Yuni Istiyanti, Tender and Respectful “Smoking Police”

Yuni Istiyanti, 16, has a tender and respectful character. She never shows a fierce look in her face. However, she likes to call herself as a “smoking police,” who always politely asks smokers around her to quit smoking.

“I politely tell the smoker the risk of smoking,” says Yuni, who is now at the third grader of senior high vocational school.

As a class leader, all her classmate respects her and Yuni uses the situation to advise his classmate to do good things. As Yuni loves her father, she also tries to make him uncomfortable and quit smoking. Her grandmother suffered from a cancer because of smoking. Now her father only smokes one or two pieces of cigarette a day.

Yuni can be a good “smoking police” because she once joined a peer educator training facilitated by Wahana Visi Indonesia, when she was in the junior high school. Wahana Visi Indonesia is special partner of World Vision Indonesia.

In the training, Yuni learns public speaking, knowledge on narcotic, HIV & AIDS, how to stay healthy and how to make healthy friendship. After the training, Yuni and other trainees are supposed to share information to others.

“Some asks questions. One or two ask questions only to tease, but most of them raise serious questions,” Yuni adds, explaining that she is happily shares his knowledge and skill because teenager with HIV and AIDS might have gloomy future. She hopes that no teenager lives with HIV and AIDS.

Yuni’s parents, Naisan, 44, and Mini Mariani, 41, were curious when they knew that Yuni were going to be an MC in a big event. Seeing Yuni’s performance, Naisan and Mini believe that their daughter has special talent in speaking in public.

“I am glad that my daughter is able to show an awesome performance,” says Mini.

Before actively becoming a peer educator, Yuni diligently came to the Wahana Visi’s children study group. In the study group, she could review school lesson under the facilitator assistance. As the impact of her diligence, she was always in the big five at class.

Yuni has a younger sister named Rizkia Oktaviani, 10, who is in the fifth grade of elementary school. Rizkia, who was also a sponsored child, actively learns traditional dance in the children study group.

Naisan works as a cleaning worker in a school, while Mini Mariani is a housewife. Previously Naisan was a parking worker in a hospital. Before getting his present job, Naisan was unemployed for a year.

This family lives in a simple, small house, some five hundred meters following narrow path from a highway in urban Jakarta.

Yuni dreams that someday she could works as an English teacher.

“I know that I have got much from sponsor through Wahana Visi. I hope that I could meet my sponsor someday,” says Yuni, explaining why she wants to study English language.

Yuni’s sponsors are Charles & Elizabeth. She often exchanges letters with her sponsors.* (VO/BM)