Our Biggest Challenge
At 16 years old, Dira Noverani is making it her mission to help educate children in Indonesia about the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene.
“In my country, more than 63 million people practice open defecation; 46% of households do not use improved latrine facilities.”
Dira Noverani of Depok, Indonesia was recently acting as an instructor at a youth programme in a facility with an intolerable sanitation situation. The lack of a proper toilet caused her to become sick and eventually hospitalised. Following that experience, Dira made it her mission to spread awareness about the importance of personal hygiene to young children.
As a volunteer at Sahabat Anak, a non-profit organisation that provides a good quality education to Jakarta’s street children, Dira teaches children English and mathematics. She also educates the younger generation about proper hygiene habits.
When explaining a particular experience with two young boys from Jakarta, she recounted that “they couldn’t bath themselves or clean up after they excrete. Children have been well trained on the importance of money, but not the importance of sanitation.”
Dira believes that understanding and education are vital to creating a change. It’s an issue which has wider effects on many aspects of society.
“Sanitation affects education, sanitation affects health, sanitation affects maternal mortality and infant mortality, and sanitation affects labor. Sanitation affects me. Sanitation affects all of us.”
We agree with Dira and believe that we must move from “apathy to action”. This is why Unilever brightFuture will support the Sumba Barat District Government strengthen its School Health programme, meaning 24,000 people could potentially benefit.
“I have seen the problem. But I have also seen the solution. I have seen the darkness but I have also see the light.
The light is you and I.”