SwissCham's Humanitarian Trip to East Nusa Tenggara with 1000 Days Fund
We are facing not only the covid-19 pandemic but also a long-standing unresolved problem of stunting in Indonesia. The rate of stunting remains outrageously high, and the unprecedented pandemic makes the situation much worse. Stunting causes children to lack developmental health, affects their immune system, and even cost them their lives if not treated. The first 1000 days in a child's life is a golden moment, and the key to lifelong and healthy children. This period plays a significant role in a child's growth and development in the brain.
As quoted from the 1000 Days Fund site, stunting is a condition that arises from prolonged under-nutrition, and it affects physical and brain development. It's defined as shortness in height for a child's age, and it can only be diagnosed by comparing the child's measurements to standardized growth charts. From the SwissCham Indonesia recent trip to East Nusa Tenggara, a heart-breaking reality is not due to lack of designated funds or limited program, but at the core, lack of access to knowledge for most parents.
About 1 out of 4 Indonesian children, or approximately 37% of children under five years of age, remained stunted. Considering the long-term impact of this problem, which affects around nine million children, it is crucial for every party to contribute to providing solutions for stunting eradication in Indonesia.
To support government commitment, SwissCham delivers its contribution through the 1000 Days Fund program. On the 21st and 22nd of March, the SwissCham team consisted of Chris Bendl (Chairman), Christophe Piganiol (Head of Sustainability and Development Sectoral Group), Pingkan Mokalu (Executive Director); and the 1000 Days Fund team visited Labuan Bajo and its surrounding islands in East Nusa Tenggara. The aim of the visit by SwissCham was to learn about the conditions on the ground, the work and impact of the 1000 Days Fund to the communities and find ways to help eradicate a deadly yet avoidable problem: stunting.
During the two days visit, the team visited community centres, auxiliary health centres (Puskemas Pembantu) in Komodo, Rinca, Labuan Bajo and Warsawe. The SwissCham team were also able to take part in installing smart charts in a number of houses and took part in 1000 Days training for healthcare workers at Labuan Bajo Puskesmas.
SwissCham Indonesia was honoured to receive the opportunity to take part in some of the great work done by the 1000 Days Fund team. At the end of the two-day program, SwissCham was delighted to announce the 1000 Days Fund as the beneficiary of fund USD 5000. The chamber hopes that the allocated fund would help 1000 Days to bring positive impacts to communities. This is not solely the responsibility of non-profit organisations like SwissCham Indonesia or 1000 Days Fund but also all private sectors, civil society, and every individual as part of a complex economic system. We believe that by investing in stunting program, we could save children's lives, increase human capital, and achieve zero stunting by 2030.