In Indonesia, AFSC works closely with grassroots partner organizations to support their efforts to build a more peaceful and inclusive society. But in this pandemic, community members across the country—including our partners—are in need of support to weather the crisis caused by COVID-19.
Thanks to the generosity of the AFSC community, local partners have been able to organize a humanitarian response and are distributing food, medical and hygiene supplies, and other items to their staff, volunteers, and community members.
“All staff and volunteers were impacted by the COVID-19,” says Tri Noviana, program manager for Institute for Islamic and Social Studies Foundation (LKIS), an AFSC partner in Yogyakarta. Some now have little or no stable income. "When we heard the news that we would get self-care aid … we felt very happy because it was like a ray of hope to continue our lives. … [The aid is helping to] lessen the life burden.”
As the country representative for AFSC in Indonesia, I want to thank you for making a difference in the lives of dozens of activists with whom we work, so they can meet their immediate needs as they continue peacebuilding work in these difficult times.
Here are just a few examples of what your support is making possible.
Financial assistance to volunteers
In Yogyakarta, AFSC provided direct financial assistance to community members through Women’s Solidarity Kinasih. That includes people like Katmi, a former staff person with the National Unity in Diversity Alliance (a former AFSC partner organization) and her husband, who also used some of those funds to purchase food and other supplies for relatives and neighbors.
Katmi and her husband live in a farming community in Yogyakarta, and he runs a small sewing business that he may not be able to keep open. Most of the people in their community are farmers, who are seeing a decline in sales—and many have not received any government assistance.
“I thank AFSC a lot for caring about our condition. In an unfavorable state like this, AFSC still gives us the opportunity to serve,” Katmi says.
Food packages and hygiene kits
With your support, Women’s Solidarity Kinasih is also ensuring community members receive healthy, locally sourced food in addition to hygiene items—supporting local businesses as well as households. The organization distributes food packages that include rice, green beans, and other items purchased directly from women farmers who grow them. Other items are bought directly from staple stores in the community, rather than brought in from outside. Women’s Solidarity Kinasih also packages items using environmentally friendly materials to minimize waste—such as bamboo wrapping and recycled egg cartons.
In the East Nusa Tenggara Region of West Timor, AFSC also supported program partners—namely CIS Timor Atambua, Kupang Women's House, and the Kupang Peacemaker Community (KOMPAK)—in distributing self-care food packages and hygiene supplies.
“[Our] income also reduced dramatically because of the COVID-19 plague,” says Ririn Astriana, KOMPAK’s assistant treasurer. “We are worried because the business continues to be quiet. … We would like to thank KOMPAK's staff and volunteers for helping to provide food to our family, so that we can reduce the burden on monthly expenses.”
Face masks and public health information
In Aceh, many community members struggling in this pandemic faced additional challenges when the area was hit by days of floods, damaging homes and businesses. AFSC provided support to our partner, RPUK, who worked with other organizations to educate community members about public health practices to slow the spread and to sew face masks, which were distributed to people at higher risk during the pandemic, including women who sell goods at the market, pedicab drivers, people with disabilities, and other women who continue to work outside of their homes.
All people should have the resources they need to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy, especially in these times. Thank you for supporting AFSC’s efforts to aid partners in Indonesia so they can protect themselves, meet their basic needs, and continue working for a world where all people can thrive.