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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.

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

Commemorating the First-ever International Day of Education: Indonesia and the World to Take Bigger Steps to Achieve Educational Equality

Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.”
Chief of UNESCO at the Inauguration of the International Day of Education


Education has played a crucial role in the efforts of achieving all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); therefore, its importance could not unquestionably be overlooked. The establishment of the International Day of Education by the United Nations indicates further awareness and commitments of the international community to embody the 4th SDGs, which is quality education. The UN chief emphasized during the inaugural day, that the world could not afford a youth generation who have inadequate necessary skills to compete in the 21st century economy. He stated so as there are still at least 262 million children, adolescents, and youth who are out of school, in which most of them are girls; millions who attend the school are not mastering the basics.  It could be seen that unequal access to education has become a major obstacle for most countries in achieving inclusive growth, and therefore, should be taken into account by all layers of the society.

Each country has different levels of educational disparities within it, regardless of whether it is a developed or developing, a poor or rich nation. The United Kingdom, despite its position as the world’s 5th largest economy, is ranked 23th in the world in primary school inequalities, according to UNICEF’s report, An Unfair Start. The driving factors of the inequalities might be due to unequal income distribution, as well as low quality education.This also happens in Australia, where educational inequality has largely taken place, with the discrepancy of socioeconomic status and parents’ education as the main influencing factors, which also have contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor. Aside from those aforementioned factors, the conduct of discriminatory practices might also be the cause, either based on race, religion, gender, and so forth.

Indonesia is no different compared to the aforementioned countries; it is also experiencing high educational disparities. While a child in Jakarta could pursue 11 years of schooling, a child in Papua could only be expected to complete 6 years of education in schools. It could be seen that the access to education in rural areas is still highly limited. To add further, the significant discrepancy of income in Indonesia has made the problem becomes worse; high-quality education remains inaccessible for those who come from poor families. Only those who come from financially-capable families who would be able to choose between private or public schools. Students with disabilities also experience educational inequality and inaccessibility, as according to the research carried out by the University of Indonesia, almost 70% of disabled children do not go to school, and 66.8% of them even only have the chance to pursue their education until the primary school level.  Those cases indicate how inclusive education still remains a challenge that Indonesian government and society should strive for it harder to make it into the reality.

Currently, education has increasingly mattered more than ever, as people could pursue better opportunities and live better lives if they are sufficiently educated. Nonetheless, the increasing educational inequalities in the world has made achieving inclusive and quality education becomes a challenge that should be resolved by the international community. Universal access to education should be guaranteed through collaborations among government, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and other relevant stakeholders in order to make sure that the “No One Left Behind” tagline is not merely a talk, but also an act.

written by Felice Valeria – Content Writer Project Child Indonesia

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