Semarang is located on the north coast of Java, the most densely populated island in the world and where a large portion of Indonesia's population live. It is the capital city of the Central Java province and has a population of around 2 million.
Due to its port, the city is a very important regional commercial centre and draws migrants from the surrounding area, as well as further afield. Its industry is mainly oriented towards the social sector as well as small industries that manufacture a range of goods.
Despite being a commercial hub, the city has a range of social problems. The high levels of migration to this urban centre are not matched by opportunities for permanent employment, so many migrants are only able to find informal and seasonal work.
The influx of migrants and widespread poverty have put a strain on public services in Semarang. Many new comers live in inappropriate housing in areas that prone to flooding and have a high prevalence of epidemics.
Families at breaking point
Parents in Semarang often struggle to provide for their children due to irregularity and low pay of the work that is available to them. This can mean that basic needs, such as food and healthcare, go unfulfilled and poor children rarely get the chance to go to school.
This puts pressure on family relationships and places children at a greatly increased risk of being abandoned by their parents. Supporting poor families is, therefore, key to ensuring that children have the best possible start in life.
How are SOS Children helping children in Semarang?
We opened our SOS Children's Village in Semarang in 1984. Since then we have worked with the local community to adapt to change and continue offering children the support they need to fulfil their potential.
Support for vulnerable families
We launched our family strengthening programme in Indonesia in 2005. It targets families who are at risk of abandoning their children due to poverty or social pressure, and gives them the support they need to offer their children the care that they need.
Not only do we provide advice and counselling to at risk families, but we also offer a range of practical support. This includes key services that children need, such as healthcare and education, as well as support to help parents earn a stable living.
SOS Children's Village
There are several SOS families in our Village in Semarang that care for children who can no longer live with their parents. These children are able to live with their brothers and sisters and are cared for by their SOS mother.
Children from SOS families attend the SOS nursery and local schools, so they are able to build friendships with children from the community. This helps them develop social skills that will be invaluable in their futures.
Help for young adults
When they are old enough children from SOS families are able to join the SOS youth programme. Here, they are supported by qualified counsellors as they undertake further training or education and transition into adulthood.
When a child had lost their own family, we offer them hope and a loving home in our Children's Village. You can help these children to thrive by sponsoring a child today.