Monday, April 14, 2014

Remote schools: Inspiring Papua’s children to go the extra mile for education

By Sarah Grainger

Lima, 7, makes a calculation at school in rural Wamena district, Papua. © UNICEF Indonesia/2014/Andy Brown

Maima Village, Papua province, Indonesia, April 2014 - There’s a chill in the air and the sun is barely up when 8-year-old Tolaka and her sister Lima, 7, leave home for school at 6am. It takes them an hour to walk to class from the thatched hut they share with their mother, close to the banks of the River Baliem, in Papua’s Kurima sub district.

The route takes them over flooded grassland and along woodland tracks sticky with mud to SD Advent Maima primary school.

“I’m used to walking so I don’t get tired at all,” says Tolaka. “I’m happy to come to school. I have a lot of friends here and we like playing and skipping together.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Indonesia: In one girl’s recovery, an island’s triumph over malaria

By Nuraini Razak

An island once suffering from a record number of malaria cases has managed to eradicate all indigenous cases of the disease, which is a leading cause of death among children under age 5.

SABANG, Indonesia, 19 March 2014 – When Adelia’s fever simply did not go down, she was tested for the second-most-common malaria parasite – malaria vivax. That was in 2011. Thanks to immediate and effective treatment, Adelia, who is now 9 years old, managed to recover fully. But many others before her were not so lucky.

“On Sabang island, basically everyone had malaria at one point in their lives. We were so used to it,” Adelia’s mother, Rahmawati, explains. “But when it happens to one of your own children, I must say, I was terribly worried.”

“In 2008, we started working with UNICEF to eliminate malaria,” says Dr. Titik Yuniarti, Head of Communicable Disease Control in the district health office, “and today, we can claim that we no longer have any indigenous cases on the island.”

At one point, Batee Shok, the village Adelia and her mother call home in Aceh province, broke all records, with the highest number of malaria cases to be registered in a single village in Sabang.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Indonesia launches Study on Digital Safety

"Children may be exposed to similar risks like in the physical world when they are surfing the internet, such as violence and abuse, including sexual exploitation, and trafficking." says UNICEF Indonesia Representative Angela Kearney.
© UNICEFIndonesia/2014/Klavert

As Indonesia experiences a rapid increase in the number of children and young people accessing the internet through mobile devices, the Government in Jakarta is collaborating with UNICEF to ensure that children can make best use of the internet while at the same minimizing the protection risks they may encounter during their online journey.

A key step in this process has been the conclusion of a study on “Digital Citizenship and Safety among Children and Adolescents in Indonesia”, whose results UNICEF and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology launched on 18 February in Jakarta.  The study was commissioned by UNICEF as part of its multi-country project on Digital Citizenship and Safety. It covers the age group 10 to 19 years, a huge population of 43.5 million children and adolescents.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Typhoon Haiyan: How UNICEF is responding to children’s health needs

A volunteer measures a child’s upper arm circumference – a gauge of nutritional status
© UNICEF/Dianan Valcarcel Silvela

I have just returned from Tacloban. I am a UNICEF health specialist and travelled there as part of UNICEF’s global support to help colleagues working to restore health systems that protect children in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolande).

Even after my return home to Bangkok, I am still awed by the fury of the Typhoon, its massive destruction. I am also struck by the strength and the spirit of the people whose lives it decimated. Among the heaps of debris, there are signs that announce “we will rise again” and “homeless, roofless but not hopeless”.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ending Violence in School - Positive Discipline training in Papua

By Devi Asmarani

A teacher supporting a student with learning in a classroom in Jayapura, Indonesia. A year after starting the Positive Discipline programme, the atmosphere in the classroom has changed completely. Students are not afraid of their teachers anymore. ©UNICEF Indonesia/2013/Esteve.

Fifth-grade teacher Darius Naki Sogho has been a teacher for 24 years, and for most of those years, he taught with an iron fist—and a rattan rod.

“I used to hit my students when I thought they were being bad, or when they weren’t paying attention,” he says.

Over the last year, however, Mr. Naki Sogho has been learning to contain his anger in class and to teach in a way that neither hurts nor intimidates his students.

He did this by applying the Positive Discipline approach, a method that he and a select group of teachers in the Indonesia province of Papua have been trained to adopt as part of a joint programme managed by UNICEF and the local government that aims to put an end to corporal punishment and other forms of violent behaviour in the classroom.