Indonesia: "I Want To Be Part Of WFP When I Grow Up"
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Published on 18 November 2010

Armana is conversing with Remin, his grandfather. He told Remin about WFP's works in his school, providing high nutrient biscuits to the elementary school children under the School Meals programme. Copyright: WFP/Mitra Salima

Armana may seem like a regular elementary school student in SDN Filial, North Lombok. He goes to school and receive WFP’s high nutrient biscuits everyday. He goes home to his family and spends the whole afternoon with them at home. But little that other people know, Armana possesses a great humanitarian spirit as a young boy who has a less fortunate life and a heavy load on his back.

Armana has always been his friend’s favorite for his friendliness. He and his friends receive WFP’s high nutrient biscuit as morning snack everyday. But not only he receives WFP’s assistance, Armana understands well what the assistance does to him and his friends, and he dreams to be a part of WFP one day when he grows up. Armana lives very close to his school, with his extended family in the same compound. When we visited his house, he told us that during the day his father and step mother will be in the field working and almost everyday after school, he would join his parents to help them. At home, his grand parents take care of the children. Armana’s mother passed away three years ago when giving birth to his sister Suci.

In front of his house, the family has a traditional gazebo where the family gathers to spend time. Armana is very close to his grandfather, Remin, and he likes telling Remin about his daily activities in school. That day, Remin was a little surprised to see the WFP staff that came home with his grandson. I was even more surprised to hear how Armana explained about WFP and the programmes to Remin.

He started by explaining about WFP humanitarian works in his school, the kind of assistance he receives everyday, why do the kids need high nutrient biscuits for their cognitive and physical growth. Their conversation led me to ask Armana his point of view about such work and he excitedly replied saying that he is very lucky to be one of WFP’s beneficiaries and one day hope to grow the same initiative by working with the WFP team. “Wouldn’t it be great if many more children in the future can have the proper growth? Then Indonesia will become a developed country,” he said. To me, a surprising comment coming from a little boy.

Armana helps his grandmother to look after his sister later in that afternoon. Being a big brother, he keeps saying to his sister ‘Go to sleep, when you wake up, we’ll watch movies together, okay? What do you want to see? Let’s watch Robocop!”. As the day gets late, WFP team prepared to head back to Mataram. As Armana waved goodbye, he said he will never forget us and hope that we’ll keep him our minds.

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About the author

Mitra Salima Suryono

Public Information Office at the World Food Programme Indonesia office

Mitra is currently working as Public Information Office at the World Food Programme Indonesia office, while also take the responsibilities Reporting Officer and Private Sector Assistant. The two functions in WFP allow Mitra to directly be in touch with WFP's beneficiaries in NTT and NTB, two of several provinces in Indonesia with the highest malnutrition rates. Most of the beneficiaries Mitra wrote about are the primary school children who received food aid through WFP's School Meals Programme.