OUR OVERSEAS AID PROJECT LAP
ONE CHILD – ONE LIFE
From 1987 to September 2016, the Ministry of Health recorded the cumulative number of HIV infections in Indonesia as many as 219 036 cases. Meanwhile, the cumulative number of HIV infections in 2010-2016 are as many as 184 779 cases, in which 13 263 (7.18%) of whom were children aged 0-19 years (P2P DG, Ministry of Health, 2016). This number will continue to grow if prevention of transmission is not performed. HIV prevention programs have mainly focused on key populations such as injecting drug users, sex workers and other high-risk groups. Children born with HIV are often missed in the government program, but the child is a traveling source of HIV transmission in the high-risk group.
The Ministry of Health is strongly committed to tackling HIV and AIDS. One of the efforts is through the provision of Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARV) for people with HIV, including children. “Up to the month of November 2016 recorded 74 879 people living with HIV on antiretroviral treatment in Indonesia and about 4% of them are children,” said Director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Direct, dr.Wiendra Waworuntu, Kes. This is also supported by David Bridger, UNAIDS Country Director for Indonesia, said: “If children have access to proper treatment, children can grow and develop properly, like the other kids.”
The issue of HIV, both in adults and children, is often seen as a health issue alone. Though there are many aspects in life that are ultimately affected. The challenges faced in addition to health problems is access to education. Discrimination often occurs in the school environment so that the child had to go out and look for a new school. To cope, this should be considered together with a platform and framework that enables a sustainable cross-sectoral involvement, as submitted by the Director General of Culture Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid.
Another challenge faced is the parenting issue that is the responsibility of a guardian such as grandparents or other family members. Ineligibility for shelter and a lack of knowledge about parenting also have an impact on the quality of life of children with HIV. To realize the quality of life for children with HIV, the important role and commitment of various parties including the government and the public is needed. Currently, services and comprehensive programs that serves children with HIV are still few in number. Nahar, SH, MSi., Director of Social Rehabilitation for Children Ministry of Social RI said that the involvement of the Social Worker in the prevention, protection and social rehabilitation for children with HIV should continue to be pursued through partnership with community organizations or institutions that have a concern in the protection of children with HIV.
Through a photo exhibition “One Child One Life Projekt” Rainbow Kids Lantern (LAP) is opening so that the public can learn more about the lives of children with HIV. The exhibition is expected to be the initial idea for all parties to be involved in programs and support services for children with HIV. In addition as a means of advocacy and education to raise public awareness, it also exhibits an appreciation for the volunteers, the community, government, and all parties that already provide support to LAP in assisting children with HIV in Jakarta.
LAP was established in 2009 upon initiation Prof. Irwanto, Ph.D., to address the challenges that exist in the community about HIV-infected children. LAP is part of a community service unit under the auspices of HIV Research Centre (PPH) Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia. As the mentoring program of children with HIV in Indonesia, LAP aims to improve the quality of life of children with HIV. In addition, LAP also educates the public and the government to take part in efforts to reduce the adverse effects on the child. Through home-based care program, LAP want to make sure that every child has greater access to family care, health facilities, education, and does not experience discrimination in society. This effort was supported by the National AIDS Commission (NAC) through funding Indonesian Partnership Fund (IPF) for 1.5 years. Since 2011, LAP gain support from various public and private groups to this day
LAP is currently assisting 100 children in Jakarta and surrounding areas. LAP Team consists of permanent staff, part-time, and volunteers with various backgrounds who work wholeheartedly. Without the help of donors, volunteers, communities, the government and all those who have provided support for LAP, this program cannot continue.
In the end, the support given by all parties is very meaningful. Whatever its form, the support is like a beacon for the life of children with HIV to experience a better quality of life and have a better hope in the future, just like the other children.