By Meuthika Noor Fitriyana, Public Health Coordinator
Where do you work?
What is an NGO?
What do you do there?
I have heard a lot of questions like that since I worked as Public Health Staff for East Bali Poverty Project’s (EBPP) health team. Those questions come from my family, old friends, and even strangers who I met in public places such as the merchants, people on the airport’s waiting room, people on the bus, or an online taxi driver.
Therefore, let me tell you a story about my adventurous job. Why adventurous? Because it is not the kind of mainstream job that most Indonesian know. I’m not wearing a formal suit or high heels and don’t work in the office during working hours. Maybe if you meet me when I’m working, you didn’t know that I’m on duty because I usually just wear a t-shirt, jeans, casual hijab, and sandals while going around from place to place. Besides in the office, I spend most of work hours in the field. I visited communities, posyandu, schools, someone’s house, puskesmas and other different places.
Before I explain about what day to day job description, I want to briefly introduce about EBPP. EBPP is an NGO (non-governmental organisation) or non-profit organisation. The common word for NGO in Indonesian is LSM (Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat). Our field of work consists of some fields that are health, education, bamboo, water and sanitation. You can read on EBPP’s website for full detail.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I worked as a Public Health Staff. I will emphasize that I did not worked individually, but as a part of amazing EBPP’s health team and we did several health programmes together. The first programme that I want to explain is about posyandu because our health team is always identical with posyandu work. It is because we visited different posyandu almost every day.
Together with puskesmas midwives, we empower the posyandu activities including its personnel. We took part in assisting posyandu cadre when doing their job to make sure that they doing it properly. We also make a record of children’s data (age, weight, and height) for analysing and identifying malnourished children. Besides, we deliver an outreach about some health information that’s important for mothers who attend the posyandu. We also have playgroup programme integrated with posyandu. Our playgroup teacher always gives interactive activities such as singing and colouring that can stimulate their development.
When we identified malnourished children, our further task was to manage those cases. We used malnutrition protocol arranged by our staff together with the volunteer. Sometimes we did home visit together with nutritionist from puskesmas because our works are in line with government’s health programmes.
Besides, we have programmes for student in schools that are dental and ear examination. For dental examination, we collaborated with dentist from Denpasar and nurse from Puskesmas. And for ear examination, we collaborated with Yayasan Peduli Kemanusiaan (YPK). We also had cervical cancer screening in the communities that we did last year.
Now, we’ve just started our newest programme in collaboration with American NGO, Medic Mobile. We are developing mobile applications that will facilitate cadres for recording and analysing children’s data. Our task is to assist cadre using this application until they can use it well. Even they lived on a small village between Mount Agung and Mount Abang with many limitations, we do not want to make them left behind. This programme is a great step to help them adapt with this era of globalisation. It’s not an easy job and maybe needs a long time until fully carried out. But with hard work, patience, and good teamwork, we believe that it can be done.
Working here for a year really gave me an extraordinary experience. I learned a lot of things such as self-development, how to adapt with new environment, how to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and many other great lesson that I can’t describe one by one. I came from Java and for a year I live in Balinese native communities. The most things I feel most grateful are about respect and toleration. In Ban Village, I know
Bali closely and sometimes I seen many things that did not show on media. Last but not least, I really enjoyed gorgeous scenery of East Bali; I remember that while working, we often stopped by just to take some photos.
I realized that one year work is not enough, there is much homework still need to be done! I hope that I can continue help EBPP to help Ban communities although with different ways and from different places. Wish you every success EBPP! Thank you for the great and lifelong memory that you’ve given to me.