The Inspiring Efforts of West Papua Local NGOs and Social Enterprises

west papua

While the Indonesian government tries out to implement a strategy to accelerate the development of West Papua province, there are major issues that still exist and rather arise.

NGOs in West Papua then stepped in to help support the local people and the government in tackling the issues.

Let’s learn more about how NGOs take part and what beneficial moves have taken place.

Common Social Issues in West Papua‘s Development

It is no secret that this western part of Indonesia has abundant natural resources and attractions.

However, the long history reveals that many fundamental issues should be addressed

And that the condition of the province of Papua was and still is in the spotlight and interest of both local and global parties.

With the development acceleration strategy, there are three major issues that have been happening in Papua for a very long time.

1. Economy and Education

Similar to other western provinces and regions of Indonesia, the economic development in Papua still faces challenges despite the plenty of potential economic resources it has.

Speaking of which, do not even compare their economic stability with the most developed island in Indonesia, which is Java.

Local people of Papua and West Papua who live in rural areas have lesser economic and education opportunities than those in the city or urban areas.

2. Health

In addition to the difficult access to healthcare facilities, especially for the indigenous locals, there are two other major health issues in Papua.

The first is the malnutrition problem which is 1,2% higher than the national average in 2020.

Moreover, the spread of infectious diseases, such as Malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis, is still haunting the peninsulas.

3. Discrimination

Conflicts between the pro-independence group, which lives mostly in the rural area, and the army have affected the social and political security of the people in between.

Furthermore, not only the discrimination against the indigenous Papuans on their island,

But the same thing still occurs across the archipelago, especially toward the immigrants from Papua in other cities.

Sector of Empowerment That NGOs and Social Enterprises Encourage in West Papua

NGOs establish programs and activities which include advocacy for the government, community-based research,

And multifarious programs of fundraising, training, and assistance in West Papua and Papua.

1. Medical assistance

Some NGOs initiatives have already provided funding to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in Papua.

They also offer education, training, and counseling on various health topics, especially in terms of reproductive health, AIDS, and other endemic diseases.

2. Economy and Education

Not only managing scholarship programs for education, but NGOs also try to help local people with entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to develop micro-enterprises.

Some global social enterprises, like Seventy Three, participate in empowering community-based tourism in West Papua tourist areas like Raja Ampat.

Other types of NGOs assist the people by providing training in managing natural resources. And financial literacy to stabilize their income through the home industry.

3. Collaboration with the Indonesian Government 

Accommodating the communication and development projects for Papua and West Papua. In order to improve the citizens of Papua province is also part of the movement that NGOs thrive on.

The NGOs and social enterprises are not only advocating approaches and solutions,

But they also work hand-in-hand with the Indonesian government to empower the concerned party, the OAP (native Papuans).

The collaboration between Bappenas and USAID is one example. Both signed an agreement of the Government Implementation Agreement for development in the human resources sector.

The main objectives of the program are to increase the end-to-end development of Papua province. And to prepare and encourage improvement in governance that is necessary for the development itself.

The NGOs and social enterprises hold prominent participation in the development of Papua. Both for the Indonesian government and the native Papuans.

With that same objective, a synchronous collaboration between the Indonesian government and the NGOs is crucial.