Andriantono or Andre is one of BERDAYA Program for Youth’s beneficiaries in Cilincing who was successful in incorporating the issue into a lenong performance. Drawn to lenong since a young age, Andre views that the child marriage prevention materials he received are perfect to be used in a lenong performance.
Andre first acted in 2010. He recalled that back then, his friends in RW 6 Kalibaru, Cilincing, North Jakarta, were surprised by his choice to work on lenong, which was considered an outdated performance.
Andre, who was still in high school back then, fell in love with traditional performances. Outside of school, he liked to join events held by many civil society organizations such as World Vision which held a performance in the area a few years ago as a part of its Children’s Day Celebration and Children’s Rights Campaign. Since then, Andre could not take his eyes off art performances, including lenong.
His passion for acting continues even now when he works full time as a security guard in Tanjung Priok Port in Cilincing. He routinely trains ten young children who are a part of the Cilincing Theatre Association (Ikatan Teater Cilincing-ITACI). He partners with Jumadi, a tent officer who was drawn to theatre because of his love for music, to train members of ITACI.
However, it is not easy to attract children in RW 6 to join art activities. “Most of them have lost their interest in art as they are more attracted to hanging out with friends, playing with their cell phones, and joining football gangs,” explained Andre.
Agreeing with Andre, Jumadi views that the adolescents in the area are in need of a more positive activity. “During the previous Ramadhan, many of them joined the suhoor parade, but in the end, they all ended up in brawls,” he added.
Irresponsible adolescent behaviour leading to child marriage is also a common phenomenon for Andre, Jumadi, and the residents of Kalibaru. Poverty and reluctance among the adolescents to talk to their parents motivates them to spend most of their time with their peers, and they often go unsupervised. The emergence of social media has also impacted the way they interact with others. “Some of my friends who got married young did not marry people from this area. Many of them met their partners who are from areas outside of Kalibaru through Facebook and chatting apps,” explained Andre.
The 2013 data of the National Socioeconomic Survey (Susenas) analysed by Statistics Indonesia reveal that 5.6% of girls in DKI Jakarta were married under the age of 15, 20.13% were aged 16-18 years, and 50.08% were aged 19-24 years. As it is a densely populated area, the number of child marriage in DKI Jakarta is considered high.
An assessment by Achmat Hilmi, Program Officer of the BERDAYA Program, notes that in 2017, around 20% of the women delivering babies in Puskesmas Kalibaru were children aged below 18 years. The assessment also takes note of the factors contributing to child marriage, which are: unintended pregnancies, parents’ fear that their children will get pregnant out of wedlock, long-held traditions from many parts of the country such as South Sulawesi, Riau, and West Java that support child marriage, high numbers of school dropouts who become unskilled labourers, and lack of awareness about the impact on girls of child marriage among formal and non-formal community and religious leaders.
Andre’s involvement in child marriage prevention started when he was asked by the head of the village, Bapak Haji Karim, to gather adolescents in the neighbourhood to join a training on child marriage prevention held by Rumah KitaB in Kalibaru from 29 June to 1 July 2018. This training was part of a series of trainings on child marriage prevention held in three different locations – Cilincing, Makassar, and Cirebon – for adolescents, parents, and formal and non-formal leaders with the support of Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice 2 (AIPJ2).
Not long after the completion of the training, an opportunity arose to join a lenong competition held by DKI Jakarta’s Agency of Tourism and Culture. “I proposed that my team perform a child marriage prevention-themed lenong performance, as this event celebrates not only the birthday of DKI JAKARTA but also Children’s Day,” Andre said. The competition was held on 16-20 July 2018 or two weeks after the completion of our training. “Lenong is an entertaining performance, so we can use this to deliver our message about child marriage prevention in a fun way,” he added.
Andre and Komar wrote the scenario and trained around 10 adolescents as the lenong performers. Their script talks about a story of an arranged marriage of a girl in Cilincing and it incorporates a lot of daily conversations between friends, parents, and community leaders into its storyline. “As an example, we added to the script a dialogue between a girl, just graduating from junior high school, and her parents in which she tells them that she wants to get married as soon as possible. This is indeed a common conversation among our children in Kalibaru,” Andre further added.
“We not only talked about the impact of child marriage, but we also conveyed a strong message that as a child, we are allowed to express our opinion even when it is different from that of our parents, especially when we have to disagree for a good reason and not just as an act of rebellion against our parents,” Andre explained. Although the group did not win the lenong competition, ITACI and the lenong festival have successfully united the adolescents of Cilincing to continue doing their creative activities and spreading child marriage prevention messages.
Under the BERDAYA Program, Andre and his friends who are members of a small theatre group in RW 6 and ITACI will continue to join advocacy activities to prevent child marriage. They will play their active role by conducting lenong and dance practice and providing counselling for Kalibaru adolescents that talks about the impact of child marriage in schools and in community village posts to target school dropouts. [Hilmi]
Around 30 adolescents participated in the BERDAYA Training Program for Child Marriage Prevention held by Rumah Kita Bersama on 1-3 June 2018 in Makassar, South Sulawesi. During the third day of the training, the participants were appointed as Child Marriage Prevention Ambassadors in their respective areas. They were asked to work in a group to come up with ideas and initiatives to campaign for child marriage prevention in their residential areas, Tamamaung and Sinrijala administrative villages.
Child Marriage Prevention Campaign at the People’s Party/Pesta Rakyat
The first group consists of the participants who live in Jalan Sukaria, Tamamaung Administrative Village. They initiated a child marriage prevention campaign during the 73rd celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day. For the event that was held from 16-19 August 2018, the group formed a committee, made a budget plan, and created an event concept outlining various competitions for the adolescents, children, and mothers to be held as a part of the People’s Party.
Nearing the event, the group was busy preparing. They distributed tasks among them. Some were tasked with gifts, while others collected donations from people around the area. The community was excited that the adolescents were bringing back the People’s Party which had not been held in the area for quite some time. Interestingly, the group received a lot of help from mothers who live in the area. Children also enthusiastically registered to join the competitions. The girls were also busy practicing a dance to be performed during the event. Everyone was delighted!
Radiana is one of the most active adolescents at the committee. Radiana organized her friends and the children who wanted to participate in the competitions. Sri Dewi Permai, the event’s chairperson, was also seen busily preparing for her speech and the event report a couple of days before the event. “I don’t know what to say, this is my first time delivering a speech in front of a large audience,” Dewi stated nervously.
The competitions started on 16 August 2018. People gathered at Jalan Lorong Sukaria 13. Radiana and her friends, with the help of the mothers, prepared the equipment needed for the competitions. Cracker eating contest, marble-and-spoon race, and sack race were among the competitions held on the first day of the event. The wave of excitement continued on the second day as children aged 6-12 years, adolescents aged 13-16 years, and mothers joined a balloon dance. The third day of the event saw continuous excitement as people participated in a sitting-on-a-balloon competition. The group took the chance to campaign against child marriage during this competition. Each of the balloons had a secret note containing messages to support child marriage prevention which the participants had to read out loud once the balloons popped.
During the last day of the event, the stage was set and the traditional costumes for the dancers were ready. Our ambassadors enthusiastically prepared themselves to campaign for child marriage prevention during the night of the People’s Party.
Lorong Sukaria 13 was teeming. The men climbed the stage to put up the event’s banners. Children were seen arranging chairs while the adolescents were busy preparing gifts and the mothers were preparing snacks. All of them worked together enthusiastically. Ibu Ramlah, the wife of the village head, was also busy welcoming people. The women sat in front row while the men occupied the back row. As the children were really thrilled, they only wanted to sit right in front of the stage. The long-awaited party was finally held!
Tulolona Dance of Sulawesi was performed to open the event. Radiana and Neneng, in their green-colored Baju Bodo clothing, were the event’s masters of ceremony (MC). They invited their friend, Dewi, to deliver her speech and event report outlining the budget they managed. The head of the village, Muhammad Ridwan, gave a speech and opened the event. In his speech, he expressed his appreciation for the spirit and work of our ambassadors. He hoped that such an activity would strengthen the harmony in the communities.
The winners of each competition were announced during the party and each of them proudly went to the stage to claim their gifts.
In the middle of the event, our ambassadors took the chance to campaign for child marriage prevention. They presented data and facts on child marriage in Tamamaung taken from research conducted by Rumah Kita Bersama in 2017 in Tamamaung and Sinrijala Administrative Villages. The presentation was supplemented by national data on child marriage. Our ambassadors further presented information on the definition of a child and of child marriage as well as factors contributing to child marriage and its impacts. The event was concluded with a Tari Kipas dance performed by six girls.
A Creative Campaign, Statements Stitching
Our child marriage prevention ambassadors who are students of Tut Wuri Handayani Junior High School in Tamamaung Administrative Village had a different idea to campaign for child marriage prevention in their school. Initially, they wanted to run the campaign by gathering students and teachers in the school hall. However, this idea was met with mockery as soon as their friends learned about the topic. This was indeed a common reaction to this topic.
On 3 August 2018, seven young people gathered to discuss how they were going to implement their child marriage prevention training’s follow-up plans, as they were worried that their initial idea would result in bullying. They agreed that they needed a better idea. Finally, they came up with an idea to campaign creatively with stitching. On the same day, they also came up with the idea to stitch the statement that reads ‘I need a diploma, not a marriage certificate’ on to their clothes. They believed that this statement would serve as a powerful reminder for them and others to prevent child marriage. The statement was also addressed to their teachers to gain their support for child marriage prevention in school.
On 19 August 2018, our ambassadors met again at the home of Ade, one of the ambassadors. They selected their cloths and distributed tasks between them. Interestingly, this stitching activity was not exclusively done by the girls, as a couple of boys also turned up to help.
For them, stitching is an easy and interesting activity to do as they are accustomed to doing it during their craft lesson at school, but it was only then that they realized that stitching could be used in a campaign. They planned to display their works on the wall of their art room. They intend to meet their school’s headmaster to get permission and support for their campaign. (Sartika Nasmar)
Andriantono, known by his nickname Andre, is one of the beneficiaries of the BERDAYA program for teenagers in Cilincing who managed to raise the issue of preventing child marriage through lenong, a Betawi traditional form of performing art. Attracted to lenong from an early age, Andre saw training materials to prevent child marriages as suitable for retelling in the form of Betawi drama.
Andre first acted in the theatre in 2010. He recalled that his friends at RW 06, Kalibaru, Cilincing, North Jakarta were surprised at his choice which was considered outdated.
Andre, who at that time was still attending secondary technical school, was really fond of acting. Outside of school, Andre often joined activities held by non-governmental organisations for performing arts and theatre, one of them with World Vision, a few years ago, in relation to Children’s Day and the Children’s Rights Campaign. Since then he has been enamoured of the world of art and performances, including lenong.
Andre’s theatre hobby continues even though now he works full time as a security officer at Tanjung Priok-Cilincing port. He routinely trains a small group of about 10 teenagers forming part of the ITACI network (Cilincing Theatre Association), He was accompanied by Jumadi who worked as an officer to load and unload the tent for neigborhood’s events. Like Andre, Jumadi began acting because of his love of music.
Attracting the interest of young people in arts and cultural activities in neighborhood unit (RW) 06 is not an easy matter. “Most of them lose interest in artistic activities because they prefer to hang out, use social media, or participate in football gangs,” Andre said. In agreement with Andre, Jumadi saw that actually local teenagers need positive activities. “During the recent fasting month many teenagers travelled around in groups at the time of sahur, leading to unrest and vandalism,” he added.
The incidence of adolescent promiscuity, which leads to child marriage, is well known to Andre, Jumadi, and Kalibaru residents. Economic stress and discomfort communicating with parents encourages some teenagers to spend time with peers without guidance. The accessibility of social media also influences their interactions. “People who have married young are not always with partners from this village. There are also those who have got to know people from outside [Kalibaru] via Facebook or chatting,” Andre said.
Based on the 2013 National Social Economic Survey (Susenas) data which was processed by the People’s Welfare Statistics, the number of girls in DKI Jakarta married under the age of 15, at 16 to 18, and at 19 to 24 years of age was 5.6, 20.13 and 50.08 percent respectively. With the high population in DKI, the number of child marriages is high.
The results of a study assessed in Kalibaru by Achmat Hilmi, Program Officer of Rumah Kita Bersama (Rumah KitaB), recorded that in 2017, as many as 20 percent of women giving birth at the Kalibaru Health Centre were children (under 18 years old). The assessment also noted that the causes of child marriage there included occurrence of unwanted pregnancies, parents’ concern about possible pregnancies, the culture/traditions prevailing in locations such as South Sulawesi, Riau, and West Java promoting marriage of underage children, the increase in the number of school dropouts then becoming unskilled labourers, as well as the incidence of a large number of people at all levels of society who are not yet aware of the dangers to girls of child marriage.
The opportunity for Andre to understand the issue of child marriage began when Haji Karim, Head of RW 06 Kalibaru Village, asked him to invite and assist several teenagers to take part in training on the prevention of child marriage for adolescents in Kalibaru, organised by Rumah KitaB and taking place from 29 June to 1 July 2018. This training focused on prevention of child marriages in three regions – Cilincing, Makassar, and Cirebon – for adolescents, parents, and formal and non-formal figures, and was supported by the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice 2 (AIPJ2).
Shortly after the training, Komar, the founder of ITACI, invited Andre to participate in the Lenong Festival competition organised by the Department of Tourism and Culture of DKI Jakarta Province. “I propose that we try displaying the theme of child marriage. The festival is also to commemorate the anniversary of the City of Jakarta which is celebrated every year while welcoming National Children’s Day.” The event was held on 16–20 July 2018, or exactly two weeks after the child marriage prevention training in Kalibaru. “Lenong is entertaining, so the message of prevention can be delivered in a light style,” said Andre about his strategy of socialising “Prevent Child Marriage” through lenong.
Andre and Komar then wrote the screenplay and trained about 10 teenagers as lenong actors. Introducing the theme of an arranged marriage for a girl in a family in Cilincing, the scenario inserted a lot of everyday fragments focusing on interactions between friends, parents and community leaders. “For example, there is the character of a girl who just graduated from junior high school and expresses her desire to rush into marriage. This indeed resembles the conversations of the Kalibaru children,” he added.
“In addition to the risk of child marriage, we also convey the message that as children, we can express views which are different from those of our parents without rebellion. Of course our reason is good, not just because we do not want to obey our parents,” explained Andre. Despite not winning the competition, ITACI and the Lenong Festival have brought together Cilincing teenagers to continue to create and spread the message to prevent child marriages.
Together with the BERDAYA Program, Andre and his friends, who are members of the small theatre in RW 06 and ITACI, will fill various advocacy activities to prevent child marriages. Among these are lenong and dance studio activities, counselling in schools for Kalibaru teenagers about the hazards and risks of marrying while still children, and in RW posts for teenagers dropping out of school. They are in the midst of initiating a campaign by putting up various creative images with the theme of the dangers of child marriages in various teenagers’ centres, including at locations where teens gather. [Hilmi/Mira]
Lenny N. Rosalin SE, MSc, MFin, Deputi Menteri PP-PA Bidang
Tumbuh Kembang Anak KPPPA RI
Lies Marcoes, Direktur Rumah KitaB
Q & A session by some seminar participants
Woro Srihastuti Sulistyaningrum, Direktur Keluarga,
Perempuan, Anak, Pemuda, dan Olahraga BAPPENAS
Dr. Dave Peebles, Minister’s Advisor to Political Communications and
Strategic at the Australian Embassy, Jakarta.
The atmosphere of the seminar
Launch of 3 new books Rumah KitaB: Kawan dan Lawan Kawin Anak,
Mendobrak Kawin Anak, dan Maqashid al-Islam: Konsep Perlindungan Manusia
dalam Perspektif Islam
Prof. Dr. Arskal Salim, MA, Director of Islamic Higher Education
Ministry of Religious Affairs and Family Law researcher in Indonesia.
Panel discussion moderated by Dr. Syafiq Hasyim
Interview session with reporters
Q & A session by some seminar participants
Registration of participants
Registration of participants
30 participants who came from the region Kalibaru, Cilincing
Yooke from Rumah KitaB opened training activities.
Speech from the representative of the local government
Hilmi from Rumah KitaB
Speech from Sarah and Georgia of AIPJ2
The event starts with an introduction
Introduction is done with games then gather in one group
Participants get acquainted with each other
Participants get acquainted with each other
Fill in the questionnaire to find out how deep the participant’s knowledge about the child marriage material
Photos with participants, assistants, facilitators and representatives from AIPJ2
Games explain pictures
Games explain pictures
Yooke explains the marriage age limit
Games solve the problem together
Presentation of discussion results
Photos with the facilitator
Presentation of discussion results
Yooke explains the material on gender
Spider webs games
Presentation of discussion results