Monday, 7 August 2017

Justice for Kids in Banda Aceh

By Cory Rogers, Communication Officer

Yudha looks out from the window at the LPKS social services centre © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

Banda Aceh: When the cops came knocking 17-year-old Yudha was on the couch with his uncle and no time to run.

“They took me outside and asked me where I got the drugs,” Yudha said, picking at his nails at the facility in Aceh where he’s now being held.
He and his uncle had just finished smoking meth (or sabu-sabu as it is known locally) and both were in a drug-addled fog. “I told them I got the sabu-sabu from my friends,” Yudha said.

Yudha now admits he procured the meth himself. He says he’d been smoking it casually since middle school, but after his parents split up the habit began to grow; he stopped going to school, avoided going home and, in part to fuel his nascent addiction, began dealing.

In a country known for strict drug laws, the prospect of Yudha going to prison, even as a juvenile, was real. Though alternatives like social rehabilitation have grown in recent decades, thousands of children are still in prisons.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Nationwide Measles-Rubella immunization campaign kicks off

By Cory Rogers, Communication Officer

Students play outside their school prior to the start of the Measles-Rubella immunization campaign launch event in Sleman, Yogyakarta. The immunization push is part of the Government’s pledge to eliminate Measles and Rubella by 2020. © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

Yogyakarta: The Government of Indonesia kicked off its most ambitious immunization drive to date this week in Yogyakarta, with aims to vaccinate 35 million children in Java against Measles and Rubella (MR) by the end of next month. Another 35 million children will be targeted in all other provinces in August and September 2018.

The launch event, held at State Islamic Junior High School 10 in Sleman, Yogyakarta, was officiated by President Joko Widodo.  “We all have a duty as parents, and a duty as the State to protect our children, to make sure they’re healthy,” Jokowi told hundreds of Yogyakartans gathered at the school. “Parents, schools – we all need to explain that immunization is important for our children.


President Jokowi stops by a classroom and sits with students awaiting their MR vaccines. The Government will administer the MR vaccine to any child between the ages of 9 months and 15 years free of charge and integrate the vaccine into the standard package of immunizations. The goal is to achieve 95 per cent coverage by the end of September 2018 and to eliminate both diseases by 2020. © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017.

A young girl receives her MR vaccination, which prevents both diseases and has been used in more than 141 countries in the world. The vaccinations will be administered in schools in the month of August. In September, the immunizations will move to local health centres and health posts. © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017.

Grace Melia, founder of the online parents’ community Rumah Ramah Rubella, speaks about the challenge of caring for her daughter Aubrey, who was born with a severe case of Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). While the symptoms are mild in children and adults, when contracted by pregnant women, Rubella can cause miscarriage or CRS which can harm foetal development causing disabilities like heart defects, brain tissue damage, eye cataracts, deafness and developmental delays.
© Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

From left to right, President Jokowi, First Lady Iriana, Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, and Minister of Health Nina Moeloek converse with three students at the end of the campaign launch event. Most schools in Indonesia have agreed to administer the immunization. In a small number of communities, however, misinformation has given rise to the idea that vaccines are considered haram, or forbidden by Islam. UNICEF has worked closely with the Government to counter this myth with an outreach strategy that highlights widespread Muslim acceptance of immunizations. © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

Friday, 14 July 2017

Fighting Malnutrition with Community-Based Treatment

By Blandina Bait, Nutrition Officer

UNICEF is supporting the Government of Indonesia to implement the CMAM nutrition programme © UNICEF / 2017

Two-year-old Alfredo had been suffering from persistent diarrhoea for two days when his worried mother, Yosina, took him to the village health center, known as a puskesmas, near their rural farming community in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia.

The boy was very weak and looked pale; the health worker on duty confirmed that Alfredo had severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

“I was torn and shocked to learn that Alfredo was suffering from severe acute malnutrition,” said Yosina. She was even more alarmed to learn that SAM made Alfredo more vulnerable to diseases which could lead to death.

Yosina did not hesitate when the health worker advised her to enrol him in the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme for children aged 6-59 months. Though the cost of the one-hour round trip ($4) to the puskesmas for Alfredo’s weekly treatment would be a significant expenditure for the family of subsistence rice farmers, she and her husband agreed it was important for the sake of Alfredo’s future.

Roots Day Takes Aim at Bullying in Makassar

By Derry Fahrizal Ulum, Child Protection Officer

Students and I during Roots Day activities at one of the photo booths © Derry Ulum / 2017 

Makassar:“I believe that making friends with everybody is a good way to overcome [the problem of] bullying. When we show our closest friends how to behave positively, it influences all students to want to change just like us”.

The above statement was made by one of 30 student ‘change-makers’ during ‘Roots Day’ at SMPN 37 Middle School in Makassar, a regional port town in the southwest of Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. Roots Day is the culmination of a student-to-student school anti-violence initiative piloted by UNICEF that seeks to eliminate bullying to optimize learning and enhance student safety.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Adolescents take action; adults listen

By Liz Pick, Communications Specialist

The adolescents of Oeletsala village, Kupang, gained new confidence to speak up and voice their ideas through the 'adolescent circle'' © UNICEF Indonesia/2017/Liz Pick

“It’s definitely never happened before. I never thought adults would ever listen to children’s ideas. But the head of the village did listen to us and now we have an easier life.”

So says 17-year-old Ina who lives in Oeletsala village near Kupang, a city in the western end of Timor Island in Eastern Indonesia. She and about 40 others from three nearby villages are part of a pilot programme to help adolescents learn to recognise risks in their environment and identify potential solutions using UNICEF’s Adolescent Kit for Expression and Innovation.