Models of ending hunger in Indonesia

05 April 2007 

Models of ending hunger in Indonesia 

HERE are approaches to end hunger in Indonesia but all of them are separated one from the other with strong short-term projects as a dominant paradigm. Which one is the best? Looking into the nature of each and the possible supporting and team working relation among them may help us to figure out what kind of approach is suitable, effective and efficient in tackling hunger in Indonesia. 

What likely needed at last is appropriated implementing media programs that bridge and unite all of those diverse existing hunger-fights efforts to be transformed into common lessons learned .. 

First model is complementary food program, locally called Paket PMT. This program model identifies malnutrition and hunger as [a] problem specifically str[i]k[ing] each individual family and [is is assumed] that the problem is strongly associated to “disaster” almost God made. None could be taken responsible for such widespread phenomenon of ‘malnutrition’ affecting infants. Hunger in East Nusa Tenggara, for instance, has been declared as “extra-ordinary happenings”
(kejadian luar biasa) that the central government needs to address with parachuting helps and aids, particularly in the form of additional foods. 

Families with malnourished infants are given foodstuffs or instant foods. Monitoring activities are conducted by health cadres from among the community members in cooperation with the sub-district health centre (puskesmas). Apart from the government, international bodies and international NGOs also actively conduct such model of ending hunger in East Nusa Tenggara with distributing biscuits, instant noodles, and instant porridges. This approach is rapid and short-term because if not promptly helped those malnourished infants may die tomorrow. However, since this model is mostly not followed by long-term activities, very few sustainable impacts could be expected from the hunger-stricken communities. Though very useful on the spot rescuing the hungry, this model tends to target poor people as merely aid objects, [it involves] financially high cost, [and] fails to develop the existing potential of the poor families and communities to resolve hunger and other related problems. 

Second model is [the] feeding center yet does not involve the families [of respectively] with malnourished infants to take part in it. Case study of this model found in Southern Timor Tengah (TTS) in NTT is not very different from the first one but the malnourished, sick infants were put in [a] noutrient center and directly taken care [of] by social health workers. This model has an effective impact as well, however high cost is unavoidable and [it] also fails to empower poor families and communities. Women or mothers are not involved since this model opts for curative approach and [it is typical] that malnourished infants are specifically perceived as the problem of the concerned families only. In tackling hunger therefore it fails to involve other families in the community in which the distressed family lives.
The positive impacts could only be seen among few families [only], yet paradoxically they realized that the hunger threats are lurking soon ahead. 

Third model involves [the] women or [the]  mothers’ role in the feeding center. Women are considered as actors as you may see in a case conducted by a Belgian nurse in Sikka district. Social workers are not needed here as compared to the second model and local foodstuffs are strongly encouraged. Malnourished children are put in the center along with the families and other relatives responsible. In the center, mothers are briefed with diverse useful knowledge and relevant skills while asked to take care of their malnourished infants. Women and the families are expected to continue taking care in the same way after the sick infants recover. However, this program model takes the same high cost and larger communities have not been actively involved with [respectively in it]. And it fails to develop the community’s capacity to improve itself. In the long run it is hard for local people to emulate such strong organization or institution to carry out a nutrient-focused center that needs large sums of financial resources. 

Fourth model sets up community-based education groups. This kind of approach is tried out in West Sumba by Seraphine Foundation. Women groups are educated while conditioning the community’s initiatives. Nutrient and health education programs are held for women groups while developing local food cooking skills, small economic activities to improve their livelihood, and community organizing. Women group education is also made possible by demanding men or their husbands and other larger families to [be] involve[d]. Members of the communities are encourarged and conditioned to work together in building for instance the [makeshift] education center[s] /makeshifts/. Men take care of infants while their wives join the education activities. [The tasks of caring for] Malnourished infants are tackled together along with the communities. This approach takes [or relies on] much less financial resources since it requires the community’s initiatives to contribute, while addressing other related dimensions needed for tackling hunger. For short-term, immediate activities, this model keenly relies on the role of the existing institutions such as the hospitals in the neighboring localities. It promises however sustainabilty in the future. However, this approach requires strong, highly committed local community organizers that may mobilize people’s initiatives and supports. 

    What [very] likely [or in all likelihood] [is] needed at last is /an/ appropriate[d] implementing media programs that bridge and unite all of those diverse existing hunger-fights efforts to be transformed into common lessons learned that may be acknowledged and supported by all related stakeholders in the province, i.e. the government, religious groups, academic[ian]s, NGO activists, international NGOs, and international bodies that work in the province. 

    May be you may help them.*** 

    Link:  UNICEF's 2002 IDS: Evaluation of Posyandu Revitalization 

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    Label: busung lapar, English-version, Indonesia, Kemiskinan, kesehatan, masyarakat adat, perempuan 

27 March 2007 

Facts about hunger and poverty in Indonesia 

HUNGER is like the tip of the iceberg of poverty. Study reveals that malnourished children typically, you may say, crowd the iceberg tip. They characteristically originate from poor families. Most of them, particularly those living in rural areas, do not have any plot of land to till or they have [a much] too small one. And those from urban areas only have small, meager, unsteady income[s]. If you count what they get daily /into/ [in terms of] money, their income will be less than Rp200,000 a month. This is definitely far lower than the international threshold of poverty of spending $US 1.55 a day as stated by the World Bank or
even US$2 a day by the European Union. 

In addition, malnourished children tend not to get nutritious foods as they eat mostly more carbohydrate sources like rice, corn, etc. but no vegetables at all. It is true that most of [the poor] families have some livestock like chicken and pigs they may take as [an] important source of protein, but very low income and the adat customary demands prevent them from taking benefit without restraint from their meat. 

        .. their income .. is definitely far lower than the international threshold of poverty .. 

Despite [/of/] those weaknesses of poor families, however, there are other non-economic determinants that define their ability to avoid [a situation where] their children [are] malnourished. Following are the three most important efforts they [should make] [...], i.e. first, they [should] feed their children regularly, three times a day, morning, midday, evening; second, they [should] keep their living places clean and [should] regularly [be] frequenting the activities of the community children health center (posyandu) for [the] checking [of] their children’s body weight and [in order to take part in the] [...] disease immunization program, third, they [should] routinely feed their children with vegetables. The last two are [the] distinct minimum efforts the poor families [should] exercise to avoid the malnutrition routine threats. 

You may ask why many failing families do not do such minimum efforts supposed to be so simple? Apart from the low income of the families, in fact there are some problems, i.e. first, they have very minimum knowledge and understanding about problems on malnutrition and health — this is very likely the result of [a] low level of education, particularly of women; second, the [average poor] families have many children[,] [usually] more than they could shoulder the burden [of],  third, they fail to
 have a child [/be/] born long enough after the other, fourth, [there is] the comparatively heavy load of family’s chores [resting] on [the shoulders of] women. 

Looking closer into [the situation of] those malnourished children, our study also reveals that they mostly originate from parents with low education background, i.e. they passed only elementary schools or [are] elementary school’s drop-outs, and they have many children. While parents of better-nourished children originate more from parents with higher school education (secondary school) and have less children. 


    * European Union Overview on Indonesia (September 2006) 
    * World Bank assessment on poverty (2006) 
    * World Bank on Poverty (Indonesia Matters) 

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22 March 2007 

Why poor families in Indonesia may survive from hunger? 

COMMON SENSE would say that children who suffer from malnutrition are those of poor families. This applies anywhere and our research in five districts in East Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia confirms it as well. Nothing is new. We [also] find however [that] [...][ [quite a] few poor families are [not] able to keep [or raise] their children [in a way that will enable them to] remain healthy. Comparison between both kinds [of poor families, those with children who remain healthy or those with children who do not] may be fruitful for understanding why malnutrition takes place and presumably we may identify what to
suggest for improvement. 

Most of those children who now suffer from acute malnutrition were earlier healthy ones. When asked why those children become too skinny, two third[s] of their parents promptly respond that their children start[ed] to lose appetite and [then were] get[ing] sick. And most of the parents also do not know that their children actually suffer from malnutrition. They only realize what malnutrition is all about after visiting [the] sub-district health center (puskesmas) and being informed so[,] and/or [being informed] by village midwives. They mostly are confused which is the first [occurrence], getting sick or malnourishment. No chicken or egg problem here because is it not the fact that there are more children who do not suffer malnourishment than there are] those [who are] malnourished? This would explain that although there are many diseases threatening, food quality would directly improve human body immunity. 

Data on food quality at [the] household level shows [an] obvious difference between families having malnourished children and those with better nourished ones. The parents of the first category tend to give their under-5-year babies only rice porridge without any vegetables, while better nourished get more [diverse food]. If the latter parents could not afford to feed their children with additional food like fish or meat or other protein, data shows vegetables are the minimum additional food given to them in order to survive acute malnutrition. Analysis confirms that providing vegetables is the most conspicuous option that makes [a  small or] little but meaningful comparative difference between both. 

It should be assumed however that this [stress or] preference on food quality in [our attempt of] understanding malnutrition and even [the] hunger phenomenon does not put aside common knowledge that the diseases rapidly deteriorate [an] already weak body condition [making it ripe] for malnourishment. Diseases are common symptoms that this research considers to be put in the bracket for the moment. It is also because diseases like malaria, diarrhea, respiratory malfunction locally called ISPA, etc.
commonly infect among poor people [often because of inadequate sanitation and poor housing conditions]. 

In addition, in many locations of the country gender preference matters as it is common that male members of the families, particularly the husband or father, are privileged [, being allowed or expected to take the best and/or largest share] of [available] food[/s/]. And women are assumed to have less food and [shoulder] more chores. However, data also reveals that children malnutrition has [very] likely nothing to do with gender bias within the families. Those families who apparently join hand in hand [relying on cooperation or mutual help] among all members of the [extended] families, but especially [families with good cooperation] between husbands and wives [who also know how] to put priority [o]n nurturing their children, [are very] likely to have healthy children. Most poor families [...] having [a]  more healthy habit [,] know what to do [in] their best [interest][,][ in order to keep their children from falling ill or suffering the effects of malnutrition (?)]. Those who fail mostly have [much] less [of an] understanding about [or not even a] basic knowledge on nutrition.The danger of malnutrition is much closer [at hand] when they have more than two toddlers[,] particularly when they fail to have one child [...] born long enough after the other. The [poor families] most certain[ly] in trouble are those who have twin babies apart from other, let's say, five small children [in all].** 

    Update 30/6/07 
    Who quot[ed] this posting? 

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[The text has been slightly altered by correcting the English where this would enable the reader to better understand it. Very minor 'mistakes' have not been corrected. Changes have been indicated by putting additions in brackets, as follows [ ], and pointing out small omissions, as follows [...]. Great care has been taken to respect the style and the meaning.]

18 March 2007 

Two poor families in Sikka: How do they fight hunger? 

Sri Palupi & Reslian Pardede 

POVERTY is definitely not a single, simple reality, yet contradiction may enrich your understanding of what poverty is all about. The following is a case study of two families, both grouped as poor far below the World Bank’s standard, in Sikka district in East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia. Both have [or: show a] significant difference in their profile characteristics although both also have [a] comparatively unusual education background. 

The first is the couple of Marcellus Magnus and Margaretha Eta, whose child suffers from acute malnutrition. The second is the couple of Fermus Tuka and Martina Teparan, whose child is healthy. First of all, let’s look at how many children do they have. The first [couple], wh[ich] lives in Maumere town, begets four children, and the second that live[s] in [a] rural site of Baumekot village [in] Kewapante sub-district owns [i.e. has] only one child. It is unavoidable to presume that the family load depends [pretty] much on how many children [...] they have, particularly [...] [with regard to] the degree of attention [they may give a child] and the quality of food fed in each family. 

[The] Magnus-Eta family has just had a new baby, the fourth child, female, when their third child was receiving food [provided by a food] aid program from the local government. Her name was Elisabeth Elsa, 35 months old, [and she] was found malnourished after being measured at [the] local community’s baby health service of posyandu (integrated service post). On one side, [the] poor condition of the family has pushed [a] related village midwife to give her food aid[...] for recovery. What makes this family different from other families that have similar children suffering of acute malnutrition is the fact that three out of four children have suffered from acute malnutrition. Two other children have recovered into normal condition, [...] [they are] [...] eight and six years old [, respectively]. On the other side, the economic burden of [the] Tuka family that has only one child is clearly much less heav[y] [than] that [of the] Magnus family that has four children. The only Tuka’s child, named Romanus Oscar, five year old, is in a good condition. 

If you look at the income of each, both families have the same unsteady ones. But [the] Magnus family is slightly better [off] than the other. Like many other families at Baumekot village, [the head of the] Tuka [family] is a commodity crop farmer.[Q.: This occasions the question whether dependence on cash crops, rather than traditional crops adapted to the climate and location with its specific ecological conditions, is preferrable? And this not only because of the oscillation of market prices and the dependence of small producers but also because cash crops are particularly prone to pests, especially if identical cash crops on small plots of individual farmers result in the same or nearly the same large acreages of 'monocultures' typical of big plantations.] The difference with [respect to] the other one [the head of the Magnus family], [is that] Tuka has also another source of income. [Q.: Is income diversification an answer that can apply generally? - Or is it possible only in a minority of cases?] They have a small stall[,]  selling daily need[ed] stuffs like instant noodles, coffee powder, sugar, tea, ect. Tuka’s wife, Martina Teparan, manages a barter method of selling to their customers, mostly villagers from the area. The stall allows candlenuts (kemiri), coconuts and other crops [to] be bartered [i.e. traded] with other daily need items. With the stall[,] [the] Tuka family may survive [...] [in the face of] difficult economic situations, such as pest[s] that hit their crops [...][whereas] in the past no additional earnings could add [...] to their meager income. In 2006 they could only take coconuts, the amount of which was not more than 10 kilos each time they pick. [A] severe pest attacked their cacao, while the clove plants failed to bloom, and until the end of the year the vanilla plants have not ripened the fruits yet. 

Different from [the] Tuka family that has a small, simple living place, [the] Magnus family stays [i]n a quite large stone[...] house. The latter’s house seems not to [...] [correspond] to their economic condition [...] [which is] why most neighbors would [not] consider them as poor family. In fact the family does not own the house but [it is] a non-inherited property of their parent. His [i.e. Fermus Tuka's] work as a non-permanent laborer has rendered their life uncertain. Although he admits to be a stipend-paid gardener at a private local secondary school, in fact he does not receive the honorarium routinely. Magnus often finds himself [...] unemployed. You can say that he works for one month, but [then] he would be unemployed for [an]other three or four months. His status is [that of] a stipend-based laborer but his earnings [...] [are] not more than [those of a] semi-unemployed who is paid only when there are concrete, available things to do. If he is lucky, he could gain [an] average income of Rp150,000 (USD16.27) a month. But it has been for some years [now that] [...] no work orders [have been] fetching him. What he gets[,] often only suffices for buying rice and corn. In one day in fact they spend at least Rp7,000 for buying rice and corn. They could only rarely consume vegetables, which is a luxury they may consume only if there  is some more money remaining. 

Apart from lack[...] of steady work income, [the] Magnus family does not own any plot of land. He only tills a small piece of land, not more than one-fourth [of a] hectare[...], owned by a relative while taking a share [of the crop, in compensation]. [In the last few] [...] years he could no longer till the land [...] [because of] the many natural calamities hitting the area [...] like drought, typhoon, flood. In 2006[,] he could only take [home] 70 kilos of corn and some sweet potatoes, the only crops that ha[d] mercy on him. And that small yield does not suffice [for] the needs of his family. 

He still has another chore [which is] to feed a pig owned by another relative[,] with a share [of the meat respectively the proceeds going to him]. In this case he is quite different from other families in Sikka district as he feeds the pig to afford his children['s] schooling. In fact in Sikka most people have pigs for customary purposes. He knows that he needs to focus [...] day[...] and night[...] [on the ways and means that would] suffice [to take care of]  the children’s needs of food and schooling, but he fails[as] yet to materialize what he envisages. 

Perhaps there is an uncommon clue that arises from their education[al] background. Magnus and his wife actually have a higher upbringing as compared to other people in the surroundings. Both finished their high schools but it seems higher education does not make any difference for them, particularly from the [point of view of having to cope with the] threat of hunger [that is ever-present] for their children. Since she is [a] high school graduate, Margaretha knows many things about nutrients and health requirements. She is also diligent to frequent the sessions held by the community health post to have a look [a]t the development of h[er] baby’s weight and to get health services like immunizations. She has personally [breast-fed][...] all of her children. Since the beginning of their marriage the couple agreed to follow the family plan[ning] program but they failed to have one child [...] born long enough after the other. She has changed[,] three times[,] [...] the contraception methods but none is suitable for her. So far it is only herself who decides to use contraception. But now after the fourth child, the husband takes [the] initiative [deciding] that Margaretha [now] uses [the] spiral method of contraception. 

Now if you look [a]t the other child’s parent[s], they may be said to have [a] worse education[al] background. The parents of [the] baby named Romanus Oscar have only passed elementary school level yet the minimum education seems not to stop them from [...] nurturing their child [in a good way]. Oscar’s mother, Martina, has quite good knowledge about nutrient[s] and children['s] health although she admits [...] not understanding [...] why [she] should [have] [breast-feed] her child until the child reaches [the] age of 24 months. Until he reaches [the age of] five [...], Romanus still goes to the community children health post. Martina is also quite concerned about the nutrient[s] of h[er] son’s f[ood]. When she knows that Romanus does not like eating vegetables, she tries to find other ways[...] [for] providing him with [them, by serving them in] his preferred soup. Even [...] when [the] time is difficult [, with regard] to earn[ing] a living, though [there are] only sweet potatoes that she could provide, she keeps trying to include vegetables while feeding him. This young woman is clear in focusing on her child’s minimum nutrient[s]. More than that, she also emphasizes the routine of [seeing to it that] the child [is] [getting a meal] three times [...] every day [while each time] add[ing] [...] some vegetables. As a result, Romanus has never had any malnourishment problem. 

If you compare him with the other family’s children mentioned above, [we note that] every day the children are fed with only cooked rice [and there is] no other menu with it. No vegetables, no side dish like meat, fish, or whatever. [Frequently,] [t]he main menu [that is] consisting of carbohydrate substance is already hard [to secure] [...] . During time[s] of  scarcity like the[se], [the] children often eat only and only sweet potatoes. They admit that during difficult time[s] the grandparents and other relatives from rural areas still support them with food[...]. From their [...] village [of origin,] they still get some help [which has enabled them] to survive [a] famine. They admit that the children are more [likely to get] suffic[ient] [...] food if they stay [...] with the grandparent family in the[ir] village. There at least they could have porridge and vegetables and some dried fishes. [In contrast, while they] [...] stay in the town, it is indeed difficult for them even to get ["mere"] [the original text says, “empty”] rice porridge. Such difficult situations often push Margaretha and her children to leave the town and return to the village to [see and live with] her parent[s], knowing that her husband’s income would not suffice [for feeding] their child[ren].. 

The above picture shows that although [the] knowledge capacity of [the] Magnus family may clearly suffice for them to survive [a certain lack of] [...] nutritious food [...], poverty definitely has taken away their ability to use such knowledge for survival. [...] [C]ompared to other families in the surroundings, [the] Magnus family is sorted out as very poor, as the neighbors would put it. The local children health service cadre confirms [when asked by] us that they may be considered the poorest in the area. Magnus himself, humbly enough, also confirms such [a] social label. Poverty has made his neighbors exclude him from participating in local festivities. He admits to hav[ing] never been invited to neighborhood gatherings. During the festivities of first communion [they are Catholics, not Muslims, which explains why they raise and also may eat pigs], one family may receive up to ten invitations. For [the] Magnus family, it is [rather very much] relieving to have no invitations at all. No invitation means no obligation to offer financial gifts [you have to be able] to afford. Neighbors seem to understand that he would not have anything to offer[,] knowing that even providing food[...] is difficult for [t]his family. Such attitude apparently is rarely found in the East Nusa Tenggara province that has strong customary practices. Most of them find it embarrassing to be labeled as poor, because in fact they are likely to [shell out or] provide a lot of money to offer as gifts for burdensome social prestige [in respect] of the tradition.** 

    [Link to sky view of Maumere from wikimapia.] 

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    Label: busung lapar, English-version, Kemiskinan, masyarakat adat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, petani, Research 

[The text has been slightly altered by correcting the English where this would enable the reader to better understand it. Very minor 'mistakes' have not been corrected. Changes have been indicated by putting additions in brackets, as follows [ ], and pointing out small omissions, as follows [...]. Great care has been taken to respect the style and the meaning. - Two questions have been added, in brackets and smaller type.]

12 March 2007 

Interview: Lesson Learned from Hunger Fighter in East Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia 

Maria Mediatrix Mali 

Eradicating Poverty to Improve Children’s Welfare 

SHE is strong, brown skinned and warm, tall and slim, yet her voice is clear and well heard. The same voice is often echoed in the local council’s parlors, or at the regent’s office, several important public services division heads of the local district administration in Sikka, in Flores island, East Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia. She has also participated in several important international fora for health development. Her name is Maria Mediatrix Mali. This 47-year woman has [an] academic background in education science from [the] teacher institute of IKIP Karang Malang in Yogyakarta in Java. Now she has worked for seven years developing the People Social Development Foundation (Yaspem) in Sikka. The foundation has successfully developed [and is] among the best local initiatives to resolve hunger and poverty in Indonesia. [...][The] interview [we did with her] [which is reproduced below] [...] reveals [our] inspiration [...] [that] you [may] learn [about] her concern and her works, and hopefully you may take [...] note [in a way that may be important] for your concern in fighting against hunger and poverty. 

        In short, it should not be emergency and charitable programs only. 

[Q.:]    How did you join the People Social Development Foundation (Yaspem) in Sikka? 

[A.]     In 1997 I met catholic priest Father Heinrich Bollen SVD in Jakarta. He asked me to join his work with the foundation. I declined but after several times of his requests to join him, finally in 1999 I started working for Yaspem. He put me [in charge]  as the director of the foundation. Before assuming it, I got an opportunity to learn for myself from several organizations in Germany for three months. During my stay there I learned a lot about many donor institutions like Misereor, Missio, Kolping, Caritas of Augsburg and Freiburg, Kinder Missions Werk and Frauen Missions Werk. 

[Q.:]    What did you do for Yaspem after returning from Germany? 

[A.:]    I started to improve Yaspem that was already seven years of nothing. When Father Bollen set up it in 1974, Yaspem had two main units of services that are [a] commercial unit and [a] community services unit. I made some improvement while establishing new programs. [The] [c]ommercial unit for instance covers [i.e. includes] lodging and [a] mechanic workshop. The community services unit covers agricultural activities, orphanage, land terrace conservation, several workshops for people training, husbandry, literacy program, anti-malaria and anti-tuberculosis drives, children welfare and hunger fighting program. 

[Q.:]    When did Yaspem start the program of tackling hunger o[f] children

[A.:]    I restarted it since 2004 because Yaspem earlier [on] had tackled hunger disaster and acute malnutrition at Wolofeo subdistrict in 1978. The earlier program was more [of an] emergency program in its character. We now make it more systematic and sustainable because malnutrition and hunger hit the communities again and again. We realize that [an] emergency program is needed from time to time but we would like as much as possible to set up preventive measures [rather] than merely [an] emergency healing program. In short, [...] [there] should not be emergency and charitable programs only. 

        ...we help poor families that have malnourished children with improving their health conditions and providing them with adequate knowledge of [a] feeding pattern for their children. 

[Q.]    What is the way? What kind of approach do you apply? 

[A.:]    Apart from direct program[s] to help the acute[ly] malnourished children, we also strengthen the families’ resilience. For tackling malnutrition o[f] children[,] I set up a big team consisting of smaller teams [with the task] of sweeping [up, or detecting] malnourished children to be treated medically, [a] social service team to organize social service activities along with doctors, [a] training team that helps conducting trainings for anti-hunger cadres in the villages. 

[Q.:]    What do you mean with ‘resilience of the families’? How do you do it? 

[A.:]    I mean that we help poor families that have malnourished children with improving their health conditions and providing them with adequate knowledge of [a] feeding pattern for their children. For instance, we conduct improvement for women['s] capacity in preparing variations of nutrient-rich foods, in maintaining hydroponic agriculture for vegetables, and how to keep the environment clean. Meanwhile, we also help facilitate household economic activities with skill improvement trainings and co-operatives. It is expected that the livelihood of the families would be fulfilled and therefore they would be able to maintain children’s health and growth. Hopefully hunger would disappear soon. 

[Q.:]    It seems you put women as a very potential group in dealing with malnutrition. 

[A.]    Right, because women play [...] [a big] role in nurturing children. And therefore in many activities, we should empower women. In our place, about 60 percent [of the] malnourished children come from illiterate women. Therefore in the learning workshop[,] apart from conducting literacy program[s] for those women, we also teach [or: educate] them [with respect to] [...] anti-malnutrition awareness, reproductive health, children protection, anti-violence against women, etc. 

         There are in fact many fund[ing] opportunities from the government but they are not yet maximally allocated and benefited for the people's good [i.e., do not yet benefit the population in a way that is maximally designed for the people’s good]. 

[Q.:]   What is the men’s involvement in the programs? 

[A.:]    It is very important to change society’s mind that is dominated by men. Men have also to take responsibility on matters of families, taking care of children, diverse household chores, etc. In the activities we conduct, men are involved in hydroponics program for agricultural activities to provide families with healthy vegetables. We involve the communities to keep the environment clean, to clean water-channels from mosquito’ larvae that may cause malaria, [in] compost making, etc. 

[Q.:]    What is the engagement of the communities? 

[A.:]    It is important to involve the communities. Apart from involving the communities in the villages, we also involve religious groups like the [Catholic] church. As many people realize[,] the church has [an] important role in East Nusa Tenggara’s societies. The church has the power to deliver important messages for the societies.

           Even she can motivate her congregations to realize the concrete situations that they face and push all people together to tackle existing problems. 

[Q.:]    Where does Yaspem get funds from for anti-malnutrition activities? 

[A.:]    Although Yaspem has a business unit that supports its activities, the total sum of the revenue is very small. We have also aid funds but the sum is not that big, such as from Kinder Mission Werk that grants 18,000 euro (±US$24,171) for tackling malnutrition [...] [of] over 1,000 children beneficiaries. From Frauen Mission Werk we only gets 3,000 euro for the business of ikat clothes that were sent and sold in Germany. We realize that the hunger fight can be sustained and therefore [a] long-term design should be taken. We find it then important to improve education providing knowledge and skill[s] to improve [the] economic condition of the families. Therefore we keep widening teamwork with many parties. We provide knowledge about nutrients while practicing skills to make foods like chips (kripik), preserved fishes (ikan pindang), fermented coconut oil, growing vegetables, etc. 

[Q.:]   Who do you work with? 

[A.:]    So far we work with diverse parties, such as related government offices like district office of health, of industry and trade, and of education divisions. For instance[,] for tackling [the needs of] malnourished children we teamwork with the subdistrict health center of Puskesmas, local hospitals, and the district government office of health. We deal with the poor people’s health insurance of Askeskin, a government’s health program that may finance the medical treatment for sick and malnourished children. We work with the district government office of industry and trade for the productive skill trainings and the products marketing. We work with the district government office of education service to train and form nutrient-aware cadres in the villages. 

[Q.:]    What are the results [...] [of] working with those parties so far? 

[A.:]    There are collaborative efforts that can be developed and kept improving, for instance, the supports from the district government office of industry and trade for our small business units, like cooperatives. Yaspem’s cooperative; the Bintang Timur credit coop that is only two years old now has [...] about 700 members and the assets reach over Rp500 millions (US $ 54,347). Apart from supporting the Yaspem’s finance[s], this coop has become an education place and community development center. This coop has [become] affiliated to [an] umbrella cooperative at East Nusa Tenggara provincial level, and also at
[the]  national level with the Inkopdit, [it] even [...] has an international affiliation. We can get trainings for our members. Now our coop has developed some business units like education saving, voluntary saving, daily interest saving and skill improvement saving programs. 

[Q.:]    What [are the] kinds of difficulties that you face in dealing with hunger? 

[A.:]    It is indeed not that easy but we have [the] conviction that we have to be brave realizing that what we do is correct. Therefore way-outs are open ahead.

           Besides honesty needed, you shall not be afraid. Difficulties [...] abound, for example in getting the health insurance program of Askeskin from the government; in fact information is closed to the public. Such facility is even swindled by the hospital’s employees. The [reform of the] bureaucracy of [the] health services is also very long overdue and [it is] complicated. We also often get improper services because they see it as merely public insurance, from which they will not get any money. Another difficulty is about regulation. There are not many public regulations that protect people’s interests, such as district regulation on the environment about how to manage wastes. There is no[t] yet regulation on literacy policy. Some people have already prepared [this] with proposed drafts [...] [for] district regulations but the local counselors do not pay any heed, and therefore people get disappointed and nurture distrust against the establishment. It is too often that the counselors hurt people’s feeling[s] because they break their own words. Another difficulty may come from local people’s leaders like village heads because some of them decline to support people’s activities because the heads realize there will be no financial benefits for themselves. 

[Q.:]    What should be done to stop hunger? 

[A.:]    On public policy[,] we should demand [a right] for the people’s participation in planning and the implementation process. There are quite [a few] [...] opportunities to stop hunger with collaborating with the governments. We should pressurize them continuously and invite the governments to work concretely along with the people. There are in fact many fund[ing] opportunities from the government but they are not yet maximally allocated and [not yet] benefi[cial enough] for [the] people’s good.[As for] the people themselves, their good initiatives should be more encouraged. And finally, don’t stop informing and campaigning [stressing] the importance of [the] hunger fight. In short, we should voice [...] the hunger fight concern until the problems are resolved and the future of the children could really be saved.** 

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    Diposting oleh The Institute for Ecosoc Rights di 1:57 AM 0 komentar Tautkan dengan tulisan ini 

    Label: busung lapar, English-version, Indonesia, korupsi, Nusa Tenggara Timur, perempuan 

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