Uh oh, you are using an old web browser that we no longer support. Some of this website's features may not work correctly because of this. Learn about updating to a more modern browser here.

Skip To Content


The fourth most populated country in the world, Indonesia is home to 84 million children. 

A growing economy has helped millions of families escape poverty, but many of the very poorest remain untouched by this progress.

Half a million children in Indonesia grow up in institutions, yet nine out of ten have at least one living parent. Many have families that are too poor to care for them, or who feel they'll have a better life in institutional care.

Salsa's story

Protecting the most vulnerable

For more than a decade, we've been running a major programme to help transform care for vulnerable children in Indonesia.

Working with the government and child care providers we're improving conditions in institutions, as well as enabling more children to be brought up in a nurturing family environment.

We've also helped to strengthen the child protection system by developing new care standards, and a new training and certification system for social workers.

For children with disabilities, we're improving access to education and helping families find the support they need to care for them.

We're also working hard to protect vulnerable children from being pulled into the worst kinds of child labour and exploitation, including sex work, plantation work and domestic labour.

Improving healthcare

Our health work in Indonesia focuses on improving care for mothers and young children.

We train parents, carers, midwives, nurses, doctors and community health workers in newborn survival techniques and good hygiene practices. We're also helping to improve local health infrastructure and referral systems so that mums and babies can get better care faster.

More than a third of children in Indonesia grow up stunted because they haven't had a nutritious diet. We're working at a local level to help improve nutrition in communities and create stronger links with government health services.

Preparing for emergencies

At least 40% of Indonesians live in areas that are prone to natural disasters. We're working with the government of Indonesia to ensure communities are well prepared for emergencies.

On the ground, our programmes help people understand the risks, and develop and rehearse disaster response plans. We also ensure that emergency response is included in school teaching and that children are involved in drawing up plans.

When a crisis does happen, our teams are ready to send help immediately. We've launched responses to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2006 earthquakes in central Java and the 2009 earthquake in West Sumatra. We've also deployed local responses to small-scale disasters.

In September 2018, we were amongst the first to respond when a deadly earthquake and tsunami hit Palu, destroying thousands of homes and schools. We were able to reach more than 87,000 people- including around 38,000 children by the end of 2018. We provided them with critical shelter, water and hygiene supplies; reunited them with families they had lost during the emergency; and made sure they could continue their education

Augusto, 7, doing an exercise at a Save the Children ‘reading camp’, a programme that helps to boost literacy rates in West Sumba, Indonesia.

You might be interested in...