Cory Taradjawa, 6, tried to match her small steps to the stride of her parents along the muddy dirt road.
Their village is in East Nusa Tenggara province. Scores of other villagers were heading in the same direction. They were gathering at the local church, often used as a community meeting hall. The sounds of drums and gongs made the atmosphere very lively as everyone sat themselves on their mats.
Cory, a first grade student, was very excited to participate in the luluk competition for children, the first-ever event taking place in the village. Luluk is the reciting of traditional poems.
The objective was to use a traditional event as a means to promote saving money for the future education of children.
Hearty laughs and shouts of support were heard from some 200 people as the luluk competition started. Scores of older community leaders were also present and were mesmerized by the skills of the participants in reciting the poems.
“I have been dreaming for some time of opening a savings for my daughter. I want her to get much better education than her parents,” Pastor Ndena noted.
Lestiyani, one of the local children, read her own poem entitled ‘Savings for My Future’ where she expressed her commitment to save some of her ‘daily pocket money’ for her future education.
During the event, the organizers urged the parents to open savings accounts or to contribute some money for their children's education. The head of the village Pulupanjang, Umbu Juanda, spontaneously added Rp 300,000 (around US$ 27) to the savings for his grandchildren!
“As the village chief I am encouraging all of you to nurture the savings tradition for our children,” he said.
Cory’s father, Pastor Ndena Taradjawa also decided to open a savings account for Cory and made an initial deposit of Rp 1.0 million (about US $90)- quite significant amount for such a remote village!
“I have been dreaming for some time of opening a savings account for my daughter. I want her to get a much better education than her parents,” Pastor Ndena noted. “I hope this initiative will lead to a similar commitment by many villagers here, including the members of my congregation.”
Pastor Ndena might be one of the winners. With additional saving in the future, Cory might be able to realize her dream of enrolling at the university some day.
* written by Apolonia Beatrix Mbete, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Wahana Visi Indonesia - Sumba Timur Office | Edited by Hendro Suwito, Senior Editor World Vision Indonesia