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UNDP Indonesia Press Release - Launch of Mentari Cellular Vouchers “Edisi Khusus Anak Indonesia” Promote the MDGs

Launch of Mentari Cellular Vouchers “Edisi Khusus Anak Indonesia” Promote the MDGs

Jakarta, 16 July 2007 - Indonesia’s leading telecommunication provider PT Indosat and UNDP Indonesia on Monday, 16 July 2007 jointly launched a special edition of Indosat’s Mentari pre-paid GSM cellular voucher entitled “Indonesian Children”. The limited set of 3 million vouchers feature paintings illustrating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by children who took part in a painting competition. The selected children will receive educational scholarships.

Mentari MDG Voucher

“The launching of Mentari’s Indonesian Children is part of Indosat’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, which emphasizes initiatives in education sector. We believe that MDGs are in line with Indosat’s CSR strategy which is to improve the general populace’s welfare in education sector. To this effect, Indosat has supported a number of educational programmes for the young generation,” said Indosat President Director Johnny Swandi Sjam in his opening remarks.

UNDP Indonesia Country Director Håkan Björkman commended Indosat’s work to support the MDGs, encouraging other enterprises to follow Indosat’s lead. “This initiative shows that Indosat is serious about its social responsibilities and doing its bit for poverty reduction and human development in Indonesia,” said Mr. Björkman, adding that socializing the MDG deserves creative advocacy as taken by Indosat.

According to Mr. Björkman, Indonesia’s progress towards the MDGs is mixed. “Overall progress on many goals is good. Since 1990, poverty has been reduced significantly. However, key problem remain the growing disparity between rich and poor areas throughout Indonesia. Achieving the MDGs across Indonesia will not be easy, but it is certainly possible,” Mr. Björkman said.

The specially designed vouchers, which highlight the MDGs’ second goal of achieving universal primary education, are expected to help familiarize the general public with the MDGs. Indosat’s current limited edition vouchers are the first in a series of upcoming phone cards that feature the MDG. All eight of the MDGs are printed on the back of every card.

“The more people know about what the MDGs are all about, the more they can demand their government to better meet people’s needs. The Indonesian government is committed to achieving the MDGs, but most people are not aware these goals,” said Ms. Erna Witoelar, UN Special Ambassador for the MDGS in Asia and Pacific Region. Ms. Witoelar was also present during the launch.

In addition to recognizing the children’s gift, Indosat also granted each aspiring artists with a one year educational scholarship. During the launch, new paintings by the young artists were auctioned to invitees.

There are four versions of the Mentari pre-paid phone voucher valued at Rp 10,000 and Rp 25,000 (approximately USD 1.10 to USD 2.70).

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For more information please contact:
Abdurrahman Syebubakar (Abdurrahman.syeubakar@undp.org), or
Caroline Cooper (caroline.cooper@undp.org)

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UNDP is the United Nations worldwide development network. It advocates change and provides countries with access to the knowledge, skills and resources their populations need to improve their lives.

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