The largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a diverse archipelago nation of more than 300 ethnic groups. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and has cut the poverty rate by more than half since 1999, to 9.78% in 2020 (World Bank, 2021). Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, it qualified as an upper-middle-income country (World Bank, 2021). Between March and September 2020, official statistics reported an increase in the national poverty rate from 9.78% to 10.19%, translating into an increase of a million poor, turning back three years of progress in poverty reduction, amplifying the impact of COVID-19 (World Bank, 2021). Indonesia is in 13th place for the number of COVID-19 cases (Worldometers, 2021). In high population dense areas such as the informal settlements of Jakarta, a combination of misinformation, myths, inability to practice social distancing and limited access to vaccines has increased transmission rates and exacerbated vulnerability. The income insecurity for families, most of who are not covered by the social security system that targets the extreme poor, has increased violence against children and adolescents (UNICEF, 2020). Some of it is also said to be caused by the financial and social pressures of young people learning from home (Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, Indonesia cited in Antara News, 2020). This together with limited opportunity for entertainment, relaxation and social interactions with friends has exacerbated mental health issues amongst children and youth. The National Commission on the Violence Against Women, Indonesia has reported a 300% increase in child marriages during the pandemic (2021). An economic solution to the parents in dire times or a social solution to the pressures of an unwanted pregnancy; child narriages create another cycle of poverty, violence and poor mental health (Ibid). To make young people access sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services is a human right and game changer, especially for girls and young women in informal settlements.
Pamflet was established in 2012 by a group of young people to support youth activists from diverse backgrounds and capitalise on their resources and knowledge, empowering them to fully participate in politics and democracy in Indonesia. They mostly work on mainstreaming gender in programmes, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), ensure youth participation in policy processes, and focus on research relevant to youth issues based on human rights and gender equality principles. Pamflet views young people as active agents who can generate meaningful change within society. The organisation is youth-led with all staff except 2 finance staff being under the age of 30. Despite its relatively young age, Pamflet is highly regarded, and has proven its capacity to take a place at the table. It has been asked to engage in consultations with UNFPA and the Ministry of National Development Planning on different youth strategies, and also consulted by agencies such as UNICEF, ILO, Rutgers WPF Indonesia and Akvo Foundation, working on youth issues. Along with the Indonesian Family Planning Organisation and the Centre of Gender & Sexuality Studies of the University of Indonesia, Pamflet advocated for the inclusion of sexuality education in the national curriculum.
EMpower's sixth grant to Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi (Pamflet) strengthens the knowledge of 60 children and adolescents aged 10-19 (of which half are girls) living in informal settlements of East and West Jakarta. The project will be implemented in collaboration with 4 other organisations. In the planning phase, Pamflet has already involved 8 young people and adults from the 4 partner organisations to share their observation on the SRHR situation amongst children and adolescents in East and West Jakarta, especially in the midst of COVID-19 outbreaks. The interviews helped map their needs to enjoy their right to health and SRHR, understand the inter-connectivity of issues and shape the programme design. The focus of this grant on 1. COVID-19 mitigation 2. Sexual and reproductive health and rights and 3. Mental health is a direct result of the consultations with young people.
In the implementation phase, they work with a consultant to develop teaching aids, work across the collaborating organisations to co-create content and rollout the sessions. Each age-segmented cohort of 20 participants are offered five interactive sessions of engagement with many points of interaction between the young people present. Each session is around 4 hours. There are two sessions on SRHR, two on mental health and one on COVID-19 mitigation. The training will also give the participants the confidence and encouragement to assess the quality of services available and it is foreseen that these young people will be able to send testimony and recommendations towards the service, encouraging institutions to improve their services.
Primary Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Funded Since: 2015
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