County Fermanagh teenager travels to Indonesia to visit sponsored child

County Fermanagh teenager travels to Indonesia to visit sponsored child

Ruth Beadle and her family from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, have just returned from Indonesia where they met Agnes the girl they have been sponsoring for 8 years through child development charity, Compassion UK.

“Agnes is a similar age to me and through writing letters over the years we have grown up together and developed a real friendship, so it was amazing to finally meet in person,” reflects 14-year-old Ruth, currently a pupil at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

“We flew to the city of Manado in Sulawesi where we were introduced to members of the local church who run the project she attends. Amazingly it now supports 600 children and their families but their dream is to reach 1000,” shares Ruth who travelled out with her parents and two younger twin siblings, 12-year old Alicia and Asher.

“We then met Agnes at her school and it was emotional for everyone, the classroom was filled with joy and celebration. While the adults chatted Agnes and I made a friendship necklace. It was great to be doing something that didn’t need lots of words and translators. I don’t speak Indonesian,” she fondly reflects.

Agnes lives in the hillside community of Ranomut, typically houses are constructed of cement with corrugated iron roofs. Common health problems in this area include malaria and dengue fever. Most adults in Ranomut work for private companies and earn the equivalent of £62 per month.

“Agnes lives with her Mum, her two brothers and father are away working as laborers. They rent a small room and had no running water or kitchen! In heavy rain they have to evacuate for fear of landslides. Her Mum was very thankful for our support,” explains Ruth.

Many Indonesians living in poverty are unable to afford the basic six years of education. Over the years the government has considerably invested in the construction of primary schools, however a severe lack of qualified teaching staff, resources and substantial building maintenance, has made it hard for some children to access quality schooling.

The Beadle’s sponsorship enables Agnes to be part of her local Compassion project where she receives nutritious meals, emotional support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.

The Beadle family are part of Swanlinbar Church of Ireland and together sponsor three children around the world through Compassion.

Ruth’s mother Pauline, a 49-year-old midwife and father Richard, a Church of Ireland minister reflect on the day: “Meeting face to face gave the relationship a whole new significance. It opened our family’s eyes to Agnes’ world.”

Ruth concludes: “Now I am home I have resolved to write to Agnes more, as I understand the difference my encouragement makes. My family sponsored a child believing it would make a difference. Now we know firsthand that it really does.”

Becca Stanley

Words by Becca Stanley


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.