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Neighbours look after one another to combat Covid-19 in Central Java

Central Java, home to more than 30 million people, has chosen a different approach to handle the Covid-19 outbreak rather than imposing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) like many other regions across Indonesia.

Instead, it has come up with its own strategy dubbed Jogo Tonggo (neighbours looking after each other), a community movement program in which people collaborate to ensure people maintain physical distance, manage food supplies and help others in response to the pandemic.

Residents of community unit RW 5 of Jomblang sub district in Candisari, Semarang, are among the Central Java communities that have been implementing Jogo Tonggo in the past few months.

More than three-quarters of RW 5’s residents work in the informal sector, mostly as day labourers and street vendors. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the province, 393 of the 539 families in RW 5 have been financially impacted, according to Mohamad Qunut, a Jogo Tonggo facilitator in RW 5.

To help these families, neighbours built a hydroponic garden and started a collective lumbung pangan (food barn) at the RW 5 office.

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