A Small Victory in a Big Fight
By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist
Nine-year-old Celsia is now living a healthy life. It hasn’t always been this way. Celsia and her family, which includes three siblings, live in Timor Leste where 46 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, life expectancy is low and there’s a low education level.
In Celsia’s village, children lack access to health care, safe water and pre-primary education. In 2001, a partner affiliate of CCF Timor Leste started its service programs addressing the health, nutrition and pre-school needs of children younger than 6.At 2 years old, a severely malnourished Celsia was a beneficiary of a supplementary feeding program.
When Celsia was 4, she joined the Early Childhood Development (ECD) activities of the partner affiliation. She learned the alphabet and numbers, as well as played and sang with her friends. The ECD activities prepared Celsia and her friends for their primary school education.
Now in her fourth grade, the ECD services continue to help Celsia through after-school tutorials. Celsia happily talks about the lessons, games and singing she has done through the ECD program. She says that the supplementary feeding program helped her to be healthy.
Celsia describes living in poverty as not having “the opportunity to have proper food, health care and school facilities.” Her parents remain determined to try their best to provide opportunities to Celsia, her siblings and the other children in their village.