This is Bela, she is 11 years old. Bela is good at weaving as well as making good use of her spare time. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been occurring for nearly nine months, Bella has not been discouraged from being creative. Equipped with the weaving skills taught by her mother, she used her spare time at home to weave. Bela’s mother Orance Taek, and father Melkias Liu, have 4 children, of which Bella is the youngest.
The increasing number of the COVID-19 cases in Timor Tengah Selatan Regency (TTS), a province located in south-east Indonesia East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, has caused the government to close all schools in the region and forced children to learn independently from home.
Specifically for the TTS Regency, children are given the opportunity to take part to study via live radio broadcast from the Regional Government Radio Broadcast
Bela, who is one of the Sponsored Children (SC) of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia was taught weaving by her mother when she was just 10 years old. “I started learning to weave in the 4th grade of elementary school,” said Bella, and she has continued to weave ever since.
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. “Currently we are still learning from home so there is a lot of free time that we can use for weaving,” said Bela as while she weaved. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bela had been weaving and has already made 3 shawls, each worth IDR 100,000. Now, since she started weaving Bela has completed 6 shawls, all with the TTS regional motif.
Bela took the time to express her gratitude to Plan Indonesia, who continues to help SC and families in many areas. “Thank you Plan Indonesia you have helped us tremendously throughout this pandemic. We got a lot of help, including cleaning equipment, stationery, school bags, and also other assistance in our village.” Despite the many challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been many positives such as, reduced air pollution and closer family relationships because of more time spent at home. Furthermore, for children who are good at using their free time, like Bela, they have the opportunity to produce many creative things.
Agus Haru/Moudy Alfiana