I can stand up for my children again
The Geunaseh programme supports a single parent with cash transfers to help her children grow healthy
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- Bahasa Indonesia
It is a cloudy and quiet Friday morning as Eka Triyasnara waits for her children Zizi, age four, and Nazila, age two, to return home from preschool. It has been one year since Eka’s husband passed away. As part of her personal rituals, she begins to prepare offerings for her surroundings to pray for him.
Since that devastating day, Eka isolated herself at home in an effort to cope with her loss. Her husband, a worker at an electric steam power plan, was the sole breadwinner of the family. Not only did she have to deal with the emotional grief, but she was also left to carry the financial burden of caring for her two children.
Under this weight, Eka felt that her children began slipping away from her motherly care. Her youngest child Nazila, then age one, was weakening physically. Staff from the posyandu (health post) warned Eka that her daughter was at risk of stunting as her growth lagged compared to other children her age.
The community in Paya Seunara village provided continuous support for Eka and her family. Nurbaiti, a cadre (health volunteer) at the posyandu, went beyond her role of assessing Nazila’s development. She began to visit Eka on a regular basis, encouraging her to maintain the care of her two young children until Eka recommitted with a renewed sense of purpose.
This social support blossomed partly as a result of GEUNASEH, a universal child grant scheme for all children up to age six who live in Sabang City. The programme requires beneficiaries to bring their children to the posyandu on a regular basis to track their child’s health and development.
In the local Acehnese language, geunaseh means love and aims to prevent long-term health problems caused by malnutrition, such as stunting, by providing parents with children under age six with a monthly cash transfer of IDR 150,000 to buy nutritious food and access essential health services.
Given her limited time and resources to earn money, Eka is grateful for the cash transfers provided through the GEUNASEH programme. With this support, she was able to start buying a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and meat for her children to make their daily meals both healthy and enticing. As the days went by, little Nazila’s health gradually improved to the point that she was no longer at risk of stunting.
Eka is now aware that her children’s future is in her hands and wants to do everything she can to care for them properly. “Even though they are small steps, I will never stop,” she said with confidence, describing her newfound devotion to raise her children.
How You Can Help
Thanks to generous contributions from donors, UNICEF is able to work with local governments, partners and dedicated social workers across Indonesia to implement assistance programs aimed at improving the welfare of parents and children in need in outermost areas of Indonesia.
However, the challenge is far from over. Long-term efforts will be needed to protect children and parents who have lost the backbone of the family so they can grow and develop properly.
If you want to help parents like Hafidhah and Rapikah through social assistance programs in other parts of Indonesia, please consider donating to UNICEF. We really appreciate your contribution.