11 December 2020

A little child … a long walk … a rocky road … and no shoes. 

Twice a day.

Five times a week.

This is life for thousands of Christian children in one of Indonesia’s poorest provinces. They must walk to school barefoot because their parents cannot afford to buy them proper shoes. And at the end of their lessons, tired and hungry, they must walk all the way home again, picking their way amongst the sharp stones.

Christian schoolchildren praying in their simple classroom in Soe, on the island of Timor. Soe is the capital of one of the poorest districts in all Indonesia

The more fortunate children have flip-flops, called locally sandal jepit – meaning “pinch sandals” – because you have to grip them with your toes. It’s not very easy for a long walk over rough ground, and not very healthy for young growing feet.

Only a very few have suitable shoes.

Make it a Christmas to remember – with a pair of shoes

Christians in Indonesia asked Barnabas to provide proper school shoes for poor Christian children. A local shoe company, owned by a Christian, is offering to provide the shoes at a 67% discount, so that means paying only one-third of the normal price.

A pair of quality trainers, with stout soles, will therefore cost just £10 ($13; €11).

Only three of this group of 28 children, pictured outside their church on Sumba island, have proper shoes. Altogether 155 children in this church need school shoes

The Christmas when they receive a gift of school shoes will be “very memorable and beneficial” for the poor Christian children in East Nusa Tenggara province, says Barnabas Fund’s Indonesia coordinator.

Poverty due to discrimination

East Nusa Tenggara province has been neglected for many years by the central Indonesian government because its population are mainly Christians, and the province has very few natural resources of its own. The many unpaved roads are just one aspect of its under-development. Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country where radical Islam is on the rise and there is a growing intolerance of Christians.

A Christmas present of a pair of shoes like this would make 2020 a truly memorable Christmas for a Christian child in East Nusa Tenggara who has never had proper shoes before

Give one more gift this Christmas

Seventeen groups of Christian children have been selected to receive a Christmas pair of shoes. These comprise 15 schools in the western half of the island of Timor, and the children of churches on two much smaller islands, Rote and Sumba.

Will you partner with us to make a dream come true for 2,851 Indonesian Christian children?

Your gift of £10 ($13; €11) will buy one pair of children’ school shoes.

Give now and make 2020 a Christmas to be talked about for years to come amongst our needy brothers and sisters in East Nusa Tenggara.

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