Diva: Sharing Gifts with Her Neighbors

The most memorable gift for the Diva is giving Barbie doll sponsor

Not all World Vision’s registered (sponsored) children often receive special gifts in the form of cash fund (Gift Notification/GN) or other presents from their sponsors. Diva (8) is among those who relatively often receive such special gifts.

She has received special cash support from her sponsor in Canada four times and also received other special presents, such as dolls, toys and also letters from her sponsor. Diva, third-grade primary school student in Surabaya city in East Java province, and her family have decided to allocate and share some of the cash support with their neighbors.

The last cash assistance, for example, has been used to buy the wooden front door, roofing material and roof gutters. Supardi (55) and Sunarti (44), Diva’s parents, used the wooden door to replace the door of their house, which has been damaged and not properly functioning for some time. But, they shared the roofing and gutter materials with their neighbors.

The family bought a refrigerator with the initial cash support they received from Diva’s sponsor. But, they used the third cash assistance to renovate the community toilet, which is jointly used by Diva’s family and three other neighboring families. Each family has an average of six members and they have scores of tender age children.

The four families live in small houses which was formerly a rather big house belonging to the former generations. The house was then divided with roughly-installed walls into four smaller houses which looks more like rented boarding rooms.

Supardi dan Sunarti bought a new and healthier toilet set, tiled the floor and replaced the dilapidated zinc walls with concrete walls. “We are very concern if one of the children slips and hurt (at the joint toilet),” said Sunarti.

When they renovated the toilet, the front door of their house had actually been damaged. But, instead of replacing the door, they decided to improve the toilet first. They only replaced the door when they again received financial support from Diva’s sponsor.

Diva often has correspondence with her sponsor. In her letters she explained about her life, how she bought shoes with the money from her sponsor, and how her family used the gift to renovate the house and the community toilet. She also expressed her thanks for the Barbie doll from her sponsor.

Diva is used to walk to her school. Her parents sometimes give Rp 4000 (about 33 U.S. cents) that she could use to buy fried noodle or other food at her school.

She has three elder siblings. The eldest has been married and now works at a nearby shopping center. Her second-eldest sibling also works at the same place, while her third sibling is still at the first grade of Senior Vocational High School.

His father works at a shoes-making factory at the neighboring village, while her mother tried to get additional income by selling fried snacks. Wahana Visi Indonesia Surabaya office, World Vision’s special partner in the implementation of the community development programs in Surabaya, provided starting financial support for Sunarti when she decided to produce and sell snacks.

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