In Indonesia's Manado Region
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 in Indonesia. 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.
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 Manado are typically made of wood or cement blocks, with metal roofs.
Each house usually must accommodate several members of an extended family.
A lack of clean sanitation facilities, along with a lack of knowledge about proper hygiene, means that children often suffer from preventable illnesses.
Issues and Concerns
- Typically, families in Manado make the equivalent of less than U.S.$110 per month. But with average monthly expenses topping $130, they find it difficult to provide for their children’s basic needs.
- Because Manado is located at the convergence of three tectonic plates, the city is prone to earthquakes. In 2008 alone, 236 earthquakes above level 4 on the Richter scale were recorded.
- Flooding and landslides are also a common threat.
- In Manado’s tropical climate, the mosquito-borne diseases of malaria and dengue fever affect most children.
- Due to the lack of adequate sanitation, children also suffer from life-threatening bacterial diarrhea and other such illnesses.
Local Needs and Challenges
For children from impoverished families in Manado, disease and inadequate sanitation put children’s health at great risk.
Most parents can’t afford medical help when their children become ill.
Earthquakes, flooding and landslides cause devastation to families living in fragile homes.
With poorly equipped and understaffed public schools, education is inadequate.
Schools and Education
- The school year in Manado runs from July to May.
- Children start school at age 6 and attend classes in split shifts, either in the morning or in the afternoon.
- Elementary school and secondary school each comprise six years.
- Classes are crowded and ill equipped, and the quality of public education is low.
At the Compassion Child Development Center
At their church-based Compassion centers, children in Manado find the resources and opportunities they need to grow, thrive and overcome poverty.
To fight malnutrition, they are provided regular nutritious meals.
Children are provided with tutoring and extra lessons to bolster their education.
At monthly parent meetings, center staff educate parents about nutrition, childrearing skills and how to protect their children from abuse.
Staff members encourage parents to support their children’s attendance in school.
Through the influence of the program and their children, some parents have given up their drinking and gambling habits.
What Compassion Sponsorship Provides
In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to children in need in Indonesia’s Manado area, 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