Posts

Problems Solving with Business?

Written by: Paschalis Cahya Irawan, Social Business Trainee Intern Project Child Indonesia

Can business solve social problems? can by designing a social business. Social business or often referred to as social entrepreneurship is defined as a business that is motivated by social problems or other problems This business is also a form of solution to social and environmental problems by managing problems into a business innovation with a mission to solve these problems.

Before getting to know the concept, I was not interested in a business that only looks for profit, but after knowing the concept of social business, I have an interest in the form of the concept. Until finally I studied deeper and had the desire to put the concept into practice.

In the end, I looked at social media and saw that there was an internship program at one of the NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) Project Child Indonesia which opened an internship program in the field of social business. After considering, I finally enrolled in the program, in my mind to know how to implement social business directly and how the process of social business development.

As someone who doesn’t know the details of social business development, I have learned a lot from the internship program. From what I know, making a social business by looking at social and environmental problems is not enough. There are still many processes that must be passed to set up a social business.

By participating in the internship program, I learned from several colleagues from various other fields of knowledge. I have come to understand that designing a social business is not just looking at the existing problems. But I also need to think about how to design a business that has more value not only looking at the problem but how the business is sustainable.

Social business begins with good intentions to help others independently and sustainably through business activities. During the internship program at Project Child Indonesia and meeting many friends who have other perspectives, they have provided valuable lessons in the process of designing and preparing the needs for building a social business. In addition to providing new knowledge, we also see how the challenges of setting up a social business are by thinking about the possibilities that occur with the implementation of the business idea. This is a valuable experience for me and hopefully we can all do good with each other through a business.

Quoting from Muhammad Yunus “Create a tiny plan to help a few people at a time”, let’s make a business plan to help others.

Why You Should Not Wait to do Good

Written by: Angelien Chrestella Pardi, Social Business Trainee Intern Project Child Indonesia

The Guilty Conscience

I have always enjoyed taking trips and going on car rides. With the hustling life of college and work, especially during this pandemic, I often find myself utilizing this time to de-stress, listening to relaxing music while observing the life of lives happening around me. During these car rides, however, it is not uncommon for me to encounter the sights of people living difficult lives. For instance, children knocking on car windows asking for change, the elderly carrying white sacks, rummaging through waste piles, etcetera. 

Just like any other people, looking at how arduous life can sometimes be for the underprivileged truly tugs my heart. I frequently find myself empathizing with these people and telling myself that I will serve good and help them when I become successful, later, in the future. However, the tiny voice at the back of my mind persistently haunted me with this one question: Why? Why then? 

The Why, explained

I am positive that I am not the only person guilty of having such a conscience. Guilt-tripping others for having these thoughts was not my intention as it is only natural for humans to prioritize themselves, and their needs, over others. Nevertheless, have we ever paused for a moment and considered why we keep telling ourselves to help others only after being affluent and comfortable with life? Why do we have to wait for that moment to come to help others? Let’s take a short pause and reflect on this question.

Now let me ask you this: What if that perfect time never comes? What happens then? Does that mean that you will not do good in your life? Certainly not because the truth is, in life, there is no ideal time to do a particular thing. Surely, doing good is no exception. There will never be a perfect time for you to do good and help others. Believe me, that moment will never come. You are merely wasting your time if you are waiting for it. If you want to help others, simply start helping. Pronto.

How Can I Help?

You already have the desire to do good. That is great! This proves your benevolence and caring attitude towards others and that you are willing and ready to make altruistic contributions to your community. Yet, you are still unsure how you can help others. What comes next? Where do I begin? 

Don’t worry! Here are a few ways you can do good:

1. Be a Good Samaritan

Don’t turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to a person in need. Instead, help them however you can. Buy food for the hungry, offer blankets to the cold and assist the elderly when they are crossing the road. These small acts of kindness might seem like nothing to you, but you will never know how much it truly means to them.

2. Volunteer Your Skills and/or Time

Volunteering is one of the most incredible ways you can help your community. Aside from adding happiness and meaningful purpose into your life, it can also give you a sense of belonging within the community. All these benefits aside, you can choose how you would like to contribute and help based on your interests and passion.

3. Fundraise for a Cause

Engaging your friends and family to fundraise for a cause that is close to your heart is a great and fun way to support your community. Additionally, donating in place of a special occasion towards a cause of your interest is an extraordinary way to make it memorable and meaningful.

4. Donate

Understandably, not all people have the time to do community service despite their desires to do so. And that is completely okay! Donations come in a lot of forms and it is totally up to you on what you would like to donate, of course, taking into consideration the needs of the community. For instance, you can drop off and donate food to local communities, clothes to homeless shelters, books, and supplies to local schools and orphanages. 

Moreover, there are many NGOs out there that accept cash donations. By helping these NGOs through the provision of financial support, you will be assisting them in funding their sustainable programs, thus, helping the community.

5. Lend Your Voice

Unsurprisingly, not everyone dares to stand up for themselves. This is especially true for the victims of bullying, rape, racism, sexism, and many more. This usually constitutes the society’s minorities: the homeless, the neglected, the oppressed, and the powerless. Therefore, if you are active on social media, or any other platforms for that matter, then you can put your skills to great use! Lend them your voice and speak up for them, with them. Your actions will raise awareness to the people around you and who knows, it might give them the courage to stand up for themselves and help bring positive and beneficial changes to society.

Doing Good with Project Child Indonesia

As a volunteer-centered non-profit organization, Project Child Indonesia offers several opportunities for people, particularly young adults, to participate in making a difference within society. From volunteer roles to internship positions, public campaigns to fundraising events, Project Child Indonesia aspires to inspire more individuals to care about the community, especially in advocating and supporting Indonesian children and citizens residing in the underprivileged communities of Yogyakarta. Therefore, if your passion and interests lie in children advocacy and education, and you find yourself committed to making an impact on society, volunteering your time at Project Child Indonesia will undoubtedly be worthwhile.

The Bottom Line

Mother Theresa once said,

A day without doing something good for others is a day not worth living.

This quote holds a sincere, unfeigned depiction of life’s most fundamental essence. Life will surely lose all of its meaning and purpose without the little acts of kindness, deeds of compassion, and the universal language of love. 

Regardless of which actions you decide to take on, always remember to do good because it is these actions that make our lives profoundly meaningful. Every seed you plant today will yield big fruits in the future. With this, wait no more and begin helping others for “Everyone can do good”.

Keunikan dan Keindahan Kewirausahaan Sosial

Ditulis oleh: Faya Augustian Ariestyarini, magang Social Business Trainee Project Child Indonesia

Tergabung sebagai bagian dari tim social business trainee di Project Child Indonesia Batch 32 merupakan suatu pengalaman baru dan unik bagi saya. Menjadi pengalaman baru karena merupakan kali pertama saya mengikuti program magang dan tergabung ke dalam tim social business, sekaligus menjadi pengalaman yang unik karena tergabung ke dalam tim social business di organisasi non-profit yang artinya akan lebih banyak mengkonsep bisnis bertajuk kewirausahaan sosial (social enterpreneurship). Saya banyak belajar mengenai organisasi non profit, seperti definisi, orientasi, struktur keorganisasian, hingga bagaimana tahapan yang tepat dalam merancang kewirausahaan sosial untuk diimplementasi pada organisasi non-profit Project Child Indonesia. Bisnis model dalam Project Child Indonesia unik karena membentuk skema kewirausahaan sosial, yang berupa ide bisnis dengan tujuan tidak sekadar mengejar keuntungan, tetapi juga untuk kebaikan sosial sehingga dana yang diperoleh dapat dimanfaatkan untuk mendanai program sosial yang berkontribusi untuk lingkungan. 

Berdasarkan hasil riset yang dilakukan oleh British Council dan USESCAP dengan judul Developing an Inclusive and Creative Economy: The State of Social Enterprise in Indonesia (2018), hasil pertumbuhan social enterprise di Indonesia terus mengalami pertumbuhan yang signifikan selama beberapa tahun terakhir. Bahkan dalam lima tahun terakhir saja, jumlah wiraswasta sosial berkembang 5 kali lebih besar dibandingkan 5 tahun sebelumnya.  Berdasarkan hasil riset tersebut, tentunya akan timbul pertanyaan terkait dengan apa yang menjadi daya tarik social enterprise yang seakan menjadi tren baru di dalam dunia bisnis pada saat ini.

Alasan dibalik popularitas dari konsep kewirausahaan sosial dalam bisnis ialah keunikan kewirausahaan sosial yang menyajikan cerita-cerita dan tujuan yang unik dibalik didirikannya bisnis tersebut. Kewirausahaan sosial yang hadir dengan menawarkan tujuan mulia, membawa manfaat, serta perubahan bagi lingkungan, seakan menjadi keunikan dan magnet tersendiri bagi kewirausahaan sosial. Terdapat beberapa hal yang menjadi alasan mengapa kewirausahaan sosial unik dan penting keberadaannya bagi lingkungan dan perekonomian itu sendiri, antara lain:

1. Sebagai pelopor bisnis sosial yang mampu menggerakkan orang lain untuk berkontribusi membantu lingkungan dan masyarakat.

Kewirausahaan sosial menjalankan model bisnisnya dengan berupaya menyelaraskan tujuan memperoleh keuntungan dengan nilai-nilai sosial mereka. Hal ini dapat memicu motivasi orang lain untuk tergerak membantu dan berkontribusi membawa dampak bagi lingkungan, sehingga membawa perubahan bagi lingkungan dan perkonomian sekitar.

Hal ini ditemukan pada Project Child Indonesia sebagai organisasi non-profit yang memiliki visi yakni setiap anak di Indonesia memiliki kesempatan untuk belajar, memiliki kehidupan yang sehat, merasa didukung, dan aman untuk hidup di lingkungan bersih yang siap menghadapi bencana alam. Selama beberapa bulan tergabung dalam tim magang sosial bisnis di Project Child Indonesia, saya menyadari bahwa bisnis model yang disajikan oleh Project Child Indonesia dapat memotivasi masyarakat untuk turut berkontribusi membawa dampak bagi lingkungan, baik partisipasinya melalui donasi secara langsung, tergabung dalam program magang, maupun relawan.

2. Bisnis yang menawarkan nilai sosial dan ekonomi.

Kewirausahaan sosial yang memiliki tujuan khusus untuk berkontribusi menyelesaikan permasalahan sosial berpeluang untuk menemukan peluang pasar baru yang sesuai dengan ceruk masyarakat tersebut, sehingga kehadiran kewirausahaan sosial dapat dengan cepat dan efisien, dalam membantu memecahkan permasalahan sosial dan perekonomian dari masyarakat atau lingkungan tersebut.

Berdasarkan visi dari Project Child Indonesia, model bisnis dari organisasi ini mengusung konsep kewirausahaan sosial, yang juga secara spesifik mengarahkan kami sebagai social business trainee untuk menciptakan model bisnis yang sesuai dengan nilai-nilai dan tujuan dari Project Child Indonesia. Contohnya adalah ketika saya dan rekan-rekan satu tim diminta untuk menyusun konsep warung vegan di Project Child Indonesia. Dalam penyusunan konsep bisnis dari warung tersebut, tentunya dilandasi oleh beberapa tujuan sosial yang sesuai dengan nilai-nilai Project Child Indonesia. Kami sebagai bagian dari tim social business trainee di tantang untuk membuat konsep bisnis yang selain membawa manfaat ekonomi berupa profit, tetapi juga menyajikan nilai-nilai sosial di dalam bisnis yang dikonsepkan.

3. Memiliki tujuan mulia untuk membawa dampak bagi lingkungan.

Project Child Indonesia dengan mottonya “Everyone can do good” menawarkan nilai sosial yang menarik dalam organisasinya. Hal ini berlaku pula dalam pembuatan konsep bisnis pada Project Child Indonesia, setiap unit bisnis yang dirancang harus dapat sesuai dengan nilai-nilai Project Child Indonesia yang dapat menyeimbangi antara profit dan kebermanfaatan bisnis bagi lingkungan. Setiap model bisnis yang dirancang oleh kami sebagai tim social business trainee, harus disertai dengan nilai-nilai sosial dengan membawa tujuan dan memiliki misi bahwa keberadaan bisnis akan membawa manfaat bagi lingkungan, sehingga nilai-nilai sosial dan ajakan perubahan sosial merupakan inti dari setiap kegiatan operasional dari bisnis yang mengusung konsep kewirausahaan sosial.

REFERENSI

British Council. (2018). The State of Social Enterprise in Indonesia. Available at https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/the_state_of_social_enterprise_in_indonesia_british_council_web_final_0.pdf (Accessed 26 May 2021).

Cohive Space. 2017. 5 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurship Matters. Available at https://cohive.space/blogs/5-reasons-why-social-entrepreneurship-matters/ (Accessed 26 May 2021).

Roger L. Martin & Sally Osberg. (2007). Social Enterpreneurship: The Case for Definition. Available at https://ssir.org/articles/entry/social_entrepreneurship_the_case_for_definition (Accessed 26 May 2021).

The Uniqueness and Beauty Of Social Entrepreneurship

Written by:  Faya Augustian Ariestyarini, Social Business Trainee Intern Project Child Indonesia

Joining as part of the social business trainee team at Project Child Indonesia Batch 32 was a new and unique experience. It was a new experience because it was my first time participating in the apprenticeship program. It was also a unique experience because I joined the social business team. Project Child Indonesia as a non-profit organization means that there will be more business concepts entitled social entrepreneurship. I learned a lot about non-profit organizations, such as their definition, orientation, organizational structure, and the proper stages of designing social entrepreneurship to be implemented in Project Child Indonesia’s non-profit organizations. The business model in Project Child Indonesia is unique because it forms a social entrepreneurship scheme, which is a business idea to pursue profit and social good. The funds raised can be used to fund social programs that contribute to the environment.

Based on the results of research conducted by the British Council and USESCAP with the title Developing an Inclusive and Creative Economy: The State of Social Enterprise in Indonesia (2018), the results of the growth of social enterprises in Indonesia have continued to experience significant growth over the last few years. Even in the previous five years alone, the number of social entrepreneurs has grown five times greater than during the last five years. Based on the results of this research, of course, questions will arise related to the attractiveness of social enterprises, which seems to be a new trend in the business world today.

The popularity of the concept of social entrepreneurship in business is the uniqueness of social entrepreneurship, which presents unique stories and goals behind the establishment of the company. Social entrepreneurship, which offers noble goals, brings benefits and changes to the environment, seems to be a unique and distinct magnet for social entrepreneurship. There are several reasons why social entrepreneurship is unique and essential for the environment and the economy itself, including:

1. As a pioneer in social business that can motivate others to contribute to helping the environment and society.

Social entrepreneurship operates its business model by trying to align the goal of making a profit with its social values. At the same time can trigger other people’s motivation to be moved to help and contribute to the environment, thus bringing change to the environment and the surrounding economy.

Project Child Indonesia is a non-profit organization whose vision is that every child in Indonesia has the opportunity to learn, have a healthy life, feel supported, and are safe to live in a clean environment that is ready to face natural disasters. For several months being a part of the social business trainee team at Project Child Indonesia, I realized that the business model presented by Project Child Indonesia could motivate the community to contribute to making an impact on the environment, either through direct donations, joining the apprenticeship program, or volunteering.

2. Businesses that offer social and economic value.

Social entrepreneurship, which has a specific goal of solving social problems, can find new market opportunities under that community niche. Social entrepreneurship can be quickly and efficient in helping solve social and economic issues of the community or environment.

Based on the vision of Project Child Indonesia, the business model of this organization carries the concept of social entrepreneurship, which also explicitly directs us as social business trainees to create a business model that is in line with the values ​​and goals of Project Child Indonesia. In one of our projects, we are preparing the business concept of the shop, based on several social goals that are following the values ​​of Project Child Indonesia. As part of the social business trainee team, they challenged us to create a business concept that brings economic benefits in the form of profit and presents social values ​​in the conceptualized business.

3. Having a noble purpose of having an impact on the environment.

Project Child Indonesia with the motto “Everyone can do good,” offers attractive social values ​​in the organization. The slogan also applies in making business concepts in Project Child Indonesia. Each business unit designed must be following the importance ​​of Project Child Indonesia, which can balance the profit and benefit of the business for the environment. Every business model created by the social business trainee team must be according to the Project Child Indonesia social values ​​and have a mission that the existence of a business will bring benefits to the environment. It is so that social values ​​and the invitation to social change are at the core of every operational activity from companies that carry the concept of social entrepreneurship.

Reference:

British Council. (2018). The State of Social Enterprise in Indonesia. Available at https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/the_state_of_social_enterprise_in_indonesia_british_council_web_final_0.pdf (Accessed 26 May 2021).

Cohive Space. 2017. 5 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurship Matters. Available at https://cohive.space/blogs/5-reasons-why-social-entrepreneurship-matters/ (Accessed 26 May 2021).

Roger L. Martin & Sally Osberg. (2007). Social Enterpreneurship: The Case for Definition. Available at https://ssir.org/articles/entry/social_entrepreneurship_the_case_for_definition (Accessed 26 May 2021).

Get to Know the Most Common Natural Disasters in Indonesia

written by Stephanie Ruth Armida and Rafy Ramadhan: Content Writer Interns at Project Child Indonesia

Indonesia is known for its beautiful nature. However, behind Indonesia’s beautiful sceneries, there lurk dangers of natural disaster that can befall us any time. Located in the Ring of Fire, one of the world’s most geologically active areas, our country is prone to geological disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. We are also threatened by hydrometeorological or water related disasters such as floods, landslides, droughts and wildfires. In this article, we are going to discuss three of Indonesia’s most common disasters, which are earthquakes, floods, and landslides. We will also talk about what we should do if we ever have to face them!

Earthquakes, Floods & Landslides 

Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical (BMKG) stated that the intensity of earthquakes have increased at the beginning of the year (Thirafi, 2021). This happened due to aftershock of the earthquakes and the faults –cracks, in the earth where sections of plate are moving into different directions. People living in dense locations and/or near active tectonic locations are more likely to suffer the worst impact of the damage. Besides its danger due to  the amount of damage it can deal, an earthquake may lead to other disasters such as floods and landslides.

Floods, often caused by heavy downpour in the rainy season, are one of many disasters that are caused by humans most of the time. Poor water drainage, deforestations, and narrowing rivers are some of the many root causes of floods (Rayda, 2021). As discussed in our previous article, extreme weather has increased  the intensity of flood and it is getting more difficult to be predicted. Areas affected by floods are often covered by silt and muds. Floods may also contain hazardous materials in the water, such as sharp debris, dangerous chemicals, and sewage that might harm people. Moreover, it can damage facilities and leave affected residents with clean water shortage, no electricity,  and high risks of waterborne diseases. 

The last kind of disaster is landslides. Landslides are also caused by hydrometeorological phenomena. Oftentimes, they are triggered by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and heavy downpours. Now, we have an increasing number of landslides due to deforestation, climate change, and the conversion of open lands for modern-use purposes (Landslides : FAO in Emergencies, n.d.). Like any other disaster, landslides can cause structural destruction, loss of natural resources and damage to the land. It can also block rivers, hence higher risk of floods. 

Socio-Economic Impacts

The direct impacts of said disasters are dire indeed. However, we cannot ignore the indirect (and mostly long-term) impacts of these natural disasters as well. Our economy and society suffer from natural disasters which happen in a significantly high frequency, because our country is prone to natural disasters. 

From the economic point of view, devastated infrastructure can lead to poverty due to decreasing flow of income. Rebuilding destroyed infrastructures also suck up a considerable amount of budget from our government from time to time, given the fact that almost half of Indonesia’s districts are affected by natural disasters annually. 

From the social perspective, Natural disasters can cause education impairment, since school buildings are damaged and/or used as shelter for residents who are suffering from the phenomena. It can also trigger psychological impact such as trauma and anxiety.

Mitigation & Preparation

Despite the fact of being prone to natural disasters, the infrastructure in our country is not developed enough to be able to withstand the impact caused by them. While it is our government’s job to create sufficient disaster mitigation for its citizens, it is also our own responsibility to be prepared to face any natural disaster, especially those which have high potential to occur in our area. 

You can begin by creating a family safety plan and emergency supplies. Look up for disaster safety tips! Even the most simple knowledge like knowing what to do during a natural disaster such as hiding under your desk during an earthquake or running to the highest land near your area during floods might be a difference between life and death. 

We recommend you to download BNPB’s Disaster Pocketbook for more knowledge about natural disasters from here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d5A4bATq1VpqSgibS_bWd5JhLrrCpXE5/view  

Knowing emergency hotlines to call during a disaster  is also crucial should you ever need emergency help!  Here are the numbers you can call in our country to call for help:

  • Ambulance: 118 or 119
  • Police: 110
  • Search and Rescue (SAR): 115
  • Natural Disaster Officer: 129

Although sometimes natural disasters cannot be prevented, we can still try to save our nature and ourselves by fighting climate change. How? By creating eco-friendly behavior! Go check our previous articles for more helpful information, and as usual, everyone can do good, so do not forget to share this information to everyone! 

References

Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB). (2020). Buku Saku Tanggap Tangkas Tangguh Cetakan Kelima 2020 (Vol. 5) [E-book]. Pusat Data Informasi dan Komunikasi Kebencanaan BNPB. https://bnpb.go.id/buku/buku-saku-tanggap-tangkas-tangguh-cetakan-kelima-2020

Landslides : FAO in Emergencies. (n.d.). FAO. http://www.fao.org/emergencies/emergency-types/landslides/en/#:%7E:text=The%20impact%20of%20a%20landslide,increase%20the%20risk%20of%20floods

Rayda, N. (2021, February 8). The Indonesian government is exploring multiple options to contain the worsening floods, but there are obstacles including climate change and illegal settlements. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/jakarta-flooding-relocation-giant-seawall-anies-baswedan-13864908#:%7E:text=Although%20not%20as%20severe%20as,of%20the%20city’s%20business%20districts.

Thirafi, H. (2021, January 23). (Update) Potensi Multi Bencana Hidrometeorologis dan Aktivitas Kegempaan Meningkat, Masyarakat Diminta Tidak Panik tapi Tingkatkan Kewaspadaan | BMKG. BMKG | Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika. https://www.bmkg.go.id/berita/?p=potensi-multi-bencana-hidrometeorologis-dan-aktivitas-kegempaan-meningkat-masyarakat-diminta-tidak-panik-tapi-tingkatkan-kewaspadaan&lang=ID&tag=apps-info-bmkg

Changes in Children’s Mental Health During Covid-19

Written by Lubna Hanifa M, Grants Researcher Intern Project Child Indonesia

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide in different ways. Most people, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity have experienced its effects in one way or another, perhaps changing their lives forever. The pandemic has threatened not only global physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing as well. 

Amongst those at risk are school-age children who are currently at crucial periods in their life for learning and socialization. Thanks to the pandemic, many students are experiencing consequential damage to their mental health which may have enduring long-term effects. 

The Switch from Offline to Online Schooling

First and foremost, one of the major consequences of the pandemic has been the widespread closure of schools. The drastic shift to online learning – that is still ongoing, even now – has the potential to trigger further mental health problems as they interfere with numerous aspects of a child’s life. For school-age students, peer groups hold an incredibly crucial role in their lives. Furthermore, regular school days provide structure and routine for children. As they are robbed of these critical things, feelings of loneliness and uncertainty become common. As a consequence, children may become more dependent and clingy towards parents. If these feelings persist and are severe enough, further problems may arise that negatively impact their mental health such as depression or anxiety.

Costs of Self-Isolation and Quarantine

In addition to school closures, children who have experienced or are undergoing self-isolation or quarantine may also experience detrimental effects in regards to their mental health. Young children in particular are susceptible to grieve the parental separation, as parents are key individuals in that life stage. Moreover, children who had experienced mandatory self-isolation were more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, as well as adjustment disorder.

Feeling Unsafe at Home

For some children, the major risk factor to their safety actually comes from their own households. The prolonged time of staying at home exposes them to dangers they would otherwise be able to avoid by going about their daily routines before the pandemic hit. Social isolation in abusive homes is a specifically pressing issue. Increased stress and economic uncertainty experienced by their parents is a factor that can potentially exacerbate the occurrence of domestic violence and abuse. Such family situations can lead children to feel increasingly restless, anxious, or irritable in addition to being physically threatened. In some cases, it is possible that the child has experienced pent up emotions as a result of prolonged stay at home periods, thereby making them more prone to conflicts with other family members in the household. 

All in all, although certain regulations are in place to protect children and their families from the virus, these restrictions might actually inflict unintended harm. The urgency for regulation-makers to balance the threat of the virus in addition to the threat towards the public’s mental health, especially that of children, must be taken into urgent consideration.

Eyes Wider on Extreme Weather

written by Adides Gideon Simanjuntak, Stephanie Ruth Armida, Rafy Ramadhan: Content Writer Interns at Project Child Indonesia

Have you noticed the extreme weather conditions around us lately? Recently, our country has been hit by the Tropical Cyclone Seroja in East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. It is one of many other natural disasters we have had. Indonesia has had 197 natural disasters between January 1 and January 23, 2021, according to the Indonesian National Board of Disaster Management (BPNB) (Fardah, 2021). This phenomenon also happens in other countries. For example, the Australian wildfires that happened last year which were caused by heat waves. Early in this month, Germany just had late-season snow in April (Washington Post, 2021). What is actually going on and why is it happening? 

Extreme Weather due to Climate Change

Remember about global warming? It’s just getting worse. The increasing greenhouse gas emission (GHG) due to the overuse of fossil fuel, deforestation, and industrial factory farming (Causes of Climate Change, 2017) has caused earth temperature to increase. It led to climate change and triggered extreme weather– an unpredictable weather that occurs greater than its range in the past (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2005). 

The Impact of Extreme Weather

Extreme weather triggers heavy downpours, droughts, floods, storms, heat waves, and hurricanes. Met Office (2018) explained that it happens due to the unstable situation of the atmosphere and the rising temperature of the sea. These will bring negative impacts not only to our environment, but also to the economy and social sector. 

For the environment, extreme weather might reduce the ecosystem’s capability in absorbing carbon; hence, increasing the quantity of carbon in the atmosphere (The Weather Channel, 2013). Drought is one of the most damaging extreme weather in this context, because as trees and plants die, there will be nothing to absorb carbons. Hence, the extreme weather will be even worse. Drought also puts living creatures in danger.

Drought also brings death to plants and it surely disturbs the ecosystem. The danger is not limited on the land, as the rising temperature in the sea will also disturb the marine ecosystem. This results in the loss of biodiversity of flora and fauna. It can also increase health risks to humans (What Are the Effects of Climate Change?, n.d.). Extreme weathers like floods and unpredictable hurricanes can even cause casualties in a short amount of time.

Economy and social wise, the destruction of agriculture, infrastructure, productivity and other fields may threaten our economy and social life as well. Losing our land and water due to extreme weather can lead to food insecurity, affecting not only the local people but also to the market. This can result in economic problems including the loss of jobs while our government has to spend money to aid the affected.

Every Cloud Has Silver Lining, Including COVID-19 

Though the current pandemic has brought so many problems into the world, it has also brought a good impact that shows us that reducing climate change is possible. If the climate change issue is solved, extreme weather will disappear on its own. Dwortzan (2021) said that many countries are showing great reductions on GHG due to less transportation activity, decreasing usage of fossil fuels and sustainable sources of foods. For the first time in forever, the world has been put into rest. It shows us that our actions matter in light of fighting climate change.

Our Actions Shape Our World

Even our smallest actions can make a big difference. We can start making changes by reflecting about our daily activities. For instance, we can try paying attention to our eating habits. Make sure that we eat and buy food responsibly to minimize food waste. Believe it or not, food waste also has its part in emitting  greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. You can also try growing your own food by doing urban farming. You can grow your own vegetables even in a minimum space, for example on your garden or rooftop. 

Regarding energy consumption, we can start using energy more mindfully. We can start in our house by plugging off our charger after using, eating outside less, and minimizing electricity consumption. We can also take public transportation if possible to reduce the usage of fossil fuels.

Last but not least, do not hesitate to spread awareness about these issues to your friends! Sharing your eco-friendly behavior can inspire others to act on our world, and together we can make our world a better place.

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay”

-Sallust

References

Days After Historic Warmth, Europe Braces for Shocking Blast of Cold, Snow. (2021, April 5). Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/04/05/europe-cold-blast-snow/

Can Extreme Weather Make Climate Change Worse? | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com. (2013, August 15). The Weather Channel. https://weather.com/science/environment/news/can-extreme-weather-make-climate-change-worse-20130815#:%7E:text=The%20researchers%20have%20shown%20that,to%20remain%20in%20the%20atmosphere.

Causes of climate change. (2017, June 28). Climate Action – European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/clima/change/causes_en#:%7E:text=Humans%20are%20increasingly%20influencing%20the,greenhouse%20effect%20and%20global%20warming

Dwortzan, M. (2021, January 29). How will Covid-19 ultimately impact climate change? MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. https://news.mit.edu/2021/how-will-covid-19-ultimately-impact-climate-change-0129

Fardah. (2021, February 6). Indonesia enters 2021 with “abnormal” natural disasters. Antara News. https://en.antaranews.com/news/167468/indonesia-enters-2021-with-abnormal-natural-disasters

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2005). Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Web.Archive.Org. https://web.archive.org/web/20051101154444/http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/088.htm

Met Office. (2018, December 13). How is climate linked to extreme weather? https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate/climate-and-extreme-weather

What are the effects of climate change? (n.d.). Www.Myclimate.Org. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://www.myclimate.org/information/faq/faq-detail/what-are-the-effects-of-climate-change/

Overcoming Medical Waste Problem during the Pandemic

Written by Adides Gideon Simanjuntak, Rafy Ramadhan, Stephanie Ruth Armida: Content Writer Interns Project Child Indonesia

It has been more than a year since we have our ‘14 days quarantine’. Who would have thought that the pandemic would stick around for such a long time? Just imagine all the medical waste we have produced up until now! If we do not pay any attention to medical waste, it will cause us problems in the future. Let us see what medical waste actually is, what are the problems caused by it, and what we can do to help!

What is Medical Waste?

According to WHO, Medical Waste can be classified as waste that is generated with the body fluids/contact with human beings or animals. Masks, gloves, hazmat suits, and other used medical devices from COVID-19 testings are the common examples of medical waste that has increased during the pandemic. Medical waste comes not only from hospitals, but also from households. Everyone produces medical waste, including us. 

Problems Arise

As the number of COVID-19 patients keeps getting higher each day, the number of PPEs (Personal Protection Equipments) used is also getting higher. This results in more medical waste produced. Unfortunately, our country hasn’t been able to handle it very well. Due to COVID-19, medical waste in Indonesia has reached 6.417,95 tons as of February 4th, 2021.

Right now, our country is facing problems from several dimensions:

  • Environmental
    • Most PPEs contain polypropylene, polyurethane, polyacrylonitrile, polyethylene, and polyethylene terephthalate, chemicals that make it harder to break down. The fragmentation of it will not only harm the land, but also the water ecosystems in rivers and the sea.  They can tangle and poison animals such as fish and birds that live near water. 
    • PPEs will release toxins if they are burned in the open, causing air pollution. Medical waste such as these has to be incinerated to kill the dangerous elements in it. However, even Incinerators cause pollution, meaning more health problems to the respiratory system and the skin. 
    • Landfills are overwhelmed by medical waste. The degradation process of medical waste can release the toxic chemicals to an open environment which can be hazardous to people around the area. 
  • Social

Because rivers are now heavily polluted with medical waste, families who rely their lives  on rivers are at risk. For example, residents who depend on the Cisadane river for their daily necessities are now scared of using the water because it’s too dangerous (Keck, 2020). Workers who rely on waste picking are also impacted because they have to be in contact with the medical waste; hence, they have a bigger risk of catching the virus. 

  • Economic

To save our country, our government has to work on solutions, and they definitely cost a lot of money. For example, they are building new incinerator plants, and while the government is working on those, they also have to spend more on third-parties in order to let hospitals use their incinerators to burn medical waste.

The Good News

You can a little be at ease, because our government and other bigger parties surely are working on the solutions for our medical waste problems. One of them is that our government is cooperating with cement factories by using their kilns as incinerators. In the meantime, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, the Director-General for Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substances Management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia stated in one of Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)’s webinar last year that the government is currently focusing on building five new incinerators this year and a total of 32 incinerators within the next five year.

Another solution comes from LIPI. They are working on an environmentally-friendly method which is called recrystallization. It even produces recycled plastics with higher purity, as explained by Sunit Hendrana (2021), one of the researchers in LIPI. 

Lastly, our government also utilizes autoclaves, a sustainable tool to manage medical waste. It sterilizes medical waste using heat from pressured steam. WHO is working with our Ministry of Environment and Forestry and in collaboration with UNDP on building four autoclaves in hope that it can help solve the lack of incinerators in the country.

What Can We Do to Help?

There are many things we can do to help our environment, and they are very simple! Starting off small, we can reduce disposable mask consumption by wearing a double cloth mask or reusable mask such as the N95 mask. It might seem trivial, but if everyone does it, we can eventually reduce huge numbers of domestic medical waste. Also, in case you are unsure what to do with your medical waste, you can disinfect them simply by soaking in bleach/detergent before disposing of them at your nearest public health center (hospitals, clinics) where they can help you with better medical waste management. Remember, even the smallest thing can bring a huge impact if done by a lot of people. Stay safe and stay kind to our environment!

References:

Keck, M. (2020, September 7). COVID-19 Medical Waste Is Heavily Polluting This River in Indonesia. Global Citizen. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/covid-19-medical-waste-Cisadane-river/

Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. (2021, January). Rekristalisasi, Solusi Daur Ulang Sampah Medis. http://lipi.go.id/berita/single/Rekristalisasi-Solusi-Daur-Ulang-Sampah-Medis/22316

Rikin, A.S. (2020, April 22). KLHK Akan Bangun 5 Insinerator Tahun Ini. Bisnis.com. https://ekonomi.bisnis.com/read/20200422/99/1230996/klhk-akan-bangun-5-insinerator-tahun-ini

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021: Ensuring Workers’ Safety and Health amidst Pandemic

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

Have you ever heard of the term Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)? As specified in the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187), it aims to build a system that can guarantee the safety and health of workers in the workplace. OSH risks may present themselves in a range of forms, but a set of new emerging risks are brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the pandemic, the workplace becomes a new hotspot for possible virus transmissions. Mitigation measures to address this threat are altering the common methods and practices of workers. One of them is the transition to a work-from-home policy that aims to reduce the number of workers present on-site while maintaining work productivity through long-distance communication and coordination.

This transition is of course without its own challenges. Quarantine and work-from-home policies have observably seen new consequences of its implementation such as psychosocial risks and violence. Working from home without the familiarity of a workplace setting and its defining characteristics like work desk and colleagues can potentially lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Domestic violence has also reportedly increased during the pandemic quarantine as one of the manifestations of psychosocial stress faced by workers.

OSH risks amidst the pandemic can be even more threatening for workers in developing countries. 80% of workers in developing countries are estimated to be exposed to global occupational hazards (Khan, 2013). With the prevalence of the informal economy sector, many do not have access to secure and guaranteed social safety nets, including healthcare. A number of individuals had to continue working in risky environments as they had no other options to make a living. At the same time, OSH framework development in developing countries continues to be ignored in policymaking (Nuwayhid, 2004).

The International Labour Organization (ILO) first initiated the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, 2003 to highlight the problems of occupational accidents and diseases as well as to promote its prevention. This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work adopts the title of “Anticipate, Prepare and Respond to Crises” and “Invest Now in Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems”, which calls for an immediate and proper response to OSH risks caused by the pandemic (World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021, 2021).

As individuals, we can contribute to the prevention of OSH risks by being responsible to our own roles in the workplace. We can remind our colleagues, friends and family, and our surrounding environment to work safely and know one’s work rights. We can also contribute to movements and campaigns that call out and challenge unsafe and inhumane practices in workplaces. Additionally, we can exercise our right as a citizen to demand our government to provide policy and legal framework that can ensure the safety and health of workers. 

As the pandemic continues to loom over, we can continue to collaborate with one another to do good and spread kindness as much as we can.

References

Khan, M., 2013. Developing a Safety Culture in Developing Countries. In: International Conference on Safety, Construction Engineering and Project Management (ICSCEPM 2013). [online] Islamabad. Available at: <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276488208_Developing_a_Safety_Culture_in_Developing_Countries> [Accessed 27 April 2021].

Nuwayhid, I., 2004. Occupational Health Research in Developing Countries: A Partner for Social Justice. American Journal of Public Health, 94(11), pp.1916-1921.
International Labour Organization (ILO). 2021. World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/events-training/events-meetings/safeday2021/lang–en/index.htm> [Accessed 27 April 2021].

World Earth Day 2021: Protect the Environment, Restore Our Earth

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

It is widely known that climate change has been one of the most pressing issues of our world. Environmental degradation poses a threat to the balance of the global ecosystem that involves all kinds of living beings, whether it be plants, animals, and human beings. The deterioration of the environment also threatens the livelihoods of many, particularly those most socioeconomically marginalized and vulnerable. To address this problem, various actors across sectors have taken action and collaborated to collectively build a comprehensive response that can counter the effects brought about by climate change. Among these actors, private individuals and non-governmental organizations are some who have contributed to the mainstreaming of climate change discourse.

World Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, to bring awareness to the precarious state the Earth was in. It aims to gather people across the world to unite in acknowledging the importance of preserving the Earth and tackling the problems leading to environmental degradation and climate change. Ever since the day has been celebrated every year with various actions and movements to protect the Earth.

The 2021 theme for World Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth”. It signifies the collective belongingness we have with one another and the Earth as well as our responsibilities to restore the balance in our environment.

A few ways which you can do to participate in this year’s World Earth Day are:

  1. Educating one’s self on environmental issues

There are different environmental issues based on various factors and concepts, and sometimes it is difficult to be informed of everything at the same time. During this year’s World Earth Day, you can join online discussions and webinars which aim to discuss various perspectives and ways in which environmental degradation and climate change threaten our Earth. For instance, the World Earth Day organizers will be holding a virtual youth summit and inviting various youth climate activists.

  1. Rearranging room or house and identifying pattern of consumption

World Earth Day is also the perfect time for you to identify your own daily consumption pattern. You can rearrange your house and room and observe whether you have been using any items with unsustainable materials or those that take up a lot of energy. This is also a chance for you to see if you have been overconsuming by buying or hoarding items that end up being unused and left collecting dust in the corner of your room. Cleaning up your own space can also mean taking out the trashes and recycling those based on the suggested sustainable guidelines.

  1. Connecting with nearby communities

No movement will ever progress forward without the help and collaboration of a tight-knit community. World Earth Day can be a time for you to connect with nearby environmental organizations or events that aim to combat the effects of climate change. Some of the events that usually take place during World Earth Day are tree planting, community clean-up, sustainability workshops, and other hands-on activities as a first-hand method to protect the environment. Joining one of these wouldn’t only give you a new network of people who care about the same issue as you do, but also space for you to contribute to preserving the Earth.

There are still many other ways for you to take action during World Earth Day, but remember the most important thing: everyone can do good, and protecting our Earth is also one way to realize it!

References

EARTHDAY.ORG. 2021. Earth Day 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/> [Accessed 19 April 2021].