Just like in every Compassion field country, Compassion centres in Indonesia are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, as Compassion staff around the world are doing, the dedicated staff who work with Compassion children are continuing to find ways to support them in the midst of social distancing and quarantine orders.
“We can’t leave our children without food because their parents can’t earn money, especially those who work as daily labourers,” says Filipus, the director of a Compassion centre in Indonesia.
The impact of grocery deliveries
In Bali, which is categorized as a red zone of the outbreak, caregivers express immense gratitude and relief in response to grocery deliveries by Compassion staff.
“Before I got these groceries, I told my children that we may be fasting for days. But, thanks to God, we got the food from Compassion. It is huge support that we need in this difficult time,” says Ananda, a mother of a Compassion-assisted child, Akhsa.
Melinda and Dominiggus, parents of a Compassion-assisted child named Karolina, thought they might need to make a dangerous journey back to Melinda’s parents’ home in another village in order to survive the pandemic. “In normal conditions, our living situation is limited. Sometimes my husband brings money home, sometimes not. When he must stay home, automatically we have no opportunity to earn money,” says Melinda. Thanks to grocery deliveries from Compassion, the family is no longer considering the risky trip.
Suartini is one of the Compassion staff members in Bali who is making these essential deliveries of rice, oil, eggs, sugar and soap. She admits to having fears about continuing to leave her home. “I feel worried and reluctant to leave my house because I worry that I could get infected by the virus,” she says.
However, Suartini is fighting those fears in order to serve the most vulnerable. “We want to let the children know that we love and care for them. We are trying our best to reach them during these difficult times,” she says.
In addition to making deliveries, Suartini is sure to remind children and families to continue washing their hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protecting the vulnerable
Compassion staff know that children who were already sick prior to this pandemic are the most at risk and require additional support.
Bion* is one and a half years old and has already faced significant health challenges. She is battling tuberculosis and was also suspected to be HIV positive, though she has since received the first of two negative tests that should confirm she is not.
The local Compassion centre has been journeying with Bion and her single father since December 2019, helping them navigate the healthcare system, fight the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and cover medical and food support costs.
Even and especially in the midst of the pandemic, Compassion’s support to help Bion get healthy and stay healthy is unwavering.
“Physical and social distancing policies will be implemented but we cannot let this child suffer without any intervention,” says Compassion centre staff, Laksono. “No matter what, Bion and other children with medical conditions should be treated and prioritized. It is our responsibility to make sure that they are safe and healthy.”
Bion’s condition is improving. Laksono is optimistic that she will recover to full health.
Sarah Rahardja, Compassion Indonesia’s Senior Manager of Program Support, shares this scripture as an encouragement for the global Compassion family:
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
“All of us need to depend on God and trust Him in every situation,” she says.
Here are some prayer requests from our Compassion Indonesia team:
- Pray for individuals who have COVID-19, that they will be healed and recover soon.
- Pray for mothers in our Survival programs who are will soon give birth, that they will get good and timely care from hospitals and clinics even in the midst of the outbreak.
For our most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit our updates page.
You can help families affected by COVID-19 through our disaster relief fund.
By J. Sangma, Vera Aurima and Alyssa Esparaz
*Name has been changed to protect identities