My name is Nita, 14 years old, from Pontianak City, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. I am a student of Senior High School 9 in the 10th grade. I am also a member of Love the Equator Children’s Forum. I have joined in a lot of activities with the Children’s Forum1 to fight for children’s rights in our area.
I would like to share with you about the condition of children's rights in our area. The first right is about the right to participate. I raise this topic because I see lots of my friends who have not yet got their right to participate. One example is the right to participate in the family, such as the freedom to choose school by themselves. I feel lucky that I could choose my own school to continue my study. But still, many of my friends who could not choose schools by themselves are forced to attend unintended schools.
I and my friends are really grateful for having the Child Rights Convention. It can give us a guarantee to live healthy, to have freedom to play, to state our opinions, and to be protected in our families and community.
As a result, there are some friends who are getting lazy and skipping school without teachers’ and parents’ consent. Some of them even do negative things, such as using drugs and smoking. In my opinion, one of the solutions to encourage them to go to school is making schools more fun – for instance, by adding extracurricular activities, a forum to express ourselves, removing violence from schools, and bringing fun and friendly teachers. What do you think about my ideas?
One more thing I would like to tell you about is the school bus. The school bus is very important for students’ transportation. Unfortunately, there are still limited school buses available in our area. That is why there are plenty of students (Junior and Senior High School students) who ride their own motorcycles. I also have to ride a motorcycle by myself.
My father has to work, and my mother cannot drive a motorcycle, so reluctantly I have to drive a motorcycle by myself to avoid being late for school since my school is far away from home. Even worse, some of my friends became victims of accidents when going to school, and some of them died.
I have also had an accident on the way to school by motorcycle, but gratefully I survived. It was only a little part of consequences due to the unavailability of the school bus for students. If the government and related agencies provide more school buses, certainly there will be fewer children who ride motorcycles by themselves. I think it is really important to consider because it is also our right to get education and protection, isn’t it?
I and my friends are really grateful for having the Child Rights Convention. It can give us a guarantee to live healthy, to have freedom to play, to state our opinions, and to be protected in our families and community, so all of us can live fully to our well-being. That’s why we wish that the children's rights in Indonesia and in the world are fulfilled. Particularly, we also wish that we would have a space and opportunity to participate and share our ideas and facilitate children's organisations such as the Forum to fulfil our right to participate from the local to the global level. We hope that government will provide safe and affordable transportation to our school as well. Our prayer is that our parents could more understand and care for us.
That is my story from Indonesia. We will lead the future generations of this nation and the world, so we hope that Your Excellencies can listen and help fulfil our rights. We also promise to perform our duties and responsibilities with our best. Thank you so much for the opportunity given to me to represent the children in Indonesia. I apologise for any imperfection and unkind word in my letter.
Yours truly, Nita, 14-years-old. Indonesia