COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Indonesia

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Indonesia

Last Updated: 04/12/2021

Daily new COVID-19 cases have been declining in Indonesia since January, but the rate was still nearly 5,250 per day on April 6. The country had administered enough doses to fully vaccinate about 2.3% of the population by that date. Vaccination is mandatory; local governments can impose fines and stop social assistance payments to those who refuse. Mask wearing and social distancing are also mandatory, and large gatherings and travel are limited. The pandemic has taken a huge economic and emotional toll on Indonesians; according to the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, 42% of mothers and 32% of fathers said they have committed physical violence on their children in the past year.

The status of Compassion church partners varies widely. While a small number are open for normal program activities, many are able only to meet in small groups for limited activities, and most are ministering only through home visits. Mentors and tutors are bringing food supplies to children’s homes weekly and are helping some families plant gardens at their homes. Since the beginning of the pandemic, staff members have distributed over 1.3 million food packs, almost 986,000 hygiene kits and provided medical support to over 139,000 individuals.

A woman and boy cleaning hands

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Indonesia?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Indonesia, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Some centers have reopened with small group meetings for children and youths but many remain closed. Staff members continue to make home visits and phone calls to provide assistance to children and caregivers. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, staff members have been able to distribute over 1.3 million food packs and almost 986,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

A family holding food goods

child reading IconStory From the Field

The first thing Velove does after waking up is a little unusual for an 8-year-old. She waters her prize-winning spring onions!

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many Compassion centers in Indonesia were temporarily closed. Instead of meeting at the center, Velove’s tutor visited her at home twice a week to teach the lessons, and one of the activities was learning how to grow spring onions, a popular ingredient in nearly every local dish.

In July 2020, the center gave each child five bags of seeds. The children were excited to learn there would be a competition with prizes. The tutor would choose three winners from each class based on how fertile and flourishing their plants were. The one critical rule was that the children could not use any chemical fertilizer.

Velove immediately took up the challenge to nurture and protect her seedlings. “Every day, I always make sure that no chickens have come to scratch and dig up my plants,” she said.

After three months of planting and growing, the time came for Velove and her friends to harvest their plants. They each donated two bags of spring onions to their child development center for replanting in the center's farm, but the remaining three bags were theirs to keep.

The class tutor carefully inspected each child's entry before announcing the winners. To her delight, Velove was declared one of them!

“I was surprised to be one of the winners of the spring onion planting challenge,” Velove said. “I feel satisfied because my patience paid off when my spring onions flourished. I was also happy to get chocolates as the winner.”

Velove multiplied her three bags of spring onions into seven. Now the popular vegetable is available every day in her garden, much to her family’s pleasure.

How can I pray for Indonesia?

Pray for safety for families and children in this difficult time and that God would give them hope for the future. Please also pray that interactions with frontline church partners bring them joy and remind them how loved they are. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Indonesia
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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