Deep-rooted traditions in South Sulawesi have led to higher rates of child marriage in the region but prompted one 16-year-old girl to find her voice to protect her future.

By Jimmy Kruglinski, Communications Officer


BONE, Indonesia — On a Monday afternoon in the small village of Warani, 16-year-old Fatma drove back home from school on her motorbike down the bumpy main road, her blue and white uniform fluttering in the wind behind her. She parked in front of the house and walked inside, thinking she would spend the afternoon like she always did — finishing homework and watching soap operas after dinner while she messaged friends on Facebook.

But her hopes for a normal afternoon were shattered just as she entered through the door. …

By Jimmy Kruglinski, Communications Officer

Mirawali with her third son, Kaelan Triyoga Makarim. (Fauzan Ijazah/UNICEF/2019)

AMBON, Indonesia — Mirawali woke before dawn to prepare for the first daily prayer when she saw the clothes covering her heavily pregnant body stained with blood.

Fearing for the life of her unborn child, she roused her husband Salman. They rushed down the path leading from their home in rural Maluku, East Indonesia, to the Hitu Community Health Centre just a few hundred metres away. No doctor was present to treat Mirawali, so the staff referred her to the Dr. M. Haulussy Hospital in Ambon city an hour away.

Salman quickly rented a car…

By Cory Rogers

© Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

Some dangerous habits are easy to understand, like driving without a seatbelt, or smoking tobacco.

Others, like defecating in the open, seem abstract, even innocuous by comparison. But make no mistake — they can be just as deadly.

Each year, 150,000 Indonesian children die before reaching the age of 5. Most of these deaths could be avoided by ditching practices like open defecation and neglecting to wash one’s hands. Bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella flourish in these unsanitary conditions, contaminating the food and water that families eat and drink. …

By Cory Rogers, Communication Officer

Adam, 5, looks out over the fields abutting his home © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

Over the course of their childhoods, 1 out of 4 Indonesians will experience physical punishment, one in five will be bullied. An estimated 375 girls will be married, every day of the year.

In partnership with five local governments and the Ministry of Social Affairs, UNICEF Indonesia has launched a new effort to protect children from these and other threats to their safety and wellbeing. The goal? To strengthen the delivery of social services to prevent violence and abuse.

Initiated in 5 districts — one in East Java and two each in Central Java and South Sulawesi provinces — the pilot projects streamline case management, boost social worker capacity, and increase community engagement for identifying children in need.

Here’s snapshot of how the pilot is driving change in…

By Cory Rogers, Communication Officer

What if every year your town was engulfed in smoke that burned your eyes and closed schools for weeks? What if it this smoke was causing serious respiratory harms, and there was no safe haven? This photo essay explores the issue of haze and how UNICEF and partners Kopernik, Ranu Welum, BMKG, Big Red Button and PulseLab Jakarta are helping communities develop ways to protect themselves.

What exactly is haze?

Simply put, haze is smoke pollution caused by dry season slash-and-burn fires.

In Palangka Raya, these agricultural fires flare worst in the fall months, at the peak of the dry season. Rainfall in the wetter months ensures they are extinguished before growing to an unmanageable size.

Katimpun Village, Central Kalimantan © Cory Rogers / UNICEF / 2017

Children play in Katimpun, Central Kalimantan, an hour’s boat ride north of Palangka Raya. In 2015, the haze was so thick fishermen said they couldn’t find their way home, and many were forced to spend days sleeping in the forests fringing the river.

Every few years, however, the dry…

UNICEF Indonesia

Akun twitter resmi UNICEF Indonesia.

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