70th Anniversary of Indonesia’s (Children) Independence?
Children are invaluable asset of a country. The number of children in Indonesia is about one third of the population (33.9 %), or around 82.5 million people. To take their existence, or even their role as citizens, for granted is one big mistake that will make a massive impact. There will be a time when they become adults; to be the head of a family, a community figure, a local leader, a mayor, a governor, or even the President of Republic Indonesia. We can imagine what will happen if their current nurturing is soft, instant, and lack of moral and spiritual resources.
Indonesia is celebrating the 70th anniversary of our independence. Has Indonesian been freed from child abuse and neglect? Almost half of the children (49.51 %) age between 7 – 17 are school dropouts. There are still 3.4 million child labors age 10 – 17. The death rate of infants and toddlers are still under the target of MDG (Millenium Development Goals). Not to mention the children who are victims of trafficking, malnutrition, not registered with birth certificates, and other saddened data.
There is this proverb that says, it takes a village to raise a child. It makes sense if we “upgrade” the line to: “it takes a nation to raise children.” This would be a solution than can be applied in all public sectors – the legislature, the judiciary and the executives – and can be a start to solve various problems involving children.
We expect that a good coordination between all the government units needs to be improved. One example is hotline numbers where people can call and report all children related cases. The numbers are usually taken care by one ministry office or NGOs. However, many of those numbers are no longer active, or not 24/7 ready, or lacking of human resources’ skills on how to handle the calls.
It would be much better if there is only one line easy-to-remember telephone number. It can be reached at anytime from anywhere; equipped with well-trained human resources on skills to calm down callers who might be scared, panicked, or emotionally confused.
That is just one small example out of many solutions that can be re-administered by the government. Look around us, one of three of the population is a child. They are worthy, they have huge potentials, they are us!
Long live, Indonesia!
Let the children live long, too!
Sahabat Anak, 2015