As Indonesia and the rest of the world battled the COVID-19 pandemic, 16-year-old Triana and her family were struggling to put food on the table. Many parents of children in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program have been laid off from work, including Triana's father and mother.
As a daily laborer, her father's income is now sporadic or nonexistent. Her mother used to work every day at a small restaurant in town, earning less than US $70 a month. Her paycheck kept the family afloat and had to cover the family's needs as well as their children's education. However, since the pandemic struck in March 2020, she has been out of work.
Triana dreams of one day finding a job and helping her family, including her three siblings. But she knows she needs to get an education first. So while she waits for school to reopen, Triana spends much of her time in the family’s garden.
Before the pandemic, Triana and all the youth at her child development center were taught how to plant vegetables at home. “We do this program to give the children an understanding of how they can be helpful to their parents,” says Pastor Jandoko, leader of Compassion’s local partner church. Now, as parents have been laid off and are struggling financially, he continues to encourage the children and families to maintain their vegetable gardens.
Through the training, Triana developed a keen interest in home gardening. She’s growing garlic, tomatoes, celery and other produce. Her mother is so happy to see how her daughter's efforts in the garden are helping to feed the family. Compassion and its church partner support Triana’s family and all of the children in Compassion's program by distributing groceries and home gardening supplies as well.
“Receiving gifts from sponsors really motivates me to pursue my dreams. I wish to be a teacher one day,” says Triana. But now, she is grateful for having learned home gardening so she can help provide for her family during this challenging time.