Project Child Indonesia Collaborate with Alumni Grant Scheme #3

This article is the third in a tri-series that provides a holistic demonstration of how Project Child Indonesia implemented and conducted a Drinking Water Program in the remote region of Fakfak in Indonesia’s Papua.

As Abie and Filla embarked on their long journey back to Yogyakarta from Fakfak  in Papua, they felt that their, and Project Child Indonesia’s (PCI), collaborative journey with the Fakfak community in West Papua was far from over. On the contrary, as they boarded the plane they understood this to be just the beginning in what they, PCI, and the community of Fakfak hoped to be a long and symbiotic relationship.

The testament to this relationship was immediate, and eagerly welcomed by Abie and Filla, who after only just arriving back in Yogyakarta, were in communication with volunteers, community members, and families from Fakfak. The content of this communication was varied with much of it having little to do with the Drinking Water Program, but more to do with the personal relationships forged between Abie and Filla, and the community of Fakfak. It was a heart-warming time for Abie and Filla as they began to understand the substance of the relationships forged, and saw that the impact of the Drinking Water Program transcended just the physical aims of providing clean water access and educational programs. This acknowledgement and understanding further instilled within Abie and Filla the desire to return to Fakfak when they next got the opportunity to do so.

Beyond the personal communication that Abie and Filla received from the community as the days went by messages, photos and videos began streaming in that demonstrated the impact that the Drinking Water Program had already had within the schools themselves. Photos of the water filters surrounded by smiling students, videos of the use of the filters – the excitement tangible through the screen! Messages coupled with these images from community members, school principals, teachers, and students’ families describing the excitement that followed the installation of the water filters and the subsequent student access to clean drinking water. Abie and Filla had difficulty describing what the content of these messages meant to them, happiness and pride didn’t seem to do it justice. What they did acknowledge however was that the hours upon hours of hard work taken up by them, and a myriad other hard-working dedicated individuals in the lead up to, and throughout the program itself, had been worth it. To see a tangible outcome in the form of student uptake was inspiring to them, and demonstrated not only the benefit, but also the necessity of this program.

With the wake of the program only in the nearby past, program outcome and uptake are only in their very preliminary stages. That being said however, the feedback received by Project Child Indonesia from its friends and collaborators in Fakfak has provided a platform of hope and excitement upon which both Project Child, and Fakfak firmly believe that the project, its teachings, and the associated outcomes can take flight. Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right. Project Child Indonesia wishes to see that right materialised for as many young people as they can. Fakfak represents the confirmed capacity of Project Child Indonesia to bring this access, and the associated education, to divergent contexts across the Indonesian archipelago, and is another step in the marathon that Project Child has embarked on; to materialise the basic human right of access to clean drinking water, and to provide the youth of Indonesia with the platform upon which they can become the agents of change that will see the sustainability of our planet pursued.

Atin Prabandari, the Advisor at Project Child Indonesia receive fund from the Australian Government through the Alumni Grant Scheme and administered by the Australia Awards in Indonesia. The views expressed within this article are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Embassy Indonesia, Australia Awards in Indonesia and Australia Global Alumni.