Harmony Education initiative receives MDG awards which was presented in Bali, 26 March 2013.
A story of hope from a quake survivor
Together we can end preventable deaths!
The Republic of Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, stretching over 5,000 kilometers along the equator in South East Asia.
Advantageously, the country lies between the Australian and Asian continents, and the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Seas and oceans comprise 81 percent of the total area of the Republic. Of its land area of 1,919,440 sq km, rivers and lakes occupy 93,000 sq km and land features 1,826,440 sq km. Five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagos are home to the majority of the population.
The main islands are Kalimantan (1,539,400 sq km), Sumatra (473,606 sq km), Irian Jaya (421,981 sq km), Sulawesi (189,216 sq km), and Java (132,187 sq km). Indonesia shares the island of Papua with Papua New Guinea and the island of Kalimantan with Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.
As home for an estimated 237 million people (including some 81 million children), Indonesia becomes the fourth largest country in the world and hosts the largest Muslim population of any nation, accounting for 86 percent of the population. Nearly 10 percent are Christian, while Buddhist and Hindu minorities make up most of the rest. A half out of its population live on Java Island alone.
Indonesia contains one of the world's most remarkable diversity in culture, language, ethnicity, natural resources as well as natural hazards.
Around 300 distinct languages and ethnic groups populate the archipelago. Most communities belong to the Malay family, but most people in Papua and the nearby islands are Melanesian, while there are also significant communities descended from immigrants including Chinese, Arabs, Indians and Europeans.
The glue that binds the people together is the use of the Bahasa Indonesia, the national language, and Pancasila, the national philosophy, which stresses the doctrine of unity and universal justice for all Indonesians.
Indonesia is richly endowed with number of metal resources which include bauxite, tin, nickel, copper, silver and gold. Petroleum, coal and natural gas are some of the important fuel resources for the country. Other resources include timber and fertile soils. Across the country, the land is generally covered by thick tropical rain forests, with many unique varieties of flora and fauna.
Indonesia, part of the "ring of fire," has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Earthquakes are frequent as Indonesia is also mountainous, with some 400 volcanoes, of which around 70 are still active.
Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the East Asian financial crisis back in 1998. Against the US Dollar, the currency dropped from about Rp 2,000 to Rp 18,000 and the economy shrunk by 13.7%. The Rupiah has since stabilized at around Rp 10,000.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the first directly elected by the people in 2004. Previous presidents were elected by the People's Consultative Assembly.
The economy has not fully recovered since then and the government has been under pressure to find more effective ways to tackle the high level of unemployment and poverty. Scores of giant natural disasters, such as the Aceh tsunami late 2004, Jogjakarta earthquake in 2006 and Jakarta flooding early 2007, have given additional burdens to the bunch of problems the authorities have to resolve.
Around seventy eight million children in Indonesia are vulnerable. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition, education barriers, discrimination and abuse, HIV and AIDS, and natural and man-made disasters affect both urban and rural populations. In these circumstances, children often pay the highest price.