Human Rights Day appeal 2019

Please help us raise $22,300 by 31 December to protect and defend the rights of female headed households in Indonesia

Meet Ina Umi. Like many women in Eastern Indonesia, Ina Umi is the head of her household – the breadwinner and primary carer of two young children. Despite tough conditions, she has joined together with other female heads of household and with our partners at PEKKA Lodan Doe to develop her leadership, keep her children in school and build resilience to climate change.

To mark Human Rights Day, you can stand with women like Ina Umi and make a donation to back the important work of PEKKA Lodan Doe in Indonesia. 

Your support will mean that our partners at PEKKA Lodan Doe will be able to meet the urgent and growing needs of female-headed households in 2020. It will mean PEKKA can expand their bursary program so girls and young women can stay in school. And it will mean that they can supercharge their network of women-run cooperative gardens – growing more food and generating more income from their gardens.

This work is core to defending the human rights of women and children in very challenging circumstances.

PEKKA women at the frontline of climate change

Eastern Indonesia has the highest rate of poverty in all of Indonesia – and it is women and children from female-headed households that face the greatest challenges and the greatest threats to their human rights. Poverty, social stigma and lack of access to education are the norm for sole parents like Ina Umi.

The women of PEKKA Lodan Doe are also at the frontline when it comes to the devastating impacts of climate change. According to the United Nations Development Program, Eastern Indonesia is at an extremely high risk of drought compared to other regions in Indonesia. And this year has been a particularly dry year – the PEKKA gardens are suffering and buying in water to keep the crops growing is expensive.

Just as we are experiencing unprecedented drought and bushfires in Australia, our partners in Indonesia, South Sudan, Uganda and elsewhere tells us of worsening food security and economic challenges from climate change. But we also see our community partners working to confront the challenges facing them.

PEKKA has proven that their women-run cooperative gardens work – to provide food, to generate income and to build the leadership of women.

Ina Umi is the head of her household. When her husband left, she was unable to move back to her family home. She is now the sole carer of her 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter – and life is not easy. What makes the difference in Ina Umi’s life? Her answer is clear: PEKKA.
PEKKA Lodan Doe is a thriving network of almost 3000 women heads of household spread across 800 collectives on the islands of Adonara and Lembata and in Larantuka on the island of East Flores. They support and advocate for women heads of household – including widowed, abandoned and divorced women and carers. PEKKA is women-led, accountable to its local community and 100% focused on the human rights of women and children from female-headed households.
Since becoming involved with PEKKA Lodan Doe in 2014, Ina Umi has developed her confidence and skills. She now acts as a PEKKA office manager. She is at the PEKKA centre every day, starting from 4am and working hard with other women in the food gardens and managing administrative tasks in the office. Because she has food from the gardens, she does not have to buy as much from the markets, and with the small stipend from PEKKA, Ina Umi can cover her basic needs and keep her two children in school

Over the past three years, with support from donors like you, PEKKA Lodan Doe has established three new women-run gardens across the islands of Adonara and Lembata.

They have produced valuable food in what would otherwise have been very lean years. PEKKA representatives attended training in organic food production and have since been running training sessions to share their knowledge. They have experimented with different crops, are making their own compost and are producing food for over 70 women and their children. The income raised from the produce has meant that the gardens are becoming self-sustaining and that PEKKA has a valuable income base, some of which is used to provide a modest stipend for women like Ina Umi.

Your support before 31 December is vital and will create lasting change for women in Indonesia:

  • $60 will fund a bursary to support a girl to stay in high school for one year, relieving the financial burden from single mothers who would otherwise not be able to support their daughter’s education. We currently support 42 girls and young women from primary school to university with small bursaries – with a 100% pass rate for those bursary recipients in the past 12 months. In 2020, we want to grow the bursary program to 60 girls and young women.
  • $120 will fund six women to attend a one day training course in organic agriculture and planning a crop for market. In the next 12 months, we want to support 120 women across four satellite sites to receive training.
  • $750 will fund one coconut milling machine which women will be able to use to reduce the burden of manual labour and to produce more coconut oil and soap for their cooking and for sale.
  • $2500 will fund one new women-led food garden which will support approximately 30 women and their dependents, including water infrastructure, start-up seed stock and fertiliser and hand tools.

The women of PEKKA Lodan Doe have ideas, skills and strength in spades and they have a track record of designing and implementing successful programs that defend and promote the human rights of women heads of household. In 2020, we want to commit to support PEKKA Lodan Doe over the next three years. With your donation, PEKKA can continue to build a just future with women, like Ina Umi, at the helm.