15 February 2019

Innovative Technology Speeds Up Tracing of Children

It has been three years, but the day a 7.4 magnitude and tsunami shook the province of Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, killing over 4,000 people and injuring at least 10,000, is still etched in the minds of those who survived them. A few days after the disaster, the province was a mass scene of death and devastation. There were body bags and mass…, Primero: a digital app that traces and reunifies children with their families, One of UNICEF’s early responses to the disaster was to aid the Government of Indonesia in family tracing and reunification. It did so first by setting up posts in 12 affected areas for people to seek and offer information on missing children—and as designated safe spaces for children to play. Within a few days after distributing posters and…, Technology efficacy, Since adopting Primero, UNICEF’s first priority was to train field workers including social workers from the Ministry of Social Affairs on how to use its Indonesian language web and mobile versions. After a few months, these workers had become adept at collecting and entering a child’s basic data including how she or he was separated from her or…, Other UNICEF-supported tech innovations for use in emergencies, In addition to Primero, another UNICEF-supported tech innovation deemed successful is the U-report. Launched a few years ago by UNICEF Indonesia, it is a Twitter-based communication platform that has enabled hundreds of thousands of young people in Indonesia to voice their opinions on various development issues and convey them to policy makers. As…, Challenges ahead, While tech innovations such as Primero and U-Report have clearly proven to be time-saving and efficient in emergency situations, distributing them to every natural disaster-prone location across the country remains a challenge. Infrastructure upgrade and training as part of prevention measures also requires ongoing resources and funding, which…, How You Can Help, Thanks to the generous contributions of individual donors, UNICEF and their partners have been able to work with tech institutions and entrepreneurs, health and child protection officials and workers, emergency task forces and members of local communities across Indonesia to help them track missing children and reunite them with their families.…
01 February 2019

Menstruation in The Time of Emergencies

The day a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok, 14-year-old Kadek Ariasti Widhiari was having her period. In what she describes as one of the hardest months of her life, she and her family were forced to leave everything behind and find refuge in a temporary shelter. “All the while, I was trying to cope with the menstrual…, Taboos and superstitions, According to Stefani Rahardini, the UNICEF facilitator presiding over the discussions, most of the girls have a relatively good knowledge about menstruation, but it is their impractical habits that have become barriers to attending school. “It’s hard enough for parents to send their kids back to school, with fear of aftershocks still hanging over…, Scaling up WASH facilities in earthquake-affected schools, In the wake of the earthquake, UNICEF—in partnership with the government and the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI)—launched a series of emergency response. An integral part of it was the provision of physical facilities such as temporary toilets and waste bins and the distribution of hygiene and dignity kits such as soap, towels and…, Helping girls overcome their inhibitions, Another important part of the UNICEF-led emergency response was public education on menstrual hygiene. By engaging schools, health clinics, the local health office and community volunteers, girls were encouraged to return to school and feel good about themselves and their bodies.  , Bullying and lack of openness, One of the biggest hurdles in the awareness-raising process, according to Stefani, is the lack of openness between female students and their female teachers. “It’s not something students will go to a female teacher about, let alone a male teacher,” she says. “Problem is, many female teachers aren’t even aware that many students are struggling with…, How You Can Help, Thanks to the generous contributions of individual donors, UNICEF has been able to work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) workers and officials across Indonesia to support families and girls’ needs during emergencies such as natural disasters. Yet better understanding and practice of menstrual hygiene management depends on raising the…