A passion for children’s rights and needs in Ende, Indonesia
My visit to the Area Development Programme (ADP) in Ende, Indonesia was my first trip with World Vision. It was very enriching for me because this was my first time learning more about how ADPs operate. The trip opened my eyes to the realities and challenges of implementing and sustaining ADPs, as well as the immense needs of the people. The activities that were part of our itinerary helped us learn more about the work being carried out by World Vision for the benefit of poor and vulnerable children and their families.
I learnt how World Vision had been actively advocating the protection of the rights of children in Ende. These efforts include the creation of child friendly school environments in which students feel safe and respected, through the promotion of positive teaching methods that encourage student participation and development.
Not only does World Vision advocate on behalf of children; they also actively work together with the wider community to provide for the essential needs of children and families. This includes constructing water pipelines, tanks and taps so that villages have access to clean drinking water.
When we visited these villages, we were greeted by the local people, who were very thankful for the programmes World Vision had been running. When we were invited to help with painting the water tap and tanks, I could tell from the eagerness of the locals to paint and to contribute their bit towards the maintenance of the water infrastructure that they had a sense of ownership over these new amenities.
Another intervention by World Vision involved empowering the locals to build DIY latrines, using moulds provided by World Vision and building materials which were supplied both by local community members as well as World Vision. This was an important way of creating a culture of latrine use, discouraging open defecation, and preserving a hygienic environment in which children could be protected from disease as well as the dangers of consuming contaminated water. I was all for this idea of DIY latrines because it can be easily replicated! It is one form of community empowerment as the locals pick up the skills to construct the latrines on their own, and can easily pass on the method to future generations too. My team and I got to try some of the steps for building a DIY latrine!
We also visited a primary school where World Vision staff demonstrated and taught good sanitation and hygiene habits to the young students, including a 7-step process for thorough hand-washing. By instilling in children an understanding of the importance of proper hygiene, they are better able to protect themselves from disease, and can even pass on what they learn to their family members.
From the day I started child sponsorship, there was a longing to meet my sponsored child one day. When I got to meet him, I was happy beyond words, and I was glad to be able to meet with his mother too, who blessed me with the gift of a sarong. I was careful about the gifts I prepared for my sponsored child, because to me, it would be good for the child to continue enjoying his childhood without being exposed to material influences that were alien to the environment he had grown up in. With the limited time I had with him, I wanted him to see the possibilities of the future. Hence, I shared with him my graduation photo, and I told him that he could achieve the same thing too! I hope this inspires and encourages him to work hard because that could be his way out of poverty. It thrilled my heart when he said he aspired to be a teacher and he enjoyed learning. I truly believe he can do it too!
Despite Ende ADP being in its earliest phase of implementation, I would like to affirm the local ADP team for the work done thus far. It is challenging to bring development goals to fruition given the many external factors that need to be addressed, such as the culture and mindsets of the local community with regard to the needs and rights of children, as well as limited resources. I believe what keep the staff going are the passion and dreams they have for a better society in their country. I admire their patience and perseverance in being faithful with the task at hand.
Every ADP is different because of the variety of needs in the different countries where World Vision works. If you have not seen the work in Ende, it would be nice to sign up for the next trip! Your presence would be an encouragement to the local staff; and by witnessing the work they do and the challenges they face, you will better understand and appreciate the work being done by World Vision in Ende.
Here are some photos with my teammates!