In Nusa Tenggara Timur
Geography & Climate
- Indonesia is an archipelago in southeastern Asia consisting of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) and straddling the equator.
- It is the world’s largest country comprised solely of islands.
- The biggest islands are Sumatra, Java (the most populous), Bali, Kalimantan (Indonesia's part of Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), the Nusa Tenggara islands, the Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya (also called West Papua), the western part of New Guinea.
- Indonesia, part of the “ring of fire,” has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Java, for example, has 50 active volcanoes.
- The topography of Indonesia’s islands varies but consists mainly of coastal lowlands. Some of Indonesia’s larger islands (Sumatra and Java, for example) have large interior mountains.
- Natural disasters, especially earthquakes, are common in Indonesia. On Dec. 26, 2004, a 9.1 to 9.3 magnitude earthquake struck in the Indian Ocean, triggering a large tsunami that devastated many Indonesian islands.
- Indonesia’s climate is tropical with hot and humid weather in lower elevations.
- In the highlands of Indonesia’s islands, temperatures are more moderate.
Indonesia’s economy centers on agriculture and industry.
The main agricultural products include rice, coffee, sugarcane, palm oil, poultry and pork.
The largest industrial products include petroleum, plywood, rubber, textiles and cement.
Indonesia’s economy is helped by its strategic location along major sea lanes from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Today Indonesia is a growing tourist hotspot because of its tropical landscape in places such as Bali.
The average annual household income is U.S.$5,000.
The population living below the poverty line is 11.7 percent.
Throughout the country, 16 percent of the population lives on U.S.$1.25 per day or less.
Children at Home
The homes of poor families living in the rural areas of this province are typically made of wood with metal or thatched roofs.
Each family farms the small plot of land adjacent to their home.
Most homes do not have the basics of electricity, running water or adequate sanitation.
People must haul water from long distances.
Issues and Concerns
- Nusa Tenggara Timur is one of Indonesia’s poorest provinces. The average income for a family ranges from $40 to $90 per month.
- The unemployment rate is 30 percent and inflation averages 15 percent.
- Widespread lack of safe water, sanitation and health facilities is a critical issue.
- Malnutrition is also common, affecting more than a third of the province’s children. Ironically, malnutrition is considered shameful, and few families will admit to lacking sufficient food.
- Another concern is the prevalence of child abuse among rural families. Harmful physical and verbal abuse is considered normal, acceptable discipline.
Local Needs and Challenges
In addition to malnutrition, young children here often suffer from disease caused by contaminated water. With limited access to safe water, most rely on impure sources, such as untreated springs.
Education & health
Schools and medical facilities are inadequate throughout the province, and families often depend on traditional healers for medical needs. The literacy rate here lags behind that of the rest of Indonesia.
Schools and Education
Rarely do children in rural Nusa Tenggara Timur advance beyond primary school. The only available secondary schools are in the cities.
Impoverished parents cannot afford — nor do they see the need for — transportation and living expenses for children to continue their schooling.
Following their parents’ example, children usually become subsistence farmers. These boys and girls have few opportunities to explore other options for their lives.
At the Compassion Child Development Center
At the Compassion-assisted child development centers in Nusa Tenggara Timor province, children receive the help and learning opportunities they need to reach their potential.
Along with nutritious meals, children also receive medical assistance and hygiene training. They are also given help with education and tuition fees.
Vocational training is given to sponsored children in secondary school.
Each child writes his or her future plans in a “My Plan for Tomorrow” book. This helps adolescents navigate the journey through their teen years.
English lessons and computer training are commonly offered in rural areas.
What Compassion Sponsorship Provides
In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to children in need in Nusa Tenggara Timur province, providing them with:
- regular nutritious meals and snacks
- health checkups and medical care as needed
- the support needed to attend school
- health and hygiene training
- access to special services like surgeries and disaster relief
- mentoring to help children discover their incredible value as God’s children