Her name is Bela, she is 11 years old, she is good at weaving, and she is also good at making use of her spare time. The COVID-19 pandemic that has been occurring for approximately nine months, does not discourage her from being creative. Equipped with the weaving skills taught by her mother, she used her study time from home to weave. Bela is the youngest child of 4 siblings with a mother whose full name is Orance Taek and a father named Melkias Liu.
The increasing number of the COVID-19 spread in Timor Tengah Selatan Regency (TTS), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, requires the government to implement a policy by issuing a circular that forces all schools to close and children to learn independently from home.
Apart from studying independently, specifically for the TTS Regency, children are given the opportunity to take part to study via live radio broadcast through the Regional Government Broadcast Radio (RSPD), where the program is still ongoing.
Bela started learning weaving from her mother since the 4th grade of Elementary School (SD) and at that time she was just 10 years old. Bela, who is one of the Sponsored Child (SC) of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia), has been learning weaving ever since. “I started learning to weave since the 4th grade of elementary school,” said Bela.
By weaving in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, she continues to make efforts to make the best use of her spare time, for example, after studying independently for one to two hours in the morning, from noon to the evening she begins weaving for two to three hours. “Currently we are still learning from home so there is a lot of free time that we can use for weaving,” said Bela as she weaved. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bela had been weaving and producing 3 pieces of shawl with the price of each shawl at IDR 100,000. Until now, she has completed 6 pieces of shawl with the TTS regional motif.
Bela also took the time to express her gratitude to Plan Indonesia, who continues to help SC and families in all assisted areas. “Thank you Plan Indonesia who has helped us tremendously throughout this time. We got a lot of help, starting from cleaning equipment, stationery, school bags, and also other assistance in our village,” concluded Bela.
Despite many negative obstacles faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also many positive things such as, reduced air pollution, closer family relationships because people spend more time at home. Furthermore, for children who are good at spending their free time, there will be many creative things that can be produced.
Agus Haru/Moudy Alfiana