The first thing Velove does after waking up is a little unusual for an 8-year-old. She waters her prize-winning spring onions!
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many Compassion centers in Indonesia were temporarily closed. Instead of meeting at the center, Velove’s tutor visited her at home twice a week to teach the lessons, and one of the activities was learning how to grow spring onions, a popular ingredient in nearly every local dish.
In July 2020, the center gave each child five bags of seeds. The children were excited to learn there would be a competition with prizes. The tutor would choose three winners from each class based on how fertile and flourishing their plants were. The one critical rule was that the children could not use any chemical fertilizer.
Velove immediately took up the challenge to nurture and protect her seedlings. “Every day, I always make sure that no chickens have come to scratch and dig up my plants,” she said.
After three months of planting and growing, the time came for Velove and her friends to harvest their plants. They each donated two bags of spring onions to their child development center for replanting in the center's farm, but the remaining three bags were theirs to keep.
The class tutor carefully inspected each child's entry before announcing the winners. To her delight, Velove was declared one of them!
“I was surprised to be one of the winners of the spring onion planting challenge,” Velove said. “I feel satisfied because my patience paid off when my spring onions flourished. I was also happy to get chocolates as the winner.”
Velove multiplied her three bags of spring onions into seven. Now the popular vegetable is available every day in her garden, much to her family’s pleasure.