Our Stories

  • A personal mission in the heart of Gorontalo

    “I just want to help out my fellow villagers, ” said the 47-year-old health worker as she rushed to attend a workshop for the Alert Village programme, organized by UNDP and the provincial health office. “Most of the (health) problems here are related to maternal and child health issues such as nutritional problems, malaria, and environmental hygiene,” Tobuhu said. “We have been inspecting all households from sunrise to sunset for four days now.

  • An unlikely source of peace from the deep waters of Indonesia

    To an outsider, seaweed may seem to be only a likely source of income for fishermen but within this remote community - where fishing used to be the way of life - seaweed cultivation provides a strategy to stamp out conflict. The fishermen in Halmahera Island’s Kao Bay are amongst thousands of people in eastern Indonesia who have benefited from a peace and conflict prevention project supported by the Government of Indonesia and UNDP.

  • Biogas Project, Lumajang East Java

    Sitting outside his barn in the East Java town of Lumajang, a farmer proudly tells a story of how manure changed his life for the better. With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 45-year old Sukaningoyo has turned manure into biogas, an unlikely source of income, electricity and clean cooking, whereby fuel for daily cooking comes from renewable sources rather than timber.

  • Building Indigenous Papuan entrepreneurship skills

    Yuliana Pigai travels each day with her husband to the Jayapura traditional market to earn a daily wage to keep her family afloat. Her inventory is vast, but she admits she has no idea how much money she earns.

  • Clinics tackling maternal health in Central Java

    Kendal, Central Java – Salis is eight months pregnant with her first child, and has been diagnosed with a potentially high-risk pregnancy, in part because of swelling in one of her feet. She is one of dozens of expectant mothers who have taken advantage of health services provided by Cepiring Community Health Center in Kendal, Central Java, where maternal mortality is among the highest in the country.

  • Cultivating change in Boven Digoel, Papua

    Ogenetan village, Papua, Indonesia – The scent of the Celebes pepper plant hits you before you even reach Ogenetan in the heart of Papua’s Boven Digoel district. Called sereh merah, the plant is used by communities across Papua to drive away evil spirits.

  • Fighting Illiteracy in Indonesia’s Papua region

    Seated in a circle, some children from the coastal village of Sarmi, Papua, throw betel nuts to its centre. Others weave colored ropes into shapes as they learn simple math from their teacher. These children are enrolled in an early education programme that blends the national curriculum with more traditional subjects. The initiative is part of community efforts to combat low literacy levels in Sarmi, some 120 kilometres from the provincial capital of Jayapura.

  • Fighting for social justice in Indonesia

    Three years ago, Indonesian housewife Ibu Odah had little knowledge of legal affairs. Now, the mother of two is at the forefront of a legal fight against domestic violence in the remote island of Ternate, in the North Moluccas province of Indonesia. With the knowledge and expertise that she has acquired, Ibu Odah is now able to provide free legal advice to victims of domestic violence in Tobololo village. As a trained paralegal, Ibu Odah has so far handled three cases of domestic violence and succeeded in bringing them to the local judicial court.

  • From the Forest to the Airwaves

    A top a small hill overlooking the green expanse of Bukit Duabelas National Park sits a tiny two-story wooden structure. The adjacent tower and satellite indicate its unique function, the building housing a radio station for the Orang Rimba called Radio Benor.

  • Between 2009 and 2014, the local parliament (DRPD) in Bangka Belitung only initiated two local laws. The 2013 Indonesia Democracy Index (IDI) showed a very poor score for the role of the DRPD in Bangka Belitung. The DRPD scored zero in the bylaw indicator, meaning that not a single local law was initiated by the DRPD during that year.