Giving Children a Healthy Start in Indonesia

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Posted on 6/13/2013
Giving Children a Healthy Start in Indonesia

Ana, the mother of a 16-month-old girl, attends a class about healthy snacks for children at her local Early Childhood Development center in Indonesia.

Many adults in Indonesia face hardships on a daily basis, including poverty, disease and a lack of clean water. However, these issues can often have a more drastic effect on the nation's children.

A World of Challenges

Every year, about 150,000 children in Indonesia die before their fifth birthday, with many of these infants passing away only one month after birth, UNICEF reports. Most of these infants succumb to complications from premature birth and infections like septicaemia, meningitis and pneumonia. Children who survive infancy are still at risk from diarrhea, which is responsible for about one-quarter of all deaths before age 5.

Rays of Hope

While child mortality rates are still high in Indonesia, the nation has cut its infant and under-5 deaths in half since 1990, according to UNICEF. This is partially due to the work of organizations like ChildFund, which continues to support Indonesia in bolstering early childhood development efforts.

In the remote highlands of Central Java, for example, ChildFund is striving to improve the lives of young people by refurbishing local Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers, which include improved sanitation facilities. In this safe environment, children can learn, play, socialize with their peers and eat nutritious meals, ensuring they build healthy bodies and minds.

These ECD centers also host awareness workshops for parents, teaching Indonesian mothers and fathers how they can care for their children and ensure that the child is receiving good nutrition and developmental stimulation. This includes training on how to recognize and treat certain illnesses, such as diarrheal disease, which takes countless young lives each year.

"As a young, first-time mother, the parental seminars were very important to me. The training has helped me gain knowledge and experience, and also helped me share these things with other parents," says Indri, a mother who attended Central Java's awareness workshops.

While we have been able to bring much hope to the children of Indonesia, we need your help to continue our efforts. For just $28 per month you can sponsor an Indonesian child, ensuring they have access to the education, health care and support they need to grow into happy, healthy adults.