By George Antony and Karen Pedley, Indonesia Child Sponsors
Fourteen years ago we wanted our daughters, then three and four, to learn the importance of charity and how people in other countries live. So began our sponsorship of four-year-old Septiani on the Island of East Sumba, Indonesia. Over the years, the three girls grew up familiar with each other.
Septiani recalled receiving our first letter. “I was so excited and the letter was passed around the whole village”, she told us through an interpreter.
Septiani is now 18 years old, has completed high school, and is a trainee kindy teacher. No surprise in her career choice - the very first letter from her father told us, “We live in a house with a palm leaf roof, wooden walls and a wooden floor. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. We would be grateful if you would accept her happily”.
Over the next 14 years we would learn about her favourite subjects, her chores, and about World Vision’s work establishing Nutrition Gardens, teaching the locals to nourish and protect the trees, and to make money from small cultivation projects.
Finally, we managed to visit the World Vision East Sumba project in April 2015, experiencing that island not yet affected by mass tourism and meeting Septiani for the first time. Although our older daughter was too busy at university, Sophie, the younger one could take time off school.
World Vision staff had helpfully suggested educational toys as presents for the kindergarten where Septiani is working.