Context

Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world. Although the country has made enormous strides in poverty reduction, more than 25 million Indonesians, out of 260 million, still live below the poverty line. Despite being the largest economy in Southeast Asia, the country still faces major inequalities.

These inequalities are exacerbated by the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis. An average of 3.4 million people in Indonesia are affected by disasters every year. Such catastrophes result in significant infrastructure damage and leave millions of people, including children, in need of humanitarian assistance.

Life-saving services and early recovery are priorities of the humanitarian response led by the Government of Indonesia, in partnership with the UN, local and international NGOs. UNICEF contributes to the emergency response by providing affected people with access to health care, education, food, clean water, and sanitation and hygiene facilities.

INTERVENTION

97% of the Indonesian population live in disaster-prone areas, which includes more than 117 million adolescents aged 10-19. Yet adolescents currently play a small role in forming and developing the Indonesian society and its disaster prevention and response.

In Indonesia, the Adolescent Kit is used to empower adolescents to address the issues they face before, during and after emergencies, and to support them in building their communities’ resilience to disaster. UNICEF Indonesia also developed ‘hybrid’ versions of the Kit’s Activity Cards to include activities that deal with topics such as menstrual hygiene management and ending child marriage. These Activity Cards are now included into the Life Skills Education Curriculum.

With the support of an implementing partner, an Adolescent Kit training was conducted with emergency focal points from 10 high-risk provinces to guide emergency response activities. Adolescent Circles in areas such as Kupang, Ende, Lampung and Boyolali have explored environment, climate change- and disaster-related issues affecting their communities, ranging from drought and flood to fires and volcanic eruptions.

The Adolescent Kit has been implemented in eight districts (Lampung, Boyolali, Ende, Kupang, Greater Jakarta area (Pramuka), Mamuju, Palu, and Lombok), with 146 adolescent circles and more than 400 trained facilitators. The implementation has been carried out through the ING-UNICEF Power for Youth programme in the majority of the eight districts. Each circle consists of between 7 and 20 adolescents. Adolescent girls and boys have developed 99 solutions to address issues in their communities. Some such examples are highlighted below:

“I never thought adults would ever listen to children’s ideas,” said 17-year-old Ina, who lives in Oeletsala village near Kupang. “But the head of the village did listen to us, and now we have an easier life.”

Ina and about 40 other adolescents from three nearby villages were part of a pilot programme that uses the Kit to help adolescents learn to recognize risks in their environment and identify potential solutions.

Based on the ideas proposed by the Adolescent Circles, village officials implemented a long-term development strategy to strengthen the provision of safe water in the area. Oeletsala village chief Ayub Meto welcomed the idea.

The overwhelmingly positive results convinced the village leadership to commit additional funds for two more water pumps.

Adolescents themselves reported increased self-confidence and self-expression, better socialization skills and increased interest in community development after having participated in the Adolescent Circles.