Today we had a bit of a breakthrough when we met the Chairman of Social Affairs in Panjang. He said that the government understands their limitations and he is very interested in working with 3 NGO’s to address the CSEC issue on a local level. He said it is possible to get the police and religious leaders involved. He stressed the need for economic development. He accepts positively the idea of community radio and if there is evidence that it is working he will add government funding. He mentioned a First Response access team that can be used to assist in withdrawal. He said he would write it into the municipal plan and put social workers on the program. He also said he will present to the major in the Parliament. He agreed to attend the launching of the program.
Didid (Ashoka Fellow) that is the head of Exceed Program was very pleased with the meeting. It helps assure approval from local leaders and possibly more funding from National level, which would answer sustainability question.
That being said, there are many questions remaining about the program development, curriculum and oversight.
Next we visited a brothel area in the harbor town in Harapon Beach. There are approximately 200 brothel houses managed by 60 pimps with 5-6 girls per house. Local leaders and neighborhood girls and boys accompanied us as we toured the village. The typical family in Harapon has 6-9 children plus parents, grandparents’ nieces and nephews all living together. One public toilet comprised of boards hanging out over the water serves about 60 households. There is no running water! The customers that come in from the big ships to visit the brothels are from America, India, Norway, Greece, Philippines, Jakarta, Australia and Singapore. Most of the male head of households are fisherman or work unloading the containers from the big ships.
We then met with 6 workers from an NGO that focuses on child street workers, who are in pretty much universal agreement about the need for programs for the parents. The children are always subordinate, with no voice and frequently punished. Parent education and economic development are at the top of the list. They are interested in micro finance for women and girls.
We made a brief visit to a level 3 hospitals. Lowest level of hospital. One of the girls had a friend who came to Lampung for a job promotion and came down with Typhoid and Hepatitis A. He was trying to get transferred because the care is so poor.