Indonesian Islands

Indonesian Islands

Most of the Indonesian Islands are mountainous and have a tropical, wet climate that produces abundant vegetation. The Indonesian islands’ animal life is equally abundant, with several species of beautiful exotic birds found in the thick rainforests. Today, more than 1,500 children are being assisted through 12 child development centers.

Indonesia

Halmahera Island

  • The majority of Halmahera's poor families live by agriculture-based pursuits, using traditional equipment. The majority of Halmahera's poor families live by agriculture-based pursuits, using traditional equipment.
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit.
  • Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future. Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future.
  • Sponsored children perform Tide-Tide, a traditional Halmahera dance. Sponsored children perform Tide-Tide, a traditional Halmahera dance.
  • At their Compassion center, a safe and welcoming place, children enjoy a game of Toki Tampurung. At their Compassion center, a safe and welcoming place, children enjoy a game of Toki Tampurung.
  • Sponsored children in Halmahera typically live in small, poorly constructed homes of bamboo and other local materials. Sponsored children in Halmahera typically live in small, poorly constructed homes of bamboo and other local materials.
  • In the homes of Halmahera's children in need, up to six family members share one bedroom. In the homes of Halmahera's children in need, up to six family members share one bedroom.
 
INDONESIA OVERVIEW

Population

253,609,643

Religion

Islam

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty on Indonesia's Halmahera Island Indonesia Overview
  • Adults typically work as subsistence farmers. However, with primitive tools and little knowledge of modern farming techniques, productivity is inconsistent.
  • Poor farmers usually can’t grow enough produce to feed their families adequately, much less to sell.
  • Malnutrition is common among children.
  • Parents believe that owning a plot of land that they can pass down is more important than education to securing their children’s future.
  • If any money is saved, it is for their children’s wedding celebrations, not their education. Culturally, families are expected to spend a lot, even go into debt, for lavish weddings.
  • More than 8.5 million of Halmahera’s people live in deep poverty.
LIFE
On Indonesia's Halmahera Island

Geography & Climate

  • Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) and straddling the equator.
  • It is the world’s largest country comprised solely of islands.
  • The biggest islands are Sumatra, Java (the most populous), Bali, Kalimantan (Indonesia's part of Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), the Nusa Tenggara islands, the Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya (also called West Papua), the western part of New Guinea.
  • Indonesia, part of the “ring of fire,” has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Java, for example, has 50 active volcanoes.
  • The topography of Indonesia’s islands varies but consists mainly of coastal lowlands. Some of Indonesia’s larger islands (Sumatra and Java, for example) have large interior mountains.
  • Natural disasters, especially earthquakes, are common. On Dec. 26, 2004, a 9.1 to 9.3 magnitude earthquake struck in the Indian Ocean, triggering a large tsunami that devastated many Indonesian islands.
  • Indonesia’s climate is tropical with hot and humid weather in lower elevations. In the highlands, temperatures are more moderate.

Economy

Indonesia’s economy centers on agriculture and industry. The main agricultural products include rice, coffee, sugarcane, palm oil, poultry and pork.

Indonesia’s largest industrial products include petroleum, plywood, rubber, textiles and cement.

Indonesia’s economy is helped by its strategic location along major sea lanes from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Today Indonesia is a growing tourist hotspot because of its tropical landscape in places such as Bali.

The child labor (ages 5-14) rate stands at 7 percent.

The average annual household income is U.S.$5,000.

The population living below the poverty line is 11.7 percent.

Throughout the country, 16 percent of the population lives on U.S.$1.25 per day or less.

Children at Home

Homes of impoverished families in Halmahera are typically made of wood or cement blocks, with metal or thatched roofs.

Children at home

These houses usually must accommodate several members of an extended family.

During the religious-based conflict between 1999 and 2000, many homes were burned, with ruins still visible around the island today. Since then, families have largely restored their lives, and stability has returned.

COMMUNITY
Indonesia Community
Issues and Concerns
  • Families in Halmahera suffer the effects of frequent earthquakes, flooding and volcanic activity.
  • One of the island’s three volcanoes, Dukono, located on the northernmost peninsula, is active.
  • In 2007, all three disasters – flooding, volcanic eruption and earthquake – struck the island, affecting thousands of lives.
  • Ongoing tension between Muslims and Christians is another issue. Although relatively peaceful today, 1999-2000 was a period of violence between the two groups throughout the Maluku region of Halmahera.

Countless homes of Christians and more than 400 churches were destroyed. Many Christians of Halmahera fled to other islands for safety.

By the end of the conflict, there were more than 500,000 refugees and 6,000 deaths.

Local Needs and Challenges

Adequate housing

Most of Halmahera’s children are from families that live in poverty and cannot adequately meet their basic needs. Their fragile homes are under constant threat from natural disasters.

Domestic violence

Children frequently suffer from neglect and abuse.

Health care

People have limited access to medical assistance.

Education

A lack of post-secondary schools limits educational opportunities.

EDUCATION
Indonesia education
Schools and Education
  • Children in Halmahera typically attend school for nine years, starting at age 6 in elementary school and ending at age 15 after junior high.
  • No higher education opportunities exist on the island.
  • Any young person who wants to continue education beyond secondary school must go to a larger island. For poor families of Halmahera, this is not an option.
At the Compassion Child Development Center

In partnership with local churches, Compassion strives to meet the pressing needs of Halmahera’s impoverished children and provide them the resources and learning opportunities to rise above poverty.

To fight malnutrition, children are provided nutritious meals.

They also receive the health checkups and medical attention their parents can’t afford.

All children are provided the uniforms, fees and supplies required to attend school. Center workers provide the children with extra tutoring, which encourages them to stay in school and excel in their studies.

The children’s formal education is supplemented by Compassion’s own curriculum, which addresses all facets of life: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual.

In monthly meetings, center staff discuss with caregivers the importance of children completing their education. Parents also learn valuable childrearing skills.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to children in need on Halmahera Island, providing them with:

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • health and hygiene training
  • access to special services like surgeries and disaster relief
  • mentoring to help children discover their incredible value as God’s children