Things Will be Different

Things Will be Different

By: Brandy Campbell   |   Posted: September 17, 2007

At the Kaleb Child Survival Program in Indonesia, Lindina (pictured here with her husband, Ismael) and the other mothers learn to provide for the physical, social, mental and spiritual needs of their children.

Lindina tries to work in her onion garden every morning before her children get out of bed. As she fills the basket at her feet with fragrant onions, Lindina's mind jumps ahead to her morning tasks. Ten-year-old Girson will need her help as he gets ready for school. After he leaves, there will be cleaning to do a difficult task with little Iksan and Riswan darting underfoot. But then Lindina feels a tiny kick, and she places a hand gently on her stomach. She pauses for a moment, and prays silently that the child growing inside her will be healthy and strong.

Lindina knows the pain of having a sickly child. Less than a year earlier, she had a son who died as an infant. Lindina has no idea what caused her son's death. It could have been that his unchanging diet of sweet potatoes and rice didn't supply the nutrition he needed. Perhaps it was malaria or dehydration. Her son's death could have resulted from any number of threats that surround the children of Potikelek. By the time Lindina realized something was wrong with her child, it was too late. In this isolated Indonesian village, there was no way for her to get the medicine that her son needed. Poverty forced Lindina to watch her baby die.

But as Lindina rubs her stomach in the soft morning light, she whispers to herself that this time, things will be different. This time she has the Child Survival Program. As soon as friends told Lindina about the Kaleb Child Survival Program, she felt hope. The lessons she learned there had an immediate impact on both her unborn child and her entire family. She learned that although the task of boiling drinking water may be difficult it can take hours to draw the water from the well, collect firewood, and build the fire it is essential to preventing waterborne diseases in her children. With the food supplies from the Kaleb Child Survival Program, she learned to prepare healthy, nutritious meals. Even the parenting classes she began attending taught her how to nurture and discipline her three active sons.

Twice a month, Lindina's CSP project worker visits her home. The trip is long, through miles of mountain paths, but the visits mean the difference between life and death for the child growing in Lindina. Together, the two women prepare for the birth of Lindina's child. In one corner of the small hut sits a stack of clean, soft blankets. Lindina holds them to her face and marvels at the difference between these and the scratchy, burlap material she wrapped her other children in.

Together they discuss the diseases that so many children in her community suffer from, and how she can prevent them in her own home. Lindina, who once felt hopeless, now has the tools for survival.

"My pregnancy is a gift from God," says Lindina. "When my other child died, I felt so sad. But now God is giving me another child. I pray that my child will be born healthy, and that he will go to school and be able to help his family."

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