Donate to Indonesia: Why & How to Help People in Indonesia

Why Should You Give Internationally?

There is a good news. And that is… we, as an international community, are making good progress towards solving the poverty problem ( Just twenty years ago, around 30 percent of the world’s global population was only able to live at US $1.90 per day (World Bank, 2016). Compare with today, where according to the latest estimates by the World Bank, the proportion of people with such poverty has been reduced to 10 percent (World Bank, 2015). We’re still not there yet, but it’s a vast improvement. And that is possible, thanks to individual donors like you, who are making a good impact on this world.

While that is great, even just 10 percent of the world population is still an equivalent of 750 million people in poverty. And nearly all of these people live in developing countries, including Indonesia. Many of them don’t have enough to eat every day, they are unable to give good education for their children, they lack access to: sanitation facilities, clean water, and safe drinking water. These people are also in danger of diseases that most people in developed countries have never been worried about for decades. An example is Malaria, which has been eradicated in the United States for more than 70 years, today in developing countries, Malaria kills an estimated 1,200 people per day (mostly young children) (WHO, 2015).

But I’m not here to tell you all about bad news. Now that you’re here reading this, I have hope. And I’d like to tell you that it’s easier than ever to help. And it’s also getting more effective and more impactful. You can even give only modest donation amounts, but make sure to give it the to charities that work effectively to deliver service to the people who need it most. That ensures that, individuals like you, can make a very significant positive impact to hundreds of lives, which can be sustained for a very long time. You can save lives, provide education, clean up pollution, reduce crime, and all around give positive impact to the world.

Now… Let me tell you why it is a good idea to focus the majority of your giving internationally, especially to Indonesian nonprofits.

You Can Help Those Who Need it Most

Poverty has been going on for many centuries. Unfortunately, poverty exists everywhere in the world. But no matter where they live, poor people are living in difficulty. But the people who are most in need live in developing countries, like Indonesia. The sheer number of poor people there, and the level of poverty, is hard to imagine for most us. They have no access to social safety facilities. They don’t have access to common services like hospitals and medicine. Facilities that the poor people in wealthy countries can still have access to anytime.

Americans donate a lot of charity. However, very little of these funds ever go to the world’s poorest people. In 2014, individual donors in the US donated $258 billion in total to charitable causes. That’s more than the combined grants from foundations, bequests, and all of the US corporations.

You may wonder… what does $258 billion buy you? To put this number in perspective, these funds is enough to provide clean drinking water and sanitation for every single person in the world for 11 straight years!

But consider this: Less than 5 percent of American giving were allocated to international causes. Even smaller than that was allocated for effective nonprofits working on poverty relief causes. Meaning, most of American donation dollars never reaches the people who need it most: the poor people in the developing world, including Indonesia.

I understand that you may not want to give all of your donations to international causes. But any increase will help. One of the ways you can help, is by increasing the portion of your donations that goes to international causes. You can also support the efforts of effective nonprofit organizations in Indonesia, that work toward the causes and social impacts that you care about. I will mention notable and trusted Indonesian nonprofits shortly after this.

You Can Help More People in a More Effective Way

Unlike donating in wealthy countries, by donating to developing countries, your donation can have more impact. In developing countries such as Indonesia, services and goods are typically much more cost effective than they are in developed countries such as the United States and UK.

For example, the typical cost of an emergency room visit in US is about $1,223 (Caldwell et al 2013). However, in developing countries such as Indonesia, just $100 may cover the costs of high-quality healthcare. Or consider that, the same $100 donated to an effective charity, can deworm 992 children or protect 500 people from iodine deficiency for a lifetime.

The main point I’d like you to take away is this: Your donations make more impact overseas.

U.S. Giving in year 2014

You Can Be Confident in Your Giving to Trusted, Accountable Nonprofits

One major problem of donating internationally is lack of trust. Can you be sure that your money will be spent to its intended cause? How can you know that they’re misusing your funds for inappropriate activities? I can say that this is a valid concern, as not all nonprofits are trustworthy.

But I can also say that, there are many charities who are not only trusted, but they are also highly effective. They know the problems they are dealing very well. They have a sound theory of change. They understand the needs of their target group. They are transparent, and they are accountable.

Here, I will show you how to perform due diligence on international nonprofits. I will also recommend highly effective charities and nonprofits in Indonesia that you may consider. These Indonesian nonprofit organizations work across different development areas from maternal health, water and sanitation, hunger and nutrition, disease prevention, emergency relief, sustainable ecosystem, and education.

Conclusion: You Can Make More Impact

By increasing the proportion of your giving towards causes in developing countries like Indonesia, you can make a difference with every donation. Each dollar you donated will provide more impact to the people who need it most.

Donate to Help Children in Indonesia

Indonesia is a country with a large demographics bonus. In 2020, There are 71 million children in Indonesia. That is 25.9% of Indonesia’s 273 million total population. However, many children in Indonesia suffer from widespread poverty, political instability, and poor resource distribution. Indonesia also has one of the world’s highest rates of stunted children growth due to malnutrition ( There are many challenges and problems that Indonesian children face:

  • 11% of people live in poverty
  • 1 child in 40 dies before their 5th birthday – 4times that of the United States
  • 36% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
  • 14% of school-age children are out of school
  • 7% of children are engaged in child labor
  • 13% of girls age 15-19 are married
  • 1 in 21 girls between age 15-19 gives birth
Map of Indonesia

The issues facing Indonesian children are numerous and very difficult problems to solve. But, you can make a positive change in these children’s lives. There are many nonprofits and NGOs operating in Indonesia that focus on making social impact to children. Here I will mention several of my recommendations. All of the nonprofits listed here have public, periodic reports of finances and they track their impact.

Child by child, we build our world

YCAB Foundation

YCAB Social Enterprise achieves sustainability through the use of a social investment approach to maximize our impact. The investors of YCAB’s social investment came from YCAB Foundation’s partners and impact investors of YCAB Ventures (PT. PMV) – an arm of YCAB Social Enterprise that runs its mission-driven microfinance program.

Through YCAB’s mission-driven microfinance YCAB is able to provide low-income women entrepreneurs with access to capital. As the prerequisite for these women entrepreneurs to receive loans, their school-aged children have to remain in school and receive basic education and/or vocational skills. In other words, YCAB uses microfinance as a means to an end; the end in sight is education for all. As this is what we believe can break the poverty cycle and promote welfare sustainably.

Donate to Build Schools in Indonesia

From rebuilding destroyed or neglected schools to replacing damaged playground equipment, books and toys, your donation makes a difference in the lives of the children in Indonesia. Join us in helping children receive a better education and overcome poverty.

Build a world that prioritizes our environment & education

Dunia Anak Alam Foundation

Anak Alam Learning House is a grassroots initiative founded by Baiq Dewi Yuningsih based on needs she identified in her community in rural Sumbawa, Indonesia. It all began with a couple of girls, out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, who climbed Dewi’s fence pleading for her to teach them. Dewi agreed to teach the young girls in exchange for an EcoBrick – a plastic water bottle filled with trash collected from the local river – as payment.

Over the past year, Dunia Anak Alam Foundation have expanded into an entire permaculture and education center supporting the education of 60 children from Sumbawa local village. Dunia Anak Alam’s education program teaches children about the importance of environmental sustainability while empowering them to be the seeds for change in their community. In addition to educating the youth of today, their Social Enterprise Business Model creates opportunities for the future through job creation, vocational education, and English language programs.

Donate for COVID-19 Relief in Indonesia

Indonesia is currently struggling with the worst COVID-19 wave in its history.

The rate of infections among children is one of the highest in the world. With health systems at a breaking point and oxygen supplies dwindling, your urgent donation today can help our teams provide medical supplies and care and can save lives.


Humanity Care Line

Be a hero in the #BersamaSelamatkanBangsa effort, and send your best food aid to underprivileged communities in need

Of course, friends remember, Aksi Cepat Tanggap opened free food delivery services for people in need in the Jakarta and surrounding areas during the first large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in 2020. In collaboration with online motorcycle taxi drivers, the action received great enthusiasm from the community.

How not, the pandemic has disrupted the economy of many residents of the capital, especially the middle to lower economic segment. The existence of the Humanity Care Line program has become the mainstay of the community at critical times; when there is no income due to layoffs and the lack of buying and selling activities due to the pandemic.

Donate for Floods Emergency Relief in Indonesia

Nonprofits and NGOs in Indonesia are responding to floods in Jakarta, Sulawesi Barat (Sulbar), Kalimantan Selatan (Kalsel) and disasters in other areas, by distributing clean water, food packages, hygiene kits, free medical and psycho-social support to the victims. With each donation, you can support them to stay safe and healthy in the aftermath of this terrible disaster.


Recovery Sulbar and Kalsel

Heavy rainfall in most areas in South Kalimantan Province, resulted in flooding that pooled quite deep. BMKG itself predicts that South Kalimantan will have the potential to continue to experience heavy rains. Thus, BMKG categorizes South Kalimantan with an alert status.

In addition, data from the Social Service of South Kalimantan Province shows that the flood affected 17 thousand families and 65 thousand people. The flood itself, spread over five regencies and cities, namely Tanah Laut Regency, Banjar Regency, Tapin Regency, Hulu Sungai Tengah Regency and Banjarbaru City.

However, two regencies, namely Tanah Laut Regency and Hulu Sungai Tengah Regency, were inundated by severe flooding. Practically, the activities of the local community are threatened with paralysis. It is possible that it will increase, because of the wide distribution of floods in this area.

Let’s continue to be with them with our best help. Help them in this recovery phase for the development of ICS and the economic recovery program in the form of Indonesian Micro Business Capital Waqf.

Donate for Earthquake Emergency Relief in Indonesia

When an earthquake occurred, people left their homes in droves for two reasons. First because his house was damaged and because of fears of aftershocks. The IDP point that you go to usually only prioritizes stopping for shelter, then for other needs such as clean water, sanitation and toilet facilities, it usually becomes a problem after a few days of occupying the evacuation point.

Rumah Zakat

Donate Water and Sanitation

In Mamuju and Majene, Sulawesi Barat, it is recorded that there are currently 91,000 refugee residents, many residents still survive in the refugee camps because their houses were destroyed and are worried about a stronger aftershock, they are also worried about a tsunami. The bad condition of emergency tents and improvised water facilities make residents vulnerable to disease, especially children and the elderly.

Rumah Zakat is here to provide assistance in the form of clean water facilities, ablution places and also toilets for survivors in the Petakeang neighborhood of Galung Village, Tapalang District, Mamuju Regency, West Sulawesi. Friends, there are still many refugee locations that do not have proper water sources and water sanitation. We invite all of our friends to jointly give water alms and water facilities for our brothers and sisters who are in refugee camps. The collected donations will later be distributed in the form of clean water to disaster-affected areas and to drought-prone areas in Indonesia.