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Effortless Sustainable Swaps for a Better Planet

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

Thousands of Jakarta residents were evacuated from southern and eastern areas of the city. They witnessed their cars and homes almost entirely submerged in the shoulder-high muddy waters. As mere onlookers, we often consider what else we can do to help lessen the current and upcoming environmental disasters. With a rising urgency to offer a helping hand in one of the biggest global challenges, sometimes the fight against climate change can feel extremely overwhelming. This doesn’t mean we can’t also make our own unique impact through our individual choices. Remember that everyone can do good, and even though our actions may seem small at first, keep on reading and let us help you by challenging yourselves with these effortless sustainable swaps! 

SUSTAINABLE HOME

Hop onto your favorite e-commerce because it is time for a sustainable home-makeover! We recommend shopping from one store that offers a wide range of eco-friendly house products and opting for regular shipping duration. We prefer to shop in the store physically to reduce the CO2 emissions from shipping, but with Miss Rona still out and about lurking around every coughing corner, we advise to keep your distance and shop online in bulk. 

Some of the online stores worth browsing over if you’re in or near the Jakarta area are Demi Bumi, Sustaination.ID, Greenhabit.id and Zero Waste Indonesia that offer various sustainable goods worth trying and complete with eco-friendly packaging! Here are some products you should consider on buying: 

  • Goodbye plastic trash bag, hello Cassava Bag! Made from natural resins derived from 98% tapioca starch, 1% vegetable oil, and 1% natural biopolymer, this super bag can be composted and consumed by micro-organisms in the soil!
  • Multi-purpose Loofah, made from natural fiber from oyong and commonly used as a substitute for bath foam or dishwashing. 
  • Lerak Soap, a 100% natural cleanser without chemicals and can be used as laundry detergent, dish & hand soap, and others. 
  • Natural Deodorant made from batu tawas is hypoallergenic, easy to wash and eliminates odor-causing bacteria. 
  • Bamboo/Wheat-straw Toothbrush 
  • Have any leftover food or ingredients and you’re unsure how to store it? It’s time to try Beeswax Wrap! An environmentally friendly and reusable replacement for cling wrap. Protects food, fruit and vegetables from air and moisture to keep them fresh for even longer.
  • Not forgetting our precious self-care time, it’s best to switch to using reusable cotton pads and DIY masks & scrubs
  • If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous and brave, for all our lovely lady friends out there, switching to a reusable menstrual cup or pad is worth trying. Not only is it capable of replacing up to 3-5 years worth of normal pads without producing waste byproduct, it can also last for up to 12 hours a day! 

Once we’re all set with these amazing sustainable products, now is the time to tackle our household waste management system. Indonesia is estimated to produce roughly 190,000 tons of waste each day with 20% percent of the plastic waste is believed to end up in rivers and coastal areas (Mann, 2019). Our landfills alone remain to be inadequate solutions to this problem due to the lack of soil to bury the waste or land to build a sanitary site. Before you start panicking, let’s not forget our nearby trash banks! Another social enterprise we can rely on is Waste4Change with its Personal Waste Management subscription service. It offers monthly inorganic waste collection services directly from our homes. Therefore, it doesn’t only help us to be more responsible with our household waste, but also to practice sorting out our trash based on its categories!  

SUSTAINABLE ME 

Our products at home may be eco-friendly, but don’t forget to break them bad habits and start behaving more environmentally conscious. A few simple tweaks to our lifestyle can have a big impact on our environmental footprint! 

  • Set a timer for your AC. We know the weather in Indonesia can get quite hot, but reducing household energy use can help reduce carbon footprint even more.
  • Save water, time your shower! A 10-minute shower uses about 80 gallons of water and can produce up to 1kg of CO2 emissions (Spector, 2019). 
  • Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away on a daily basis. By planning our meals for the week, we are reducing our food waste, saving money and conserving resources for marginalized communities. 
  • Think twice and use your voice. Get involved with environmental platforms and communities to further educate ourselves on the current issues. Similarly, pay attention to product labels when you’re shopping to help minimize our impact on wildlife and the planet.  

Living more sustainably may not solve the climate crisis overnight, but by taking these small steps we can try to practice breaking old habits and kick-start our journey in becoming a more responsible global citizen. Don’t forget to share this challenge with your friends and let’s start building a much more sustainable community!

References:

Mann, A. (2019, March 1). The waste challenge: Is Indonesia at a tipping point?. TheJakartaPost. Retrieved from https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/03/01/the-waste-challenge-is-indonesia-at-a-tipping-point-1551431355.html

Spector, N. (2019, October 3). Ideas to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly. NBCNews. Retrieved https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/12-practical-ways-make-your-bathroom-eco-friendlier-save-some-ncna1061246#anchor-1Reduceshowertimeandgetalowflowshowerhead

Climate Change in Indonesia: Flood as an Environmental Disaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: CNN

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indonesia’s Digital Divide: Disconnected Amidst a Pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

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

Online Learning Assistance Project: Helping Children Education in a Pandemic

Written by Project Child Indonesia

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

Other than parents struggling to afford the gadget facilities and internet data packages purchase, parents are facing issues to provide supervision and guidance to support distance learning. Truth is, not all parents have the privilege to provide such learning assistance, both in terms of time and skills, and this has been proven by testimonials through our research on the field. A testimonial coming from Lani, a 4th-grade elementary school student who lives on the banks of the Gajahwong River, “My mom is busy working and taking care of my little sister, she is barely available to accompany me studying. My dad works all the time too.” Another supporting statement coming from the father of Meisya, a 4th-grade elementary school student in Kampung Jetisharjo, by the Code River, “I cannot teach my child because elementary school materials these days are more difficult, different to mine years ago. I also work all day long, so there is very little time to assist my daughter when studying.” Moreover, teachers from formal schools provide assignments for distance learning, but not necessarily equipped to explain the subject materials to children. With a pupil-teacher ratio of 12.68, parental guidance is necessary.

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

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

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

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.

PPI Hongaria Support for Project Child Indonesia

Written by Sijbrand Albrecht Peeters, Community Engagement Associate
Project Child Indonesia


Indonesian Students Association or PPI is an organization consisting of Indonesia students studying abroad. Members of Indonesian Student Association (PPI) varies from students pursuing bachelors, masters and postdoctoral degrees. PPI Hungary members are mostly the recipient of Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship from the Hungarian government.

In an effort to raise awareness of social issues in Indonesia, Project Child Indonesia does not only invite domestic partners to achieve such a goal, rather a holistic approach to all levels of stakeholders, domestic and foreign. The fundamental notion of our work can only be achieved through collaboration, for sustainable change is a result of collaborative effort and not individual work.

In agreement with SDG goal 17, strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, a partnership and/or collaboration is formed between PPI Hungary and Project Child Indonesia is established. Through PPI Hungary’s UNICORN Program, it will help Project Child Indonesia’s goal for every child in Indonesia to have the opportunity to learn, to have a healthy start and to feel supported and secure living in an environment that is prepared for natural disasters.

UNICORN (Unite Our Voices for Children’s Education) is a social responsibility and/or community service program pioneered by PPI Hungary. The program is designed to provide social aid for those people, movement and organization that focuses on children’s education. Hence, Project Child Indonesia’s Sekolah Sungai (River School) and Sekolah Pantai (Beach School) was selected as a partner for the UNICORN program.

The shared value of PPI Hungary and Project Child Indonesia, to promote quality of education, drives the establishment of a partnership of both parties. Through this partnership, we aspire to raise a more extensive awareness on society thus creating a domino effect in participation to all levels of stakeholders.

Over the last month, PPI Hungary has performed various events to fundraise intended for Project Child’s Sekolah Sungai and Sekolah Pantai. Fundraising activities will be carried out until the beginning of October and we are inviting everyone to participate and/or donate to https://kitabisa.com/campaign/PPIHongaria

Through online crowdfunding, we hope to interact and invite bigger audiences. Encouraging those who share the same values and beliefs and come aboard our big effort in delivering and securing education to those who are denied or limited access to for a better Indonesia.

19 August 2019: A Celebration of Women Humanitarian Day

Written by Sekar Ningtyas Kinasih, Content Writer
Project Child Indonesia


On 19 August 2003,  it was a day, a moment– where the UN building located in Baghdad was struck by a massive bomb of the terrorist. At that time, there were about 22 people involved in humanitarian missions in Iraq regrettably become victims of death after the bomb attack, which Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN’s top representative in the country has become one of the dead. Since then, every year the UN commemorates the loss by forming World Humanitarian Day. Besides, it is also reflected to show honor to each worker who risks their lives in humanitarian services and to gather aid for people who are facing crises all over the world.

This year, the United Nations is set up a campaign so-called Women Humanitarians to show appreciation for women’s contributions in making the world a better place. They believe if the phrase “unsung heroes” is entitled to be given to the women since they have been working on the front lines as first responders to crises that occurred within their communities and play a vital role in the survival of families and everyone who become the victims. The efforts of Humanitarian should realize that the fact of women or girls as same as like men and boys– have to participate in responding for all crises, without setting aside if women reserve the right to be a leader and decision-maker. 

“It’s very important for women to play a leadership role during emergencies. This can prevent serious violations like violence against women, including sexual violence and psychological violence. Women’s presence itself is a deterrence that safeguards women’s rights.” – Nadege Pierre (33), first responder in Hurricane Matthew’s response in Haiti (Oct 2016).

ActionAid organization that working for justice and poverty prevention in the world, has started to promote women’s leadership in emergency circumstances as they count on the fact that women make up 50% of populations, but oftentimes they excluded in taking part to determine their own future because of ‘gender blind’ still remained in humanitarian actions. This can be an interpretation that the access of women are rejected  to get protection and services that lead to the rise of gender-based violence and losing livelihoods. Beside that, the organization has been working for more than 45 countries and the reality shows that by putting women on the top notch position (leader), not only their livelihoods be sheltered, but also beneficial for wider community.

Women also noted as the largest number of gender who risk their own lives to save others. They are noted as frontline responders everytime crises and conflicts arise. Therefore Women Humanitarian Day need to be celebrated– as it becomes a basic line of UN Women establishment followed by 4 strategic priorities such as; 1) Women can lead, participate in and gain equal benefit from government; 2) Women deserve to have income security and decent work; 3) Ensure all women and girls live free from all kinds of violence; 4) Engage women and girls to participate and become a great influencer to create peace, resilience, benefit equally from the risk of disasters and humanitarian actions. Besides, the UN Women often collaborates and promotes the UN system’s work to all UN Member States (more than 60 countries) through set it up as global standards that is expected to be a potential in supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and create a more inclusive world.

Sources:

Better Drinking Water Access for Children’s Better Future

Human needs clean water to live. Polluted water is not only dirty and not suitable for consumption, but can also be harmful and even cause death. To improve the quality of life of the community and fulfill the basic rights of all the people, provision of guaranteed access to drinking water needs to be seriously considered as one of the national development priorities. Limited access to water can rob children of education and economic opportunities and prevent them from getting out of poverty. Due to distant access of water from home, children in remote areas often get the task to obtain water for their families too. This responsibility will take up their time which should be used for learning and playing. Safe and accessible water access will give them extra time so they can play like children in general and use the time to study for their future.

Infrastructure development is one of priorities in President Joko Widodo’s administration. Mr. President emphasized on various occasions how important infrastructure is for the progress of a nation, including as a basic foundation in economic growth and increasing the independence of a country. This also applies to the construction and development of drinking water infrastructure or commonly referred to as the Sistem Penyediaan Air Minum (Drinking Water Supply System) or SPAM.

Another challenge beside the lack of SPAM providers in rural areas is that the infrastructure used to distribute water in Indonesia is usually outdated, poorly maintained and prone to leakage. If the distribution system is damaged, water could be contaminated with waterborne disease organisms. The rapid rate of population growth also resulted in a gap between population and service coverage. Lack of local experts is often a barrier to creating more modern water treatment distribution system as well, which requires trained personnel for operations and maintenance.

Based on the performance appraisal conducted by the Agency for the Improvement of the Implementation of Drinking Water Supply Systems (BPPSPAM) towards 371 Regional Drinking Water Companies (PDAM) in 2016, they found that the number of PDAM in healthy condition was 198 (53%), 108 in unwell condition (29%), and 65 ailing (18% ) This condition is different from 2015, where 368 PDAMs were assessed and resulted in 196 (53%) PDAM in healthy condition, 100 unwell (27%), and 72 (20%) ailing. Whereas in 2014, of the 359 PDAM assessed, 182 (51%) were in healthy condition, 103 unwell (29%), and 74 (21%) ailing (BAPPENAS 2017). It can be concluded that from 2014 to 2016, the number of healthy PDAM increased only slightly, the number of unwell PDAM increased and the number of ailing PDAM decreased slightly. Another challenge for SPAM in Indonesia is that there are still many improvements needed from the government to maintain SPAM.

In accordance with Law No. 23 Year 2014 concerning Regional Government, drinking water supply is one of the main responsibility of regional government in regards of providing basic compulsory services. Along with the government development program, the funding aspect for the development of SPAM must also be the commitment and concern of the regional government. Nevertheless with limited local government funding and other development priorities, the central government also supports the development of SPAM in local regions through APBN, hence the SPAM infrastructure development gets joint funding from the regional government and the central government.

In addition to the APBN and APBD, the government also opens opportunities for business entities to support the development of SPAM through the mechanism of Public Private Partnership (PPP) listed in Government Regulation No. 122 Year 2015 concerning Drinking Water Supply Systems. The advantages of the PPP scheme include providing other financing alternatives due to limited government funding, more efficiency, getting new technology used by the private sector, and accelerating the increase of coverage and quality of public services. PPP scheme is expected to optimize investment costs, especially in urban areas where population growth is increasing rapidly. The ability of people in cities to pay which tends to be bigger is a strong reason for investors to invest, but what about people in remote areas who cannot afford it? The lack of conducive business climate has caused the private sector to be reluctant to develop SPAM in rural areas. As a result, the piping network and drinking water supply for the rural poor have received little attention from the government or the private sector.

One of the efforts to develop SPAM in Indonesia can be started from schools by providing drinking water installations to build habits and increase awareness to children, teachers, parents, and people around the school environment. The water filter system guarantees the cleanliness of water so it minimizes potential disease due to contaminated water. Children will also be able to set aside a portion of their pocket money to buy other necessities other than drinking water. This system is also easy to learn so that anyone can operate and maintain it. Application of Drinking Water Programs in schools can offer drinking water supply options to assist the government in both urban and remote areas, especially for children. With a good and affordable drinking water supply system, children will have the opportunity to develop their potential because they have more time to learn and play, so the hope of having a brighter future is greater as well.

Everyone Can Participate to Support SDGs

As a follow-up to the past 15-year Millennium Development Goals agenda, in September 2015 the United Nations launched a new, more universal, inclusive and comprehensive resolution called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs have 17 new goals to encourage sustainable development based on human rights and equality to encourage social, economic and environmental development. SDG number 6 aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of clean water and sanitation which one of its targets is to provide access to safe and affordable drinking water that is universally and evenly distributed to everybody in 2030.

Indonesia has committed to support the Sustainable Development Goals by adopting most of the SDGs targets and indicators into the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024. The integration of the global agenda into the RPJMN shows that the government is paying great attention to legitimizing and providing a legal basis for the implementation of the SDGs agenda in Indonesia.

In July 2017 President Jokowi has signed Presidential Regulation No. 59 of 2017 concerning Implementation of Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals that establish the structure and mechanisms for national SDGs management for planning, budgeting, financing, monitoring and reporting. In this regulation it is stated that one of the national targets of the 2015-2019 RPJMN is to increase access to safe drinking water for 40% of the lowest income population in 2019 to 100%.

The regulation is also a commitment to the implementation and achievement of SDGs carried out in a participatory manner by involving all parties. In accordance with the main principles of SDGs namely inclusion and participation, the importance of the role of non-government actors such as mass organizations, philanthropy, business actors, academics and other related parties is explained there. Various platforms at national and regional levels are needed to bring these non-government actors together and realize a real partnerships.

Non-governmental organizations have an important role in communicating SDGs to the public by making the policy process more transparent and easily accepted. One of the goals of increasing public awareness about SDGs is to empower communities to participate in solving problems around them and contribute to the SDGs.

Besides NGOs, the participation of various parties is a constituent part of sustainable development which is crucial for the realization of the agenda’s objectives by combining various sources of information, knowledge and expertise to generate new ideas, foster commitment for all parties involved, increase awareness of an issue and understand what challenges need to be resolved together.

Project Child Indonesia can be one of the platforms for the meeting of governments, investors, civil society and academics to achieve the goals of the 6th SDGs with the implementation of the Drinking Water Program (DWP). Since its implementation in 2016, DWP has had a positive impact on 29 schools in Yogyakarta, 4 schools in Fakfak, and will continue to be developed in various regions in Indonesia.

This program guarantees the availability of safe and affordable drinking water in schools with funds obtained from investors who care about this issue. Counseling in schools regarding the need for access to drinking water for all communities, the importance of getting enough drinking water for children, and the advantages of the water filter system in terms of health, financial and environmental are also provided by young volunteers who come from various universities in Indonesia and abroad.

The 2030 Agenda emphasizes on “integration” and “unity”, where goals and targets will not be achieved if all parties are working individually. A coherent and holistic approach involving various parties will improve the implementation of SDGs and contribute to the coherence of policies for sustainable development in order to create a civil society.


written by Hidayati Dwi Kusuma Pratiwi