Jakarta: The UK Embassy in Jakarta and local partner organisation Common Room Network Foundation has launched a two-year, £190,000 project (Rp3.5 billion) to promote community-based internet access and help fight covid-19 pandemic.
“Indonesia is a vast country with over 300 native languages. Of course, almost everyone speaks the National language of Bahasa Indonesia – but in these remote far-flung communities you can find those few people who never had the chance to learn. Good friends help and are there for each other, so the UK was keen to find some way we could help Indonesia face this dreadful virus," UK Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins said
"We had this project starting with Common Room Network Foundation, so we quickly worked with them to tweak it so we could make sure that vital health messages – delivered through both traditional and digital media – could reach everyone. We hope that after this is achieved, the project can focus on making sure this community
get the full benefits of the internet," he added.
In the long term, the project will promote community-based internet access in the remote Kasepuhan Ciptagelar area of West Java, while also supporting digital literacy to strengthen the capacity building of the local community.
However, in the short term the project has been rapidly tweaked to help fight covid-19 pandemic.
Activities agreed between the British Embassy Jakarta and Common Room include production of conventional and digital media content as a vehicle for delivering credible covid-19 information using local languages and cultural approaches that are easily understood by the local community.
An e-book in Sundanese has already been produced and will be disseminated across West Java.
“We are very grateful and honoured to be able to collaborate with DFID on the Digital Access Programme, and to support the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar indigenous community at this critical time. We have seen how the internet and digital media have an important role in navigating the pandemic crisis. Therefore we would like to express our gratitude for all support and assistance from DFID, and all colleagues at the British Embassy Jakarta," Common Room Project Lead Gustaff Iskandar said.
"We believe this will grow into a fruitful collaboration and will strengthen people-to-people connections between the UK and Indonesia," he said.