The majority of adults are addicted to Betel nut, and being so poor the parents will often encourage their children to steal to find money for their addiction.Water is a major problem, in many of the areas there are no schools, no roads or any form of government sponsored infrastructure. Corruption is rife, and is a product of their culture which affects life at every level.
We have a dream that is already becoming reality, a three stage plan trying to help the people in the villages of Sumba that we visit. Our long term strategy is already under way having five kids at Kingdom Kids Home from the village of Bila Cenge (see posts dated 20 July 2013, 22 Nov 2013 and 18 Aug 2015). The idea is to break the cultural cycle by raising them with solid Christian principles, give them the best possible formal education, and our prayer is they will eventually want to go back to their village and help their people. The short term strategy is to improve the water, food production and incomes in the villages, and the medium term plan is to build a school and source good teachers and facilities. All this needs to be built on a strong and vibrant church, one that will ultimately break the cycle of addiction, corruption, theft and dishonesty.
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Of course all of this will require funding, but our plan is to help the people help themselves; there will be no handouts because we have seen the long term impact of well meaning people who have donated much only to create a begging industry or a mentality that will just wait for the 'Bule's' (whities) to come along and give them handouts.
During our visit we came across some very young children who were in a dreadful state. Kadek spoke to their mother, a young woman probably in her early twenties and already having five children. The young girls are often married by 14 or 15 years of age. When she found out we already had some kids from the village at our children's home in Bali she immediately asked us to take her two youngest as she couldn't care for them. The little girl on the left is one of them, her name is Novensiana.