Monday, March 30, 2015

Sanitation in Sumba – improving day by day

- Nick Baker, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer

Sanitarian Dangga Mesa attends a village meeting in Sumba Barat Daya.
©UNICEF Indonesia/2015/Nick Baker

It’s an unusually busy morning in Matapywu village on the island of Sumba (NTT). Heads of family have been called together for an important meeting. Seats are taken, coffee is served, and the topic is announced: toilets.

Meetings on this unusual subject are now quite common around the island. Matapywu is just one of many villages that recently underwent a triggering session supported by UNICEF. These workshops aim to end open defecation practices.

Now it’s time to check progress. A sanitarian, Dangga Mesa, discusses developments since she held the triggering session a few months ago. Dangga seems pleased on the impact it had.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Building back better for a safer future

- Simon Nazer, Communication Consultant for UNICEF East Asia and Pacific

Earthquake drill at Muhammadiyah 1 Primary School in Banda Aceh. New school buildings were designed to be earthquake resistant.
© UNICEF Indonesia/2014/Achmadi

UNICEF colleagues and international agencies are now mobilising after Cyclone Pam’s devastating impact on Vanuatu. It's a painful reminder of the dangers many countries in this region face, and why it is so important everyone is fully prepared to deal with what ever comes.

To find out about UNICEF’s work in reducing the impacts of disasters, a few days ago I caught up with some colleagues in Indonesia and Kiribati, some the world world’s most disaster prone areas.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

U-Report Indonesia: The story so far

By Nick Baker, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer

The Give Voice to the Voiceless Campaign is increasing interest in U-Report Indonesia.
©UNICEF Indonesia/2015

What if it were possible to ask 67 million young people what matters to them? UNICEF Indonesia is keen to find out.

In 2014, UNICEF Indonesia piloted U-Report Indonesia – a new platform that encourages the country’s 67 million youth to make their voices heard on key development issues.

U-Report Indonesia is a Twitter-based polling system that questions young people on an array of important topics ranging from education to nutrition to child marriage to bullying.

The responses to the questions are then analyzed by UNICEF Indonesia. The idea is to share this information with government, development partners and civil society as a way of fostering adolescent and youth participation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A better future – ending open defecation in Sumba

- By Nick Baker, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer - 

One year old Juan with his new toilet. ©UNICEF Indonesia/2015/Nick Baker

SUMBA BARAT DAYA, March 2015 – Juan Ngongo, currently just one year old, will be the first person in his family to grow up with a toilet.

Juan lives in the village of Watu Kaula on the island of Sumba (NTT). For generations, his family would defecate in or around a small river that runs just beside their house.

But not anymore. Juan’s family recently attended a triggering session in their village that was facilitated by UNICEF. During these events, health workers demonstrate how easily bacteria from faeces can enter the food chain and cause a raft of health problems.

These health problems include diarrhoea and pneumonia – which are chief contributors to more than 370 under-five deaths per day in Indonesia.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Marta Santos Pais calls on Indonesia to become a champion to end violence against children

- By Devi Asmarani -

Marta Santos Pais (middle row, fifth from the right) together with representatives of several youth networks in Indonesia. 

Jakarta, 3 March 2015 - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais has urged Indonesia to take on a leading role in the region in the fight to end violence against children.

During a weeklong visit to Jakarta from 23 to 28 February, Ms. Santos Pais observed that the country has already taken considerable steps to prevent and eliminate violence against children. However, a lot more needed to be done to make the efforts more effective, she said, after her meetings with Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians, representatives of the civil society, UNICEF and other UN agencies.

“My visit has given me a sense that Indonesia is ready for more. In my meetings with different members of a government I have felt a very strong willingness to address this issue.”