Right or Wrong, My Country-Indonesia! Children and Poverty in Indonesia at a glance.

“There are children raised in sorrow,

on a scorched and barren plain

There are children raised beneath the golden sun

There are children of the water, children of the sand

And they cry out through the universe, their voices raised as one


I want to live,

I want to grow

I want to see,

I want to know

I want to share, what I can give

 I want to be, I want to live”

 

(taken from the song “I Want to Live” by John Denver)

 

Like other developing countries, Indonesia has had recent success achieving economic growth but so, unfortunately, is poverty. Indonesia still faces increasingly complex development challenges and poverty is still a dominant factor hampering Indonesia’s efforts to improve the well being of its people, especially the children.

A young boy, in Jakarta Indonesia, holds a tattered football (soccer ball). Shall we play?

There are many dimensions of poverty as they affect children, therefore, it is difficult to compress into a single measure. UNICEF recently funded an empirical study by University of Bristol and the London School of Economics that looked at seven aspects of severe deprivation as they affect children in developing countries: adequate food, safe drinking water, decent sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. The study concluded that over 1 billion children-more than half the children in developing countries-suffer from at least one form of severe deprivation. This is what we call children poverty.

The seven aspects of severe deprivation as they affect children in developing countries: adequate food, safe drinking water, decent sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. Have you ever imagine to live is such a place like this? -in a corner of Jakarta slum

In my beloved country, Indonesia-here we still find the children poverty in many places. This children here experience poverty as an environment that is damaging to their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development.

I will bring you to travel to Jakarta, the capital and largest city in Indonesia. Jakarta is a huge, sprawling, metropolis and home to 9 million people. During the day the number increases with another 2 million as commuters make their way to work in the city, and flock out again in the evenings.

Let’s take a closer look to this wonderful city.

High-rise towers and skyscraper buildings continue to flourish and dynamically decorate the face of Jakarta.

Jakarta is a city that could offer almost anything you want! It is an ever dynamic city, a city that never sleeps. As some part of it rested, rapid development march on under the accompanying moonlight.

Jakarta-the city that never sleeps. . As some part of it rested, rapid development march on under the accompanying moonlight.

Jakarta is the country’s economic, cultural and political center. It is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia, and is the tenth-largest city in the world. Jakarta’s economy depends heavily on financial service, trade, and manufacturing. Industry includes electronics, automotive, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences manufacturing.

In big cities, like Jakarta, you will find a very diverse life style. There are many rich people, but at the same time there are poor people too. Here you can find many luxurious shopping mall, skyscrapers and big houses which may be more expensive than houses in Beverly Hills.

The amazing and enticing side of Jakarta

But in the other side of the city, you also can find the slum areas or the homeless people live on the street.  It is very common here in Jakarta you can see the million dollar homes sit side-by-side with hovels, or in street intersection you will see the luxurious cars on the street and beggars going from car to car begging for money, or children as a street singer and shoe cleaner, simply just asking for money. It is the two sides of a coin that defines most developing countries, so does Indonesia.

The children were sleeping soundly while the train passing by. This is the portrait in the slum area in Jakarta, along the railways side.

The government has been trying to clean up some of these neighborhoods, but merely kicking the poor out is not the answer. To truly help slum dwellers improve their lives they must be given the right tools. This is a long-term process, but it is not impossible.

To start with, the government and private organizations must work harder to provide proper education for the children who live in these slums. Many smaller projects are currently underway, some led and funded by individuals, while others are funded and run by NGOs, but more can and should be done to help educate and equip these children for productive lives outside the slum.

Short of drastic action, according to the UN Habitat report, the world slum population will probably grow by six million people each year, thus widening the urban divide between rich and poor even further. Indonesia will continue to be a significant part of this trend unless we begin immediately to tackle the problem at its roots. It might take 50 years, but if we put in the right policies and foundations today, we can look forward to a day when slums no longer exist. So there will be, still, millions of children in Indonesia miss out on their childhood as a result of poverty.

Children experience poverty with their hands, minds and hearts. Poverty deprives them of the capabilities needed to survive, develop and thrive. It prevents them from enjoying equal opportunities. It makes children more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, violence, discrimination and stigmatization.

Since investment in children is the key factor in poverty reduction and economic growth in a nation, the reason for investing in the human potential of poor children are both compelling and self-evident, especially in my country, Indonesia.

It becomes my dream that someday I could contribute to invest in the poor children in Indonesia, especially trough education. Maybe it is such ‘a road less travel by’ but I am sure, no matter how big or small the steps I took in this path, it will make all the difference… toward poverty reduction.

I want to touch this innocent souls, bring the hope and light so that I can see the stars in their eyes again.... More can and should be done to help educate and equip children for productive lives outside the slum. (Photo by JG Photo/Safir Makki)

We are standing all together
Face to face and arm in arm
We are standing on the threshold of a dream
No more hunger no more killing
No more wasting life away
It is simply an idea
And I know the time has come

I want to live I want to grow
I want to see I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be I want to live”

( “I Want to Live-John Denver)

 

I want to share what I can give- Indonesia, someday I'll be home for you. I promise!

 

Reference:

Clearing Indonesia’s Slums through Education

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/clearing-indonesias-slums-through-education/364802

Poverty in Indonesia

http://povertyindonesia.com/

Childhood under Threat. The State of the World Children 2005. Defining Child Poverty.

http://www.unicef.org/sowc05/english/povertyissue.html

Story of Indonesia. Every picture tells a story.

 http://www.indonesia.travel/en/photoessay/details/post/37

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6 responses to “Right or Wrong, My Country-Indonesia! Children and Poverty in Indonesia at a glance.

  1. Very informative information. India reminds me of New York city where in brochures we are reminded of the architectonic skylines and the night life and tourist attractions but we forget about the poverty and children living by the trains as you stated. Also children are so accustomed to it that they do not see it as a problem. I am happy to know that Unicef has programs to help these things.

    • Thanks, Cynthia.
      Every country, every city has the beauty side that is worthy to explore… to know it is to love it…

      So I hope someday you will have chance to visit my country, Indonesia. Because Indonesian tourism is growing rapidly, therefore it will be a great place for the holiday.

      Regards,

      Evita Kartikasari

  2. Evita,
    Thank you for sharing such a powerful and heartbreaking blog of your native country. I live near the border of Rio Colorado, Mexico and when we cross the border, you will see a depiction of similarity to some of the photos you shared. The realization of so many children who go without is devastating. I try to give to our neighboring country as often and safely as possible. The government does not take kindly to donations of any type especially when it benefits the children. I use to cross over with a friend to deliver clothes and toys to the children but now depend on our church to safely deliver goods to the orphanages and take solace in knowing that I can help even in the smallest way.

    Sincerely Moved! Susana

    • Thanks for your sharing too, Suzy..

      If we have the empathy for these children, I am sure will do something for them too… Just like what you did, no matter how small it was, every good will matters…

      Hope our step trough Walden Uni will open the doors to bring better life for the children around us.

      Regards,

      Evita Kartikasari

  3. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. I agree that literacy is the key and I hope that soon Room to Read will begin work in Indonesia (I volunteer for Room to Read and Indonesia is the next country where it will begin work).

  4. Pingback: Poverty and Indonesia | strivetoengage

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