SCORP CIMSA UGM
Air pollution is an invisible killer that people often ignore, and its most vulnerable victims, children, are even more invisible.
According to the International Energy Agency in the year 2015, Indonesia is the sixth country with the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the world. Its impact is quiet obvious: 25% percent of Indonesians suffer from upper respiratory tract infections according to Riskesdas, 2013. Despite the obvious facts, burning of Indonesia’s vast forests and pollution from transportation all over the country points out just how little people are aware of, or even care of the situation, let alone on the impact of this situation to the most vulnerable victim: children. According to UNICEF in 2017, 17 million children under the age of a year lives in places where its air pollution exceeds the international standard by staggering 6 times, and 12 million of them resides in South Asia.
With this in mind, SCORP CIMSA UGM decided on the theme “Air Pollution and Its Impact on Children’s Health” as this year’s Human Rights Day, to raise awareness of these millions of children whose rights to develop fully are in danger due to the ignorance of people. After a pre-project training for our members, the event started on the morning of Saturday, 8th of December 2018. About 40 people rode bicycles together from FK-KMK UGM towards SDN Pogung Kidul, about 5 km away, in an effort to reduce gas emissions from vehicles. Upon arrival, we met with the energetic children of grades 2 and 3, whom we grouped. In form of games, we taught them steps on a more go green lifestyle. After that, we allowed the children to decorate plastic bottles cut in half, as a recycled pot for the seedlings. Balai Pengelolaan Daerah Aliran Sungai dan Hutan Lindung Serayu Opak Progo (BPDAS Yogyakarta) provided us with 30 fruit seedlings to plant around the school. Koalisi Pemuda Hijau Indonesia (KOPHI) acted as fasilitators to teach the children the correct way to plant and take care of the seedlings. The activity was closed with decorating the banner with green paint with the children.
The second part of Human Rights Day was held in FK-KMK UGM on the 10th of December 2018, where the banner decorated by the children was displayed as a photobooth, along with infographics on air pollution, and a section where people could paste their thoughts and opinions on the topic. People, mostly consisting of students, were enthusiastic in observing the infographics and pasting their thoughts. By the end of the day, the display was filled with colored paper with handwritten notes.
Overall, the celebration went very well, and with its success the hope that awareness was raised for the rights of the invisible victims or air pollution.