Talent Revealed

Talent Revealed

By: Marsalina Lekan, East Indonesia Field Communication Specialist   |   Posted: November 24, 2009

Young girl living in poverty becomes the hope of her community

With support and encouragement from her Compassion-assisted center, Putri has developed her talent of tutoring.

Though still a little girl, Putri has accomplished a very grown-up feat in the remote eastern Indonesian fishing village where she lives.

The support and encouragement she's received at her Compassion-assisted child development center allowed her talent of teaching to emerge and develop. And now, Putri is a tutor, teaching her classmates at her Sangir Island school.

"Her leadership talent has brought her to become a peer tutor," says Jemprit Howor, one of Putri's schoolteachers.

The once-shy girl's leadership skills have opened doors for other opportunities as well. Putri was chosen as a worship leader for the Christmas celebration at her child development center. Nearly everyone in the community of Enemawira attended.

Putri has become the pride of her community, winning competitions in Bible storytelling, marching band, choir and poetry readings.

Before she was registered at the Compassion center, Putri didn't know how to lead anyone and had no significant achievements in her report book. She was much like other children living in poverty in Enemawira, without much hope of a better future. 

Unable to Thrive

Putri's father, Prens, is a fisherman in Enemawira. As a traditional fisherman, Prens didn't make enough money to provide for all of Putri's needs, such as a good education. So Putri never had a chance to excel.

"Her father's income couldn't support the family's needs for a month," says Putri's mother, Dinda. "It is because her father can only go fishing for a couple of days in a month. The rest of the month, Prens didn't go to the sea because sometimes the weather couldn't support him to find more fish."

Prens sells his fish at the village market, usually for U.S.$1 for five pieces. He sometimes sells about 75 to 100 pieces of fish, but most often he sells less. So he makes only about $20 per month -- not enough to meet his family's daily needs.

Dinda is a housewife without a side job to help support her family. Like her husband, she didn't finish high school. Still, Putri is thankful for the daily meals that her parents can provide and for the education she receives. She couldn't expect more.

Removing the Gap

But when Compassion opened the child development center, everything changed, not just for Putri but for her family. Compassion paid the girl's school fees, and provided health and educational support. The staff at the center also helped Putri cultivate her God-given talents and abilities. 

"My parents are now able to buy me books so I can learn all the new subjects," Putri says. "With that, I can review everything that I want to, so I can have a clearer understanding."

The extra reading and studying helped her learn faster than her friends. She never misses a single day of study.

The nutritious meals Putri eats at the center fuel not just her body, but her mind as well. She has grown socially, learning together with her friends. And Putri has also grown spiritually, deepening her relationship with God.

She has learned to be responsible. Each day, she wakes up at 6 and does her chores. She tidies up her bed and sweeps the floor before preparing for school. After school, Putri plays games with her little brother around their house or on the beach behind their house.

Later, Putri washes the dishes. And then she goes back to her books to review what she learned in school that day. Putri always has her books with her.

"I like to review my lesson at home and try to accomplish my homework without asking for help from my parents," she says. "Studying is one of the most favorite things I like to do." She wants to be a doctor one day. Her parents always find amazing grades in her report book.

A Passion Emerges

Because she excelled in her lessons and  enjoys sharing her knowledge with her friends, Putri's teacher asked her to become a tutor. Putri teaches Bahasa Indonesia, the national Indonesian language.

"She likes to tell stories from the book that she read," says Jemprit, her teacher. "She is even able to give improvisation by what she has learned. It makes the lesson become more interesting. I love the way she teaches her friends."

What Putri has achieved amazes the community. No one imagined that the daughter of a local fisherman would be asked to be a tutor in school. People in Enemawira are encouraged about the impact the Compassion-assisted center is having on children.

"I feel blessed by the presence of this center," says Pastor Melzon Masalamate. "After a year, we can see the product of our struggle. I believe one day we can get lots of leaders from Enemawira. We believe it starts from Putri. 

"The children become healthier and more active than before. CDSP parents who couldn't afford healthy meals for their children are helped from the support which is provided by Compassion. It has made a big difference. It really helps the children like Putri to grow better." 

Putri now has a new and familiar assignment at the center: peer tutor. She teaches Bible stories to her friends. 

Compassion has helped a child who never dreamed she could be a leader. She and the other children have a new view of their future.

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