J1168N Jodie O'Shea Childrens Fund
Indonesia, Southeast Asia
Across Indonesia, children have been unnecessarily placed in orphanages simply due to poverty and inability to attend school. This has resulted in large amounts of children needlessly separated from loving families. In recent years, the Indonesian government has strengthened residential care regulations, stipulating that no child should be institutionalized based on poverty or access to education. Our partner organisation in Indonesia, Yayasan Bali Bersih has worked with a large orphanage since 2019 to reintegrate the children with their families. Successful reintegration is more than just placing a child back into their family of origin. It requires taking all measures possible to ensure the child is cared for and safe, as well as fostering a sense of belonging and purpose in all facets of life: family, school, peers, and community. By 2021, 98% of the children have gone through the reunification program and are now living back with their families.
Yayasan Bali Bersih remains assisting the children and their families that once lived in the care of the orphanage by providing support as all of the parents of these children have no or a fairly low income, making it very difficult to fulfill daily needs and the educational needs of their children. We provide support by empowering families and ensuring access to education through our continuing program, so that all children can continue to get an education and live with their own families. We help families to be economically independent with their effort without having to depend on the assistance that we provide or other parties. We assist the families with an empowerment program to help them get a job, start up a micro business or give a microloan, provide food packages, and help with educational costs. Children (and their families) who are at risk of institutionalization in an orphanage are also helped through this program.
Our project strives to fulfill three main goals, that are the parents we help can be financially independent with their own efforts, children get proper education and all their school needs are met, and families get adequate nutritional needs. Through this program, we really hope that the families we help can have stable and sustainable jobs so they can continue to earn and save for their families' future. In addition, children are no longer placed in orphanages and can still continue their education.
- Family Sustainability: to help provide working capital for assisted family members (parents or children in families who are ready to work). The provision of this assistance aims to help increase family skills and income so that they can be economically independent in the future without depending on other parties. The capital provided can be in the form of goods or training.
- Children’s Education: to provide education for children who are currently at the elementary to high school levels. Yayasan Bali Bersih helps finance the children's schooling and fulfill school needs such as uniforms, school books, stationeries, and other school attributes. This assistance is to ease the burden on parents' costs so that they can save their income. We ensure that all the children we help continue to have access to proper education because education is one way to break the cycle of family poverty.
- Health and Nutritional Needs: to provide assistance in the form of weekly or monthly food packages, where the nutrition has been calculated. The food package already consists of staple foods containing carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. We also provide vitamin supplements that can be consumed by children to help increase their immune system. In addition, there are medical checks for children conducted by our medical team. Through this program, it is hoped that we can maintain the health and nutrition consumed by the families we help.
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