Commemorating Children’s National Day: Indonesian Children Speak Up and Create!

July 23 is celebrated as National Children’s Day. Ever since the pandemic came to Indonesia, the commemoration of the National Children’s Day is slightly different from previous years. This year Rumah Faye commemorated National Children’s Day by holding a drawing competition called “Let’s Wear a Mask” which was participated by children aged 5-12 years, and also holding an educational and creative video competition on efforts to prevent Covid-19, the impact of Covid-19, and children’s voices for the Government which was participated by children and adolescents aged 13-17 years. Rumah Faye brought up the theme “Indonesian Children Can Definitely Prevent Covid-19”. This theme was chosen because it represents the hope and optimism of Indonesian children. Difficult situations, especially this pandemic, did not prevent Indonesian children from being brave, caring for others, and still motivating themselves to continue to grow and develop. This activity aimed to campaign for the importance of protecting children to the community. In addition, this activity also invited children to participate in preventing the spread of Covid-19. This activity was joined by 255 children from various parts of Indonesia, with as many as 192 participants taking part in the drawing competition and 48 participants taking part in the educational and creative video competition.

Speaking Up and Creating

Through the creation submitted for the competition, the children also convey their voices to the community and the Government. In the drawing competition, for example, the majority of messages conveyed were almost the same, namely calls to comply with health protocols, wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining distance (3M). By drawing, children can express opinions, imagination, and creativity without limits. This is part of the fulfillment of the rights of the child itself. The pandemic has claimed thousands of lives including children, for that it is important that adults do not ignore health protocols because children are the ones who suffer the impact.

In the educative and creative video competition, the children’s voices were quite diverse and made creatively. Videos were presented in the form of vlogs, motion graphics, and tiktok content. Some narrate poetically, dramatically, and did not miss adding an element of comedy. The information conveyed started from information about what the Corona virus is, its spread and preventative measures. There was also a story about the impact of Covid on the lives of children. According to the participants, since the pandemic, children have been unable to play outside, there is a longing to meet friends, disruption of learning due to network and quota problems, reduced learning concentration, mental health issues, to violence that occurs to children at home. There was also the topic of child marriage issues. Other than the negative impact, some children also feel a positive impact, namely during online learning, children were able to master technology, they could do their hobbies and gain new knowledge because of their experience of participating in various webinars. In addition, there were also those who expressed their concerns on how the pandemic has made many people lose their jobs so they cannot provide for their families. The children also asked the government to pay more attention to the fulfillment of children’s rights, especially in the aspect of education. Various hopes and prayers were also conveyed through these videos so that Indonesia would recover soon. Enthusiasm and support were also given to people who are struggling out there so that they can get through this pandemic situation strong and steadfast.

The voices above represent the voices of Indonesian children. The pandemic has made the situation difficult, children are required to adjust to new habits. But the voices above show that the pandemic is not an obstacle to stop dreaming and speaking. The pandemic is a test in real life. To do this, it is necessary to work hand in hand by building solidarity, practicing caring, creating creative solutions, and being able to be optimistic. Thus, Indonesian children will have the spirit of humanity, tolerance, and independence which are the capital and wealth to build a stronger, superior, and great Indonesian nation because “Indonesian children can do it!”.

Happy National Children’s Day!

Writer: Lina Yanti (Rumah Faye Prevention and Recovery Officer)
Editor: Rheka Rizqiah Ramadhani
Translator: Clarissa Cita Magdalena

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