From Local to Global
Surabaya is a metropolitan city, the second largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta. Just like other metropolitan cities in the world, Surabaya is where the rich and the poor living their lives. When Coved-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, the poor became the first mostly affected, including children. Many underprivileged children have no healthy food option, being prone to be undernourished or suffering from hidden hunger – a deficiency caused by consuming cheap-instant but filling food with less essential vitamins and micronutrients.
Based on data issued by BPS, stunting rate in Surabaya in 2020 was 3.95 percent. It means 7,040 of 178,043 children under five were stunted. Unfortunately, among them live in Semampir Sub-district where Gugah Nurani Indonesia established CDP in 2012. To reduce the stunting rate, City Government of Surabaya set an agenda named Surabaya EMAS (Elimination Masalah Stunting / Elimination of Stunting) and launched a consortium consisting of stakeholders and several NGOs including Gugah Nurani Indonesia.
In order to actively participate in the consortium, CDP Surabaya proposed a project of stunting reduction to Global Designated Fund (GDF) in early 2022. The proposal was approved under project name of Balance Nutrition to Reduce Stunting for Children Under Five and implemented in April 2022 – March 2023. The project was very welcomed and supported by the government.
Supports from the government were given even when the proposal was being drafted by CDP. Data used for beneficiaries of the project was taken by CDP together with Community Health Center staffs. After being discussed with Head of Sub-district, Head of Community Health Center and nutritionist, the data were then synchronized by City Health Office for validation.
Once the project run, health cadres with local health leaders were involved to conduct scheduled monitoring using a tool named Anthropometry. They also ensured the parents and pregnant women cooking the food material while encouraging them to follow the given direction and to practice the knowledge obtained from workshop in their daily lives.
It is good to get as many as partners participating in the project. To provide nutritious food for targeted beneficiaries, CDP invited local small-supplier to be the partner as well. They are vegetable vendors that selling daily food material in the neighborhood. Their participation has clearly benefited them from earning more profit for 28 days. Gugah Nurani Indonesia also empowered the beneficiary parents as active participants by encouraging them to cook the food by themselves following available menus. It surely has improved their cooking skill when the project was over.
To produce better project performance, Gugah Nurani Indonesia also involved campus. In July 2022, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Gugah Nurani Indonesia and Public Health Faculty of Airlangga University, Surabaya. Through this agreement, the faculty committed to provide resource person for training and workshop participated by beneficiaries, to review the daily menu to be consumed by children and pregnant women beneficiaries, and to give input for monitoring indicator and evaluation.
Cooperation with Airlangga University.
Regarding to the evaluation, just before 28 days of nutritious food consumption for children beneficiaries began, 10 lecturers of the faculty conducted a research about bacteria and viruses on children’s fecal. They found Norovirus in 15 children beneficiaries’ fecal, a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea and possibly becomes one of many causes of stunting. The data would be then compared to the ones conducted in the last days. This research is important because it will show children’s current condition and to predict the possibility of stunting in future time.
The project was successfully finished on time, resulting in 193% improvement of children under five’s nutrition status, 93% health community leader’s responsiveness, 86% parent’s participation in good feeding practice and 100% executed collaborative activities. This success was appreciated by the government that they requested Gugah Nurani Indonesia to assist them replicating the project in nearest Kenjeran Sub-district. The collaborative replication was then conducted by Surabaya Women’s Organization with fund support and consultation from Gugah Nurani Indonesia.
The success of project was mostly supported by approaches used by CDP Surabaya. Intensive communication with stakeholders as duty bearers made the project a collaborative one. Gugah Nurani Indonesia made sure that the project was not merely under Gugah Nurani Indonesia’s responsibility but also the government’s as well. Moreover, Gugah Nurani Indonesia involved the whole community to participate, not only the parents and health cadres but also local small-vegetable vendors. Partnership with campus as expert helped Gugah Nurani Indonesia ensured the quality assurance of the project.
It was during one of many discussions with the faculty at campus when CDP Manager, Cicik Sri Rejeki, was introduced to a guest lecturer Prof. Wang Yu-Chun from Chung Yuan Christian University of Taiwan. They had talk and shared experiences regarding climate change and its impacts on community health. Being impressed, she then invited Cicik to participate in an international webinar titled Climate Change and Public Health held by International Climate Development Institute (ICDI) Taiwan.
Cicik became one of speakers together with Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni Chief Medical Officer, Public Health Department of Colombo Municipal Council; and Prof. Wang Yu-Chun, Department of Environmental Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University. In a session moderated by Mr. Chao, Kung-Yueh Executive Director, International Climate Development Institute (ICDI), she presented The impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on households or children's health, along with relevant community-based adaptation measures. The webinar was mainly attended by mayors, senior city managers, urban planners, environmental officers, climate change policy makers and practitioners, as well as key national and city leaders and decision makers from the public, private and civil society sectors.
Surely the invitation to be a speaker in the international webinar will not be the last opportunity coming from the university for CDP Surabaya. Next collaboration is going on the way in which CDP Manager will be involved in a team designing proposals on climate change-related health issues to be summited to US donors.
Surabaya CDP has been working hard for recognition they deserve, not only at local level but at global as well. Hopefully more opportunities from potential partners coming to CDP to wide its network and to spread messages and inspiration to many people.
Rina Satdewi, Secretary Board Executive of Gugah Nurani Indonesia
Cicik Sri Redjeki, CDP Manager of Surabaya CDP