Petrus Widjaja
   The Ricebowl

I first met petrus in February 1992. He and his wife Sri were on a short visit to Australia and came to my house with George and Ruth Ashworth for dinner.

Some friends and i had a most informative evening, looking at some of the work of Hope for the Children in Malang, Indonesia and hearing from Petrus himself.

My family and i had corresponded with him for many years through our sponsorship of a student under the Hope for the Children sponsorship plan.

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I thought it might be timely to revisit some of the ways we assist children in Indonesia. I have put the ricebowl on the list of things to which you may donate, if you wish. I transfer all monies regularly to Indonesia, where it goes into the HFTC a/c in Malang. From this a/c Petrus withdraws money to meet the needs of each child on our program. None of your children miss out on anything your money is intended to cover. As the real amount needed by each child, each year, varies, there is always money left over and this is what we call the 'Ricebowl'.

We use this for any medical and dental emergencies of our sponsored children; for the food parcel which we give to each family every two to three months (cooking oil, rice, sugar & condensed milk, depending on how much money we have at the time); for special assistance of children who are between sponsors, which happens from time to time; to assist some children whose parents are in temporary financial difficulties (a very short term solution).

So, a little of your money sits in the ricebowl for these emergencies, but we can always use more, because there are always more needy children.... and this is a nice way for someone you might know to donate if they cannot actually sponsor a child, but they would like to help in some way...

I love the concept of the ricebowl - so simple, but so profound.