Unpaid pula. Nanti juga setelah lulus juga kerja.

Okay, so, we will talk about those topics yang juga merupakan tema dari PCI Talks vol.2, College Experience: Volunteer and Internship, bersama dengan Kak Abie dan Kak Fajar yang merupakan “alumni” volunteer dan internship Project Child Indonesia. Singkat mengenai PCI Talks, PCI Talks merupakan program webinar yang diselenggaarakan oleh Departemen Partnership Project Child Indonesia dan disponsori oleh To My Doughter (TMD). PCI Talks vol. 2 yang dilaksanakan pada tanggal 26 Maret 2021 lalu, membahas mengenai pengalaman-pengalaman Kak Abie dan Kak Fajar saat menjadi volunter dan menjalani internship di Project Child Indonesia serta pentingnya pengalaman tersebut untuk dunia kerja yang tentunya bisa menjadi bahan pertimbangan untuk kita semua.

Mengapa harus menjadi volunteer?

Semua yang manusia lakukan, kecerdasan yang manusia miliki bisa digantikan oleh mesin, terkecuali empati.

-Abie Zaidannas Suhud

Mengapa harus menjadi volunteer? Jawabannya mungkin akan berbeda untuk setiap orang. Namun bagi Kak Abie dan Kak Fajar, dengan menjadi volunteer kita diajarkan untuk lebih berempati, solutif dan merupakan proses untuk dapat membantu orang lain sekaligus mengenal diri sendiri. 

Rasa empati sangat diperlukan untuk membangun hubungan sosial. Dengan empati, kita bisa ikut memahami dan merasakan apa yang orang lain rasakan sehingga kita bisa lebih tepat dalam memberikan masukan dan solusi. Ketika kita menjadi volunteer, besar peluang kita akan bertemu dengan orang-orang yang tidak mendapatkan privilege sebesar yang kita peroleh sehingga dapat memunculkan keinginan untuk berkontribusi membantu meringankan beban-beban yang mereka miliki seperti yang dirasakan oleh Kak Fajar. Keuntungan lain ketika menjadi volunteer adalah bertemu dengan berbagai macam karakteristik individu, baik yang berbeda agama, budaya, bahkan bahasa. Hal tersebut meningkatkan kemampuan kita untuk beradaptasi dengan orang baru dan menjadi lebih toleran.

Apakah wajib mengikuti kegiatan volunteer saat kuliah? Tentu tidak. Namun, menjadi volunteer bisa menjadi salah satu alternatif untuk menemukan apa yang kalian sukai, atau sebaliknya, kalian bisa menjadi volunteer karena hal-hal yang kita sukai. Sebagian dari kita mungkin senang bertemu dan bermain dengan anak-anak seperti Kak Abie dan juga memiliki ketertarikan pada pendidikan, sebagiannya lagi memiliki ketertarikan menjadi relawan untuk korban bencana alam seperti Kak Fajar, dan sebagian lainnya mungkin belum menemukan apa yang disukai, but it’s okay. Kita bisa mencoba banyak hal baru untuk memperluas zona nyaman kita bukan? Coba saja dulu, siapa tau kita temukan hal-hal menarik dan menyenangkan saat menjadi volunteer?

Selagi ada kesempatan dan kalian memiliki privilege untuk mengeksplor banyak hal, lakuin aja dulu. Karena saat menjadi volunteer, selain kalian membantu orang lain, kalian juga berproses untuk semakin mengenal diri sendiri.

-Septian Fajar

Apakah internship itu penting?

Penting atau tidaknya suatu kegiatan tergantung pada skala prioritas dari masing-masing individu. Internship atau magang bisa menjadi penting untuk sebagian mahasiswa karena ketika kita mengikuti kegiatan magang, maka kita akan mendapatkan pengalaman bekerja langsung dilapangan yang tidak bisa kita peroleh di kehidupan kampus. Ketika kita terjun langsung dilapangan, kita tidak jarang menemukan masalah-masalah yang harus segera diatasi dan dicari solusinya sehingga dapat meningkatkan kemampuan problem solving seseorang. 

Kemampuan tersebut sangat penting karena seperti yang Kak Fajar ceritakan dalam PCI Talks vol.2. Saat menjalani wawancara untuk melamar pekerjaan, pertanyaan yang ditanyakan bukan hanya pertanyaan umum seperti “kamu akan melihat dirimu 5 tahun lagi seperti apa”, akan tetapi lebih sering pertanyaan-pertanyaan mengenai problem solving. Untuk dapat menjawab pertanyaan tersebut, dibutuhkan pengalaman nyata yang setidaknya hampir mirip dengan masalah-masalah yang ditanyakan oleh perusahaan dan dapat kita peroleh ketika kita pernah terjun langsung dilapangan seperti saat menjadi volunteer atau internship di suatu organisasi atau perusahaan.

Selain itu, tidak menutup kemungkinan jika pekerjaan kita di masa depan akan sesuai dengan apa yg kita kerjakan saat menjalani internship, seperti yang dialami oleh Kak Sabrina, salah satu “alumni”  internship di PCI sekaligus audience di PCI TALKS vol. 2.

Sebagian perusahaan atau organisasi memang mengadakan program internship secara unpaid dan hal tersebut menjadi pertimbangan untuk beberapa orang. Tentu saja karena semua orang di dunia ini membutuhkan uang untuk bertahan hidup. Namun, adakalanya mendapatkan pengalaman lebih berharga dari pada mendapatkan gaji. 

The keys are earning, learning and networking. Learning dan networking akan mengarahkan kita ke earning.

-Abie Zaidannas Suhud

Seperti pesan dari Kak Abie, 3 hal yang paling penting untuk dipertimbangkan ketika memilih sesuatu adalah earning, learning dan networking. Namun learning dan networking akan mengarahkan kita pada earning di masa yang akan datang. Ketika kita mengikuti program internship, mungkin kita tidak akan mendapatkan sisi ‘earning’ apabila perusahaan atau organisasi yang kita pilih tidak memberikan fasilitas tersebut. Namun ‘learning’ dan ‘networking’ akan selalu bisa kita peroleh asal kita mau mengetuk pintu serta belajar dan menanyakan pertanyaan yang tepat. Kita mungkin tidak mendapatkan hasilnya secara langsung, tapi siapa yang tau apa yang akan terjadi di hari esok, bulan depan, atau 10 tahun lagi? The tree takes time to grow and bear fruit, isn’t it?.

Tak perlu tunggu hebat, untuk berani memulai apa yang kau impikan

-Terhebat, Coboy Junior

Beberapa dari kita mungkin ada yang merasa ragu untuk mencoba bergabung dalam kegiatan volunteer dan internship karena merasa tidak memiliki basic yang matang. Tapi, siapa orang yang tidak pernah merasa ragu di dunia ini? Just start today, mulailah melangkah melakukan sesuatu yang bisa mendekatkan kita ke impian kita karena kita tidak perlu menjadi sempurna saat memulai. Nikmati prosesnya serta belajar dari kesalahan dan lingkungan sekitar. Sejalan dengan apa yang diungkapkan Kak Abie, ketika kita masih muda, resiko yang kita dapatkan saat membuat kesalahan akan lebih sedikit. So, jangan takut untuk mencoba banyak hal yang kalian ingin coba!

Just do it! Kalau tidak sekarang, kapan lagi? Mumpung masih ada kesempatannya. Bisa jadi, saat menjadi volunteer, kita bisa menemukan hal yang benar-benar kita nyaman dan sukai. Kita juga bisa mendapatkan kenalan baru, sahabat baru dan mungkin saja mereka yang kita temui saat volunteer dan internship adalah rekan kerja kita di masa yang akan datang seperti yang dialami oleh Kak Abie dan Kak Fajar. Selain itu, tidak menutup kemungkinan ketika kita menjadi volunteer dan intern, secara tidak langsung kita membantu orang-orang yg tidak seberuntung kita untuk mendapatkan sesuatu yang tidak mereka dapatkan sebelumnya, seperti pendidikan, kesehatan, rasa aman dan lainnya.

Just do good then you will get good. 

Untuk teman-teman yang memiliki ketertarikan terhadap bidang pendidikan dan senang bertemu dan berinteraksi dengan anak-anak, Project Child Indonesia bisa menjadi wadah yang tepat untuk memulai langkah baru. Project Child Indonesia membuka pendaftaran volunteer dan internship yang terbuka untuk seluruh Indonesia. Kalaupun internship dan volunter bukanlah hal yang teman-teman sukai namun ingin berkontribusi untuk membantu pendidikan anak-anak, kalian juga bisa mendonasikan sebagian uang saku kalian di kitabisa.com. Everyone can do good, no matter what you are interest in or how big the impact that you bring. The choice is yours.

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

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

The Future of Children Is In Our Hands

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

“Children are the future of our nation.” We often find people saying things along those lines. “Children are the future, so they have to try hard and be the best in everything they do.” “Children are the future, so they have to be responsible for their own future.” These kinds of saying are neglecting the fact that in order to succeed, children need to be given the necessary support. That’s the most important thing that most people forget nowadays.

This year’s World Children’s Day celebrates and promotes children’s welfare and awareness among children worldwide. The United Nation acknowledges that children’s welfare is indeed vital for the wellbeing of children in the future.

Us as a society is already basking in comfort of our current societal system that benefits those in power. For children who were born to less fortunate families, having the basic necessities is already out of the question while for those who were born to wealth are already having a better start since birth. It’s a challenge for children from marginal families to even have the proper nutrition that benefits their health, moreover having quality education and finding a way out of poverty.

Discovering the holes that cause this wrecked system that benefits those having money is a challenge that might never be conquered. But, as a community, we can make small changes. Project Child Indonesia’s program Sekolah Sungai and Online Learning Assistance are two among many other efforts that have been done by a lot of sympathetic people out there. It cannot dethrone the system, not yet at least, but it has proven itself to be impactful. As an individual, you can start paying attention to these kinds of programs and projects held all across Indonesia that aims for the betterment of children’s welfare.

Rather than keep saying that the future is children, why don’t we create a better world right now so that our children can live a better future?

Put Children’s Perspective about Diversity through Tolerance Ambassador Project

Written by Theresia Tyas Thea Kirana, Program Coordinator Intern Project Child Indonesia

Do you ever wonder how the world looks like when humans are all the same? We have the same skin colors, same hairstyle, same body shapes, or even the same belief. Close your eyes. Visualize that on your mind. Take a reflective moment for a second. Do you feel weird? Okay, stop visualizing it and get back to our reality, where people from a whole lot of different backgrounds are living on the same planet Earth and we are one of them. I am one of those different people, and you are one of them, too. It is heartbreaking to see people disliking or even bullying and harming others who are not from the same background as them. What is the root of those wicked actions? Are we born with the feeling of hating things or people that are different from us?

According to the argument stated in the United Nation article on International Day for Tolerance which says that people are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe. As a global commitment, International Day for Tolerance is observed annually on 16 November since 1995 to promote tolerance. Project Child Indonesia (PCI) supported and celebrated the diversity among its workers and the beneficiaries by seeing the differences as something powerful that can make people do something good, one action is by making a project called The Child Ambassador for Tolerance.

PCI, as an NGO that works with children and people from the riverside communities, wants to see and educate the children living in Sekolah Sungai communities about the importance of diversity and how to cherish our differences in ethnicity, race, and religion. Thankfully, the matters happen to be the same thing as Williams-Sonoma Indonesia (WSI) has been campaigning about social justice, and the WSI inspired by Sekolah Sungai Program. Therefore PCI and WSI collaborate and initiate this project in September-October 2020.

The weekly mentoring classes were conducted for four weeks and closed with ceremony and campaign activities. In the beginning of the project, the volunteers got a chance to meet Dr. Diah Kusumaningrum, one of the lecturers in International Relations Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), to understand more about what tolerance is about and how to persuade children to be aware and understand about tolerance and diversity from their own experiences. This activity is a training activity to prepare volunteers to become facilitators before going to the field.

The implementation of this project involves 5 (five) child representatives from each location to be fostered as ambassador. Four weeks mentoring classes accompanied by facilitators simultaneously in three river communities. During each class, the volunteers and the children were discussing the experiences they are facing in daily activities related to living in a diverse community. They also met some invited people from Rote, Ambon, and Central Sulawesi. Through the meeting with three different people from different backgrounds, we encourage the children to ask anything about diversity and experience by themselves about another culture. Later, the children made some posters related to the knowledge they have gained during the project, they also practiced the message of their poster in front of the other children and volunteers. The mentoring class activities concluded with a closing ceremony and on-site campaign in each river and digital campaign for the public.

If there is one thing that we can learn from this project, as one of the invited persons said, prejudice is learned and not inevitable. Children can learn and relearn about toleration, it is the environment that shapes our being as a human to have our own perspective. Our perspective may vary, but the key is to celebrate and embrace diversity and use it as our tool to live our best life with other people. As the tagline of this project says, let’s do each other’s favor by “Menyayangi, Berempati, Wujudkan Harmoni!”

Reference:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/tolerance-day

Pasar Mandiri: The Volunteer’s Hard Work

Written by Dyah Prajnandhari, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

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

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

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

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

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: