In 2015, 16-year-old Lucy Egan travelled with her family to Indonesia, to meet the girl they’d been sponsoring for nearly a decade. No longer a child, Claudia was about to turn 18, and Lucy couldn’t wait to meet the Indonesian girl she’d grown up in tandem with, albeit in a different country, and in very different circumstances.
“On the 5th of January 2015, we travelled to Surabaya, Indonesia, to meet our sponsor child Claudia. We had been sponsoring Claudia for nine years and she was turning 18. It was very exciting and a little hard to imagine to think we were finally meeting the girl from the annual photos.
At the hotel in Surabaya we were met by Rere. She was our World Vision liaison, and our translator. She was very friendly, and a skilled interpreter. We were driven to the Urban Surabaya Project Centre. It was a bit like a surreal dream, to be in and amongst it – things seemed to be moving very quickly.”
“We pulled up outside the centre, and immediately Rere introduced us to a class of very young children, who were studying after school. They could be there up to 9pm. We sat cross-legged in a room in the centre and waited for Claudia to arrive with bated breath. Claudia arrived not long after, and we were seeing her for the first time in flesh, not from a picture. We introduced ourselves with the help of Rere, to Claudia, her cousin Alfino and their community representative. We talked to her for half an hour, with Rere translating. We met other students while Claudia and Alfino were with us, and participated in some impromptu dancing and generally getting to know each other a little.