It doesn’t matter to 10-year-old Anina — the fun she has skipping rope wipes away that bit of drudgery.
Yet, in Anina’s world, just attaining the most basic needs involves drudgery day in, day out — without the fun payoff. That’s how it is throughout Timor-Leste, one of the poorest countries in Asia.
Anina lives there in a two-bedroom house with her parents, an uncle, two brothers and two sisters. Another sibling is on the way. In their small rural village, electricity is available at night but not during daytime. The family cooks on an open fire indoors.
Like more than half of Timor-Leste’s households, Anina’s has no access to fresh water for cooking, drinking or washing, so the family must draw water from a well, haul it home and boil it. They are among the 70 percent majority of the country’s population who have no toilets. Even a greater percentage is unaware of basic preventive measures they can take against waterborne illnesses.
But things are improving. ChildFund is in the process of rehabilitating and building wells to provide Anina’s and other communities with access to clean water. There’s a new one near completion close to Anina’s house.
Although Anina is not sponsored, she is enrolled in ChildFund’s programs, and her health is good. The second-grader enjoys studying Portuguese at her primary school, which ChildFund supports. She even says she wants to be a teacher and craves more books and pens and pencils to help her achieve that dream.
ChildFund will support her through the hard work of growing up — and the hard work of play.