Hi! I’m Yen from Vietnam. I am master’s degree student at Nagasaki University, Japan and an intern at SEAMEO RECFON. Let me share with you my internship experiences when I joined a parenting session at one of the Early Childhood Care Centres (ECE) in Utan Kayu Utara, Matraman, East Jakarta.

Brief Background on Utan Kayu Utara

Utan Kayu Utara (UKU), located in Matraman sub-district, East Jakarta,  faces common malnutrition issues, particularly among children under five. The 2022 Indonesian Nutritional Status Survey (SSGI) showed prevalence of stunted children (14.4%), wasted children (8%), and underweight children (11.7%), with 6.1% of children being overweight in East Jakarta (Ministry of Health, 2022).

My Impressions and Experiences

Recognizing the emerging challenges in balanced nutrition practices for young children in UKU, SEAMEO RECFON and collaborators organized a nutrition education session for parents and caregivers to enhance the well-being of children in this area on 5 January 2024.

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Center of Putik Melati Putih in UKU is quite hard to reach since it is located in a small alley and took me around 7 minutes walking from the main road. From the moment I stepped in the ECE Center, I right away felt the overwhelming warmth and kindness of the people there. Not only they welcomed me with open arms but were also genuinely interested in getting to know me. I found myself surrounded by friendly faces, eager to capture every the moment of my presence with them with pictures, making me feel like a part of their close-knit community.

The ECE center was so cozy and cute. Everything was decorated in a way that kids would love. It felt like a happy and safe space for them to learn and play.

The ECE teachers were nice too, with a soft and kind way of talking. They really care about making sure kids and parents feel comfortable. During the session, everyone seemed to be enjoying the talks. It felt like a friendly get-together where parents could learn cool stuff about keeping their kids healthy.

I loved how they shared snacks with everyone. Snacking is an iconic culture of Indonesia including the diversity of snacks and the way they offer them people during an event. The whole experience feels like a big family coming together.

I believe that this parenting session wasn’t just about learning. For me, it showed how a community can support and take care of each other.

It was a certainly great and memorable day!

Surprise! Indonesian father is also taking care of their children and joining the session