Globally, malnutrition it is the cause of more than half of all child deaths worldwide. In Indonesia, malnutrition cases are extremely high in many parts of the country. Findings show that more than 1500 children suffer from severe malnutrition in areas including Manggarai Regency, Nusa Tenggara Timur and Bogor Regency. There is still a significant lack of knowledge about nutrition in Indonesia and a common assumption that eating healthy food is expensive. A lot of people are unaware that nutrition can also be obtained from low-priced food.
Tackling these alarming statistics is essential for children’s healthy development. Working in partnership with government agencies, community groups, local health centres and the media, SOS Children have launched a variety of programmes in the country including nutritional counselling, the distribution of nutrition packages for children, and nutritional awareness campaigns run through our SOS Children’s Villages across the country. Gregor N., the National Director of SOS Children's Villages Indonesia says "Through these activities, SOS Children hopes to generate awareness amongst local community on the importance of nutritious food for children."
The programme began in February this year, when SOS Children’s Village Medan, in the north of the country, organised a workshop on nutrition. The event was open to families from the local community and included talks from the Government Health Department and doctors from local health centres. Families were offered lessons in how to cook affordable healthy food for their children.
In Yogyakarta (Lembang near Bandung), SOS Staff have also held activities to raise awareness of nutritional issues. People from local communities were keen to participate in the activities, which included a cooking competition to see who could cook the most delicious healthy and well-balanced meal.
In West Java, SOS Children distributed nutritional packages to 100 children from poor families in the community. To ensure that families were able to provide for their children’s needs in a long-term and sustainable way, SOS offered a course about how to grow vegetables, even in small homes without much land.
Through programmes such as these, SOS Children are working to reduce the numbers of malnourished children in Indonesia, and improve their prospects for the future through a healthy diet. You can find out more about our work in Indonesia.