‘When I Grow Up and Become Smart’

by Virginia Sowers, ChildFund Community Manager

One of the best parts of my job at ChildFund is working with colleagues in our Africa, Americas and Asia offices. This year we’ve been collaborating on activities to capture the voices of children. By listening carefully, we are hearing remarkable things that will help shape our programs in the future.

Children in Timor Leste share their perspectives.

In Timor Leste, we asked children who live in a village near Liquica to share their thoughts on various subjects. Youth leaders scattered questions on the floor, and then walked the children around, recording their responses:

I want to build a school with enough chairs and desks.
I need pens and books to study for the future.
I am happy when I can play.
I like stories which let me understand more about our history.
— Amandio, 13

I like to play at school.
I want to become a teacher in the future.
—Sedelizio, 11

I want to study hard to help bring our country forward.
The last time I laughed was when a friend told me a joke.
I don’t like the poor condition of my school.
—Domingas, 13

I would like to become a teacher to teach people to become smart.
If I could meet with the Prime Minister, I would ask for clean water, as now I have to carry water far to my house.
When I grow up and become smart, I would like to help develop my village.
In past years I was unhappy, because I hadn’t started school yet.
Good stories are the ones that make me laugh.
At home, my dad tells me to do lots of work, and I worry about that.
—Kalistru, 11

I think a lot about studying for my future.
I like hearing funny stories.
My favorite place is the football field.
A place I don’t like is narrow rooms in the house.
I would like to become a policeman.
I don’t like to see people who are sick.
—Zitu, 12

I think a lot about school, because I want to be educated.
I like telling funny stories.
When I was 5, I was unhappy because I couldn’t go to school.
If I could, I would like to build a new school and a new road in my village.
—Isabel, 8

I like playing football in front of the school because we don’t have a proper field.
I like to tell ghost stories.
I think a lot about studying.
I would like to become a doctor, to give treatment to sick people.
—Leonito, 12

Even in the midst of extreme poverty and exclusion, children are hopeful and earnest about finding a way forward. That’s the reason for ChildFund’s 100 Days of Yes campaign — so many children await the sponsorship support they need to “grow up and become smart.” Won’t you say “yes?”

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