Best Projects 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.

Drinking Water Program

Published on September 22, 2021 um 11:11

Your title/position

Co-Founder and Director

Type of Enterprise

non-profit organization

Year the ngo or company was founded


Explain your project in details:

Safe, clean drinking water is a human right and one of the most valuable and scarce resources on our planet. Adequate water consumption is also absolutely critical for the survival and healthy development of children. Every day, children spend most of their time at school. However, in over 274,000 public schools in Indonesia, most do not provide drinking water for children. This absence of resources poses problems of twofold, health and environmental. More than 150,000 children die every year due to diarrheal diseases. In addition, children tend to gravitate towards poor dietary habits, such as purchasing cheap sweet drinks that produce plastic waste. The Drinking Water Program is our initiative as one of the alternative solutions to childrens water issues in Indonesia. Through this program, we support schools by providing water filter facilities and conduct health and environment campaigns. We have been running the program since 2016, and we have a total of 63 elementary school partners spread in Yogyakarta, Pacitan (East Java), Fak-Fak (West Papua), and Lebak (Banten). The program will have a three-fold impact - on the environment, on the students health, and on the local economy. Ecological Impact The installation of water filtration systems allows children to refill bottles, which leads to a reduction of plastic waste. State of Health The combination of the practical solution, installing water filters, and additionally providing educational programs, is essential to reach the children and help them understand the importance of staying hydrated and avoiding sugary drinks. Economic Impact Families living on the daily-standard poverty budget of around 3 USD per day face a daily struggle with attempting to provide for their most essential needs. Providing free drinking water for their children at school will reduce the money parents are forced to spend on purchasing water bottles.

Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development

Our program supports one of the 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), namely SDG No. 6 Clean Water and Sanitation. Our program started in January 2016 and had been continuously growing until February 2020 (program continuation is postponed due to COVID-19), targeting about 13,128 members of school communities as the beneficiaries spread over 4 cities; Yogyakarta, Fakfak Papua, Pacitan, and Banten. Our introduction of a water filter solution aims to provide a cheaper, healthier, and more environmentally friendly alternative to the lack of drinking water in schools as an alternative to bottled water. The water filter technology that we use has the capacity to filter well, rain, and tap water to drinking levels without cooking. To encourage children to drink water, we provide tumblers for their daily use as well as promote health and environmental education through weekly campaigns. To pique childrens interests, our campaigns are mostly conducted through various interactive methods such as games, movies, and small group discussions to make sure that children are directly involved in the learning process. Project Child Indonesia conducts continuous monitoring and evaluation for our programs effects on childrens drinking water habits and behaviour. Previous research conducted with partner universities found that 53.5% of students in schools that have drinking water filter systems installed have adequate drinking water consumption, while only 34.2% of students in schools without a drinking water filter system. In May 2018, we also conducted a study on environmental understanding of elementary school students, which showed that students from drinking water partner schools have a better understanding (87.34%) than other schools (83.05%). The results of the two studies above show that the Drinking Water Program initiated by Project Child Indonesia has an influence on students in increasing drinking water consumption rates and a better understanding of the environment.

Sustainability and future plans

The water filter installations are provided for free in partner schools, sourced from crowdfunding and sponsors. To ensure sustainability and provide a sense of collective ownership of the water filters, $0.03 is collected from each student as maintenance for the substitution of the ceramic component, managed entirely by the schools. The cost for maintenance is 40 times cheaper than the price of mineral bottled water on the market. Our Drinking Water Committee, consisting of teachers and parents, help us provide assistance based on schools customized needs, namely their water sources and fund-collecting maintenance methods. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Drinking Water Program has been temporarily suspended as schools are closed and students are obligated to study from home. However, the Indonesian government is currently implementing a new normal scenario where schools are under evaluation to reopen in the near future with certain terms and conditions. Responding to the situation, Project Child Indonesia is planning to continue the Drinking Water Program as it becomes more crucial for the school community to drink water regularly to enhance their stamina and health conditions. Campaigns about maintaining a healthy environment will also be intensified. For 2022, we target acquiring 8 more elementary schools with a reach of 2,800 beneficiaries (through the assumption of 1 school = 350 beneficiaries on behalf of the school community). In regards to life after COVID-19, we will also have a new concept to replace the weekly educational program with digital health literacy campaign delivery on health and practical hygiene to support prevention on COVID-19 spread to complement the drinking water filter installation. The video campaigns will also be supplied to our previous partner schools.

Your profile as an entrepreneur

Surayah Ryha was born in 1985. She conducted her education on prestigious scholarships, in Coastal Community Development (Bachelor) and Watershed and Coastal Management (Masters). In 2018 she received Australian Short Term Awards as aParticipant at the Sustainable Tourism Development Course. She has worked in developing communities by the riverside and coastal areas in Indonesia for more than 10 years. In 2011, Ryha and Kiefer discovered a strong desire to contribute to the local community, driven by the sheer number of child beggars and the lack of regulations regarding the issue during those years. Linking the problem to the lack of socio-economic security within the family, led them to approach a community in one of the lowest socio-economic areas of Yogyakarta. Initially, sewing workshops for women was conducted, however, local children began to be interested in learning English facilitated by Kiefer. Project Child Indonesia was developed based on the weekly English classes, and was registered in the beginning of 2013. In spring 2014, some of the loyal supporters from Germany partnered with Project Child Indonesia to establish the non-profit Project Child Germany. As the activities developed into programs, they started to focus on empowering children in vulnerable communities, whose parents are earning on average 2 USD per day. Project Child Indonesia developed 4 programs: River School, Beach School, Drinking Water Program, and Internet Literacy Program. Our current reach is over 12.000 children in 62 schools in 4 cities in Indonesia. Project Child believes that Everyone can just do good. Our volunteers who believed in our vision helped grow our organization as it stands today. We have trained more than 500 volunteers, many of who have continued to contribute our values of doing good to their communities in their own unique ways.

Post a comment


October 22, 2021 19:41

Starting your business is like planting a sapling. First, you have to invest your time and money. Then, you must take care of it while expecting nothing in return. But when your startup blossoms, it makes all the patience and hard work worthwhil.
Your idea is amazing..