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Project Background

SurfAid works in remote areas in Indonesia, where malnutrition is common. Behind the palms of some of the world’s top surfing destinations, are villages so remote that basic government services don’t reach them. There is no clean water, health services, education or electricity.

In Sumba, 60% of children under five are underweight, malnourished or stunted, which is the single biggest contributor to the death of children under 5. In response, SurfAid provides practical support like materials for water facilities, basic healthcare services, and nutrition gardens, but it is through educating parents and changing behaviours that SurfAid achieves sustainable health improvements for children living in remote areas.

Project Overview

The Footprints Network's contribution will help SurfAid support parents on the remote islands of Sumbawa and Sumba, Indonesia to practice child care techniques that fight malnutrition.  Malnutrition is a multi-faceted issue and parents play a huge role.

Because of the unique local cultures, customs, languages and low educational attainment in the places where SurfAid works, a creative and highly focused parental education programme is required. SurfAid will guide local communities in the preparation of educational videos to produce fun, culturally appropriate materials that will contribute to better parenting, and healthier kids.

SurfAid's project will benefit 5,034 households in 31 communities in Sumbawa and Sumba.

Project Objectives

One of SurfAid’s most effective outreach activities has been the development of educational videos with the communities we partner with. These short movies are soap opera in style and are written by the communities in their local languages with the guidance of SurfAid staff. Recorded using phones and simple cameras, community members are the stars of the movies. The movies are then shown at community events and during community health sessions, and support community cohesion, celebrate local customs, and reach men, women and children alike. 

The core project objectives are:

  • Improve parental knowledge of good parenting, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation in Sumba and Sumbawa.
  • Increase the coaching skills of health volunteers to support the parents in their communities.

These objectives will be realised through:

Production of 5 community led, soap opera style, educational videos on:

Child Development to promote good parenting including counsel on what parents can do to stimulate healthy development; to support early intervention when children are sick; to teach appropriate feeding practices; and to learn interactive, age appropriate games.

Nutrition to encourage planting gardens, preparing new foods, and a better understanding of nutrition.

Sanitation Practises to promote the construction and use of latrines, washing hands, practising safe birthing, and maintaining a clean home.

In addition, all the villages in Parado and Lamboya Barat will receive training and coaching on good parenting techniques.

Community Involvement

All of SurfAid’s programs employ a philosophy of a “hand up, not a hand out”. To achieve this, we work to empower communities through training and behaviour change.  

In this project, groups of community health volunteers (kaders) work together with the local health department to deliver health messages on nutrition, hygiene and sanitation to their neighbours, focusing on at-risk households. They are our frontline, receiving ongoing training and support from SurfAid staff. These kaders are the bridge between their own community and the community health services (Posyandu).

The Posyandu is a monthly health activity run by the kaders, where children under five and pregnant mothers receive basic health services. These include monitoring, weighing, immunisation and provision of health information. To help the kaders give clear and correct health messages to families, it is important they are trained and have educational materials. These videos will be an important tool for them, both in working with the community members to create the video, and showing the clips in different health promotion settings.

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