We began our ministry in East Indonesia in 2005 with the Child Sponsorship Program, and in 2006 we started the Child Survival Program.
Georry Nefiantuty Suardi (Tuty) joined the ministry in East Indonesia as country director in 2005. Before this, Tuty served as program manager in the Bandung office.
Prior to joining Compassion, Tuty served as a program manager and trainer for the Indonesian Christian Church Training Center, and as a consultant in human resource development for the Fidicia Consulting Group.
Tuty is the founder of the Youth Empowerment Station in Jakarta and the Youth Leadership Movement in Manado.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Christian University of Duta Wacana, a master’s in development management from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines, and a master’s in holistic child development from the Malaysian Baptist Theological Seminary in Penang, Malaysia.
Implementing Church Partners
Implementing Church Partners are local churches in East Indonesia with whom we work to deliver child development programs and ministry in the field.
- Spiritual Climate
The majority of the population in East Indonesia is Christian; the evangelical movement is strong, and spiritual revival activities are held often.
- Unique Challenges
One challenge unique to Implementing Church Partners in East Indonesia is that there are five major islands, all with different cultures and tribes. This makes it difficult to contextualize the program.
The “field-based partnership facilitator” approach has been helpful in minimizing cultural barriers, because the partnership facilitator is able to focus on the cultural issues and deal with each partner strategically.
Another challenge we face is that denominations are fairly divided. When we open a new child development center in a new area, neighboring churches belonging to different denominations are often suspicious of our program and partnership. But in time, denominations are usually able to build solid relationships with each other.
- Typical Contributions
Implementing Church Partners provide buildings and training for local staff and volunteers.
- Partner Development Activities
We develop partners by providing tutor and administrative training and training on child protection, as well as offering conferences for pastors.
Child Survival Program
- Caregiver Literacy
Our Child Survival Program staff members evaluate the literacy level of the mothers and teach each one accordingly. We hold group classes once a week and also have follow-up lessons during home visits.
- Income-Generating Skills
We offer various income-generating skills according to the different locations of the Child Survival Programs. For instance, the Child Survival Program in Papua offers “noken” making. A noken is a traditional bag from Papau, so it is only appropriate to offer that particular skill in that area of the country.
Another region of the country teaches a certain type of flower making while another offers cake, bread and pastry making. Generally these skills are taught once or twice a month. If Complementary Intervention funds are used for income-generating activities, then these classes are usually taught once a week.
- Health Care
Indonesia has community health centers which are provided by the government and offer most services free of charge. Mothers in the Child Survival Program take their children to these centers for monthly check-ups.
Pregnant mothers also receive prenatal care, and children and mothers receive immunizations. If medication is needed, there is often a charge, but it is nominal.
In remote villages, the nearby community health center sends staff members to perform checkups, and they pay specific attention to mothers and children. Every six months we typically pay for routine medical checkups done at the development center by either a general practitioner or a pediatrician. We also pay for ultrasounds for pregnant women.
If a program participant is ill and has unusually high medical expenses, we will pay the majority of those expenses. Hygiene items such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo are also provided.
- Nutritional Support
Once a week, beneficiaries are given nutritious food at the development center, receiving a balance of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also take milk home with them to have during the week.
Some development centers also provide food to the mothers during home visits. We teach mothers how to cook nutritious food for their families using simple, inexpensive ingredients.
During home visits, we sometimes cook together with the moms, ensuring they fully understand how to prepare the food correctly and cleanly.
- Involvement of Fathers
Generally, fathers participate in a family fellowship event once a month. We also invite fathers to help with building projects and cleaning days, and they are usually glad to help with these needs.
- Transition Out of the Child Survival Program
In order to begin transitioning children out of the Child Survival Program and into the Child Sponsorship Program, we introduce children to activities such as art, singing, and performing songs or memorized Bible verses in front of their classes.
Children are also encouraged to learn to play appropriately in groups. The purpose of all these activities is to develop their social skills and their self-esteem, so they will not be overwhelmed when they enter the Child Sponsorship Program.
Mothers in the Child Survival Program need to master at least one income-generating skill, and have the necessary skills to parent their children properly and manage their families well. Also, we hope that the mothers have developed a faith in Christ.
- Areas of Expansion for the Child Survival Program
We would like to expand further in Papua. Our first Child Survival Program center is located there, but the mothers in this area still struggle a great deal, and many cultural barriers exist. There is a great need for further care and education.
We would also like to expand into Kalimantan (the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo), because there are many pregnant mothers and children under five. In this region, mothers adhere to the traditional way of delivering babies which is extremely high-risk.
Child Development Through Sponsorship
Your sponsorship of a child in East Indonesia provides a variety of benefits.
Children are very busy with school during the weekdays, so we conduct our activities in the afternoons after school.
- Meeting Times
- 3 to 5 year olds: 2 hours a day, 4 days a week
- 6 to 8 year olds: 2 hours a day, 3 days a week
- 9 to 11 year olds: 2 hours a day, 3 days a week
- 12 to 14 year olds: 2 hours a day, 3 days a week
Each child receives a nutritious meal every time he or she goes to the child development center. A typical meal consists of rice, meat, milk, fruit and vegetables. We also give additional vitamins to the children. This food is provided because the lack of nutritious food is still a major challenge in East Indonesia.
Vaccinations are typically given before a child is registered at the development center. Crucial vaccinations, such as polio and hepatitis, are usually given free of charge at the local health clinics, but there is sometimes a charge.
If a child has not been given a vaccination prior to registration, the child will go to the local health clinic or to the hospital for the needed vaccination, and the Implementing Church Partner will cover the cost if needed.
There are sports activities for children of all ages and camps for the adolescents. In suburban centers, they also have lessons in traditional art, music and dance.
These activities are offered according to the teachers’ availability and the interest level of the children.
Most of East Indonesia is made up of forest land, and many people work as farmers or on plantations as substitute farmers. So it is important to offer vocational training related to farming and agriculture.
Because of this, we offer income-generating skills such as farming and English.
As with the Child Survival Program, we hope to expand in Papua and into Kalimantan (the island of Borneo) because of the vast needs in these areas.
Our core Child Sponsorship Program, while comprehensive, does not address all obstacles to a child’s healthy development. The Complementary Interventions program was created to work with our holistic child development model to provide additional services, such as our AIDS Initiative, funds for Bibles, disaster relief and water projects.
Typical Complementary Interventions
Complementary Interventions funds are used for curriculum, prevention and treatment of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, water projects, and non-formal education.
Highly Vulnerable Children
In East Indonesia, most of our highly vulnerable children suffer from severe child abuse or parental neglect. In order to address these needs, we work closely with the Implementing Church Partners to reinforce the importance of child protection.