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Our work in Indonesia

Overview

Indonesia ranks as the fourth most populous country, the country with the largest Muslim population.

In May 1998, after a nationwide protest movement and the massacre of several hundred people, General Suharto resigned, ending over three decades of dictatorship. This kicked off a new chapter of history featuring a series of liberal reforms involving democratization, economic liberalisation, the establishment of new institutions and the decentralisation of decision-making powers.

Despite remarkable economic growth, Indonesia is a deeply unequal country with the gap between the richest and the poorest growing rapidly. The richest one per cent of Indonesians earn nearly a tenth of all income and own nearly a fourth of the country’s wealth.

Indonesia was historically seen as an exemplar of moderate Islam, tolerance and pluralism. In recent decades, however, there has been a rise in religious fundamentalism and attacks on Catholics, other Christians and groups of women accused of not being “good Muslims.”

Our work in Indonesia

Démocratie et participation citoyenne | Democracy and citizen participation icon
Democracy and citizen participation
Climat et justice écologique | Climate and ecological justice icon
Ecological justice

Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada played a key role in supporting the justice and democracy movement in East Timor while it was a province of Indonesia. Following its independence in 2002, we chose to sustain our programming in Indonesia, recognizing the country’s importance as a regional power and its capacity to influence other countries like Malaysia and Burma. The fall of the Suharto regime in 1998 created many opportunities to build a future of justice, democracy and peace.

We work with a variety of local organizations, mainly on the themes of democracy and citizen participation, and ecological justice. Our partners are:

  • Adopting a people-centred approach to development, including by integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation measures

  • Defending the right to housing by ensuring not only the reconstruction of disaster-struck areas, but also their social, economic and cultural recovery so that they are better protected against future setbacks

  • Promoting sustainable, environmentally friendly agricultural practices to building the resilience of groups of women abandoned by their husbands and impoverished female-headed households

  • Encouraging and supporting the organization and development of sustainable livelihoods in villages to reduce dependence on external resources

  • Supporting collective work and the adoption of autonomous, inclusive village development processes

What is next in our work?

Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada will continue working with women in Indonesia to support their empowerment by collaborating with organizations that promote gender justice and democracy and that combat poverty and religious fundamentalism.

Resources

Play Video about Thumbnail video Indonesia - Lent 2024

At the heart of the action: Indonesia

Share Lent 2017: Indonesia

Documentary | After the tsunami (2004) - Rebuilding our villages, our lives

News from the country

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