Healthy eating is not always just about which foods to eat, it is also related to eating habits and knowledge about food safety. In order to ensure this knowledge reaches as many people as possible, we need a sustainable, well-planned, and measurable partnership with all stakeholders to overcome the problems about nutrition in Indonesia. That is why the Indonesia Philanthropy Association held the 12th Philanthropy Learning Forum on December 20, 2016, in Wisma Indocement, Jakarta with the theme being ‘The Role of Philanthropy in Developing National Nutrition’.
There were four speakers at this event: Franciscus Welirang from PT Indofood, Sukses Makmur Tbk, Andi Prasetyo from Japfa Foundation, Dr. Amaranila Lalita Drijono, founder of Gerakan Makanan Sehat Anak Sekolah(GEMMAS – a healthy food movement for students at school), and Nugroho Indera from Plan International Indonesia. The discussion was moderated by S.A.M August.
As an opening, Franciscus Welirang reminded the audience that nutrition is incorporated in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 2, Zero Hunger. In 2013, a startling 37.2 percent of the Indonesian population suffered from stunted growth with Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) having the highest incidence of stunting in Indonesia. According to Mr. Welirang, the criteria for malnutrition in children are a lack of vitamin A and iodine, malnutrition, stunting, and anaemia. As a part of its business plan, Indofood helps in eradicating malnutrition through various means. For example, Indofood collaborated with PDRC (Positive Deviance Resource Centre) FKM (Faculty of Public Health) at the University of Indonesia, and initiated Posyandu (Pusat Pelayanan Terpadu or Integrated Services Centre) in Kalibaru. These programs will also be implemented in other regions until 2020. There are three targets underlying these programs: decreasing the number of infants below the red line (Bawah Garis Merah/BGM), improving the capacity of human resources, and improvement of health infrastructures.
The second speaker was Andi Prasetyo from JAPFA Foundation. He explained that as a company, Japfa has a social focus, which is to support the development of education and nutrition. Through its many initiatives, programs, and projects in education and nutrition, Japfa Foundation has committed itself to maintain accuracy, accountability, and measurability. One of the milestones in the nutrition programs development was by giving a real example that applies to the society, through the Indonesia Nutrition Conference, INZI Creative Projects, and Nutrition Ambassador.
The next speaker was health and nutrition expert, Dr. Nila. She stated that the “Cooking process is the most important part and it affects to formation of healthy eating patterns”. Healthy food influences children’s nutrition and it also affects their development. However, she continued, there is a limited knowledge of nutrition in major cities, ever amongst the upper economic class. Eating habits are instead heavily influenced by advertisements and life style. Children in the cities have freedom to choose what they eat, and because of their limited knowledge and young age, most children do not choose healthy food. This is concerning because the first ‘12 years’ is an essential period of children’s development. According to Dr. Nila, the elementary school period influences the eating habit of the children in the future. That is why food education has to be implemented as a strategic national policy.
The last speaker was Nugroho Indera from Plan International Indonesia who discussed a program aimed at addressing nutrition problems present in mothers and children. Out of all regions in Indonesia, East Indonesia is often considered as the poorest with a correspondingly low level of health. This prompted Plan International Indonesia to begin operations in East Indonesia. According to Nugroho Indera, the future challenge about addressing nutrition problems in Indonesia involves an active role for society and the need for cross sector collaboration, especially philanthropy.
The 12th Philanthropy Learning Forum concluded with the observation that private sectors and philanthropy organisations have prominent roles in developing the nutrition levels of the nation. Companies that produce food are responsible to ensuring the nutrition of the products is in keeping with the needs of children. Knowledge disseminated by relevant bodies including government, schools, and families can help in improving the level of children’s nutrition without a significant increase in spending.
Download the presentations of the speakers here (in Bahasa Indonesia):