Around the Globe with ChildFund in 31 Days: Walking to School with Estu in Indonesia

Reporting by Dhina Mutiara, ChildFund Indonesia, and Bertho Pitono, ChildFund’s partner in Central Java

31 in 31 logoOver the course of January’s 31 days, we’ll make a blog stop in each country where we serve children, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and donors. So whether you’re helping ChildFund build playgrounds in Afghanistan, provide drought aid in Kenya and Ethiopia or sponsoring a child in the United States, we hope you’ll make new discoveries about our work around the globe.

boy with friends walking to school

Estu walks to school with friends.

My name is Estu. I am 14 years old. I live with both of my parents in a hilly area called Giripurwo village in Central Java, Indonesia. I live in a remote area that is really hard to reach by any vehicle. That is why people in my village have to walk to go in and out of the village. I am one of them.

Currently, I am studying on second level at Islamic Public Junior High School, which is located 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from my house. Every morning, my friends and I will walk approximately one and a half hours to reach the school. We usually go out at 5:30 a.m., because my school starts at 7 a.m. I don’t want to be tardy.

boys take in view

A five-minute rest before the trek continues.

The first 3 kilometers, we have to walk through the hilly part of the area. This part is really hard to go through, and it gets worse in rainy season. My friends and I usually take a 5-minute break from our long walk and enjoy the beautiful view from the mountaintop. The last 1 kilometer is easier to get through because it is not as hilly, and there is a road that leads to my school.

Estu walks to school

It takes Estu 1.5 hours to walk to school.

If you ask me whether I’m tired or not, of course I’m tired. But that route is the shortest route to get to my school. I have been doing it all of my life, so I am used to it. I mostly forget how far my school is because I always go to school with my friends. We tell stories and pranks to keep ourselves entertained along the long walk.

One day I want to be a doctor and make my parents happy. Those are the reasons why I stay in school. I hope I can have a scholarship to be a doctor.

My school ends at 1:30 p.m., and I have to go through the same route to get home.

Once I get to my house, I help my parents. I will help my mother wash the dishes. After that, I will help my father feed our livestock. We have two goats at our house. In the afternoon, I will go to the hilly forest to cut some grass and bring the grass home for my goats.

On weekends, I will go to the art center that ChildFund supports not far from my house, where I learn how to dance, play some music and meet my friends from other villages.

I enjoy all of my daily routine, even though it is tiring. I have learned how to be grateful and responsible for everything that I have.

Learn more about ChildFund’s work in Indonesia and sponsoring a child.

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