Several years ago, a rental car driver used to look up to the sky whenever an airplane flew past and told himself that he would one day take a plane...
The Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo paid a visit to the Kluwut Village in Bulakamba, Brebes on 21 July 2022 to witness the implementation of the stunting reduction program, accompanied by Anderson Tanoto, member of Tanoto Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
As part of the visit, Rumah Anak SIGAP, a care centre for stimulation and early learning for children aged between 0 and 3 years was inaugurated. The guests also observed how assistance was provided to families at risk of stunting by Tim Pendamping Keluarga (Family Assistance Team or TPK).
Rumah Anak SIGAP has been founded under a collaboration between Tanoto Foundation and the local government to create a service model that will enable families to provide comprehensive and holistic care that will promote the optimal growth and development of children aged 0 to 3 years. It also facilitates the provision of other critical services for children.
Mr Tanoto reaffirmed Tanoto Foundation’s long-term commitment to assisting the government in reducing stunting rates in Indonesia, and expressed optimism that this collaboration will go smoothly and have a positive impact on the people of Central Java Province.
“We would like to thank the Central Java Provincial Government and the Brebes Regency Government for their cooperation. We hope that this collaboration between the government and non-governmental organizations will inspire others to develop similar programs so that we can maximize the impact in reducing stunting rates. We hope to create a bright generation of Indonesians by focusing more on early childhood.”
Mr Pranowo expressed that the SIGAP Children’s Home program was consistent with the Central Java Provincial Government’s 5 Ng program, namely Jateng Gayeng Nginceng Wong Meteng (Central Java pays attention to pregnant women). It supports the arrangement of regular prenatal health checks, which is critical to prevention of stunting among infants. He also suggested that stunting prevention and treatment programs be implemented on a long-term basis, from the prenatal to the postnatal stage.
He shared his appreciation for Tanoto Foundation’s Rumah Anak SIGAP Program and expressed his hope that it would provide necessary education and assistance to pregnant women and mothers with babies. “Hopefully, this program will be useful and beneficial to the entire community, and our children will no longer be at risk of stunting,” Mr Pranowo said.
According to the Indonesian Nutrition Status Study (Studi Status Gizi Indonesia or SSGI), the prevalence of stunted Indonesian children under the age of five was 24.4 percent in 2021, implying that approximately 7 million Indonesian children under the age of five were stunted.
However, the Central Java Province, which has a total population of 36.7 million people (according to Statistics Indonesia/BPS 2021), was able to reduce the prevalence of child stunting from 31.2 percent in 2018 (RISKESDAS) to 20.9 percent in 2021. (SSGI). Despite the significant decline, the absolute number of stunted children under the age of five remained high at approximately 500,000, given the large population of Central Java.
Stunting can disrupt children’s physical and brain development, leading to a decrease in intellectual capacity, which will eventually affect their productivity as adults. The Indonesian government has set a target of reducing stunting to 14 percent by 2024, as directed by President Joko Widodo. Achieving this requires the intensive, structured, and coordinated efforts of the government at all levels, as well as the contribution of private institutions, philanthropic organisations, development partners, academia, and the media.
Tanoto Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation in the field of education founded by Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto in 1981, has implemented many programs on the national, local and community level to help the government in reducing stunting prevalence in Indonesia.
It has collaborated with the Central Java Provincial Government in program planning, implementation, assistance, and human resource development to prevent and reduce stunting rates among children under the age of five in Central Java through the Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) program.
Recognising the importance of bonding between parents and children in the development of the child’s motor, language (linguistic), cognitive, and socio-emotional skills, Rumah Anak SIGAP organises thematic parenting group activities, stimulating activities through games, individual assistance (for both mother and child), home visits, and many other supportive activities.
Tanoto Foundation and the Central Java Provincial Government also undertake a number of capacity-building initiatives for TPK, including the provision of Pemberian Makan Bayi dan Anak (PMBA) training to health workers. The training covers topics such as important nutrients for pregnant women, the role of fathers, exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding for two years, and monitoring children’s growth and development.
The training will equip TPK with the skills to carry out their responsibilities of providing assistance and supervision to families at risk of stunting. Already implemented in Brebes and Banyumas, the training will also be carried out in Tegal and Semarang.