Papua Indonesia Student Dorms: Meet Irianti
Irianti is pictured between Berta and Desi, two classmates from her village.
Irianti is in the 10th grade and blossoming into a beautiful young woman. She came to us as an insecure, timid 2nd grader when we opened one of our Ob Anggen campuses on the side of the cloudy, cold mountain where she lives. Irianti has now lived in our dorm for nearly three years.
Very few girls are sent to school in the remote areas of Papua. Less than 10 percent graduate from high school. Most girls are married off at 13 or 14 years of age before they get pregnant, which compromises their bride price and can often lead to major conflict and even tribal war.
To keep their language and culture and to support their families, our students return home every three weeks during the semester, as well as for Christmas and summer breaks.
Irianti shared how when she was home working in the garden with her mother and aunties, they told her what a waste of money it was to educate her. These beliefs and words initially entrapped Irianti, causing her to doubt her value and avoid the risks of trying to learn new skills.
But over these last three years in the dorm, she has started to believe that she has worth and that she is a daughter of the King. She is bravely trying new things. We are so proud to watch her confidently leading worship, asking to learn to use the lawn mower, learning carpentry, and expressing excitement about being in our trail-bike club.
This week she will speak before the president of the largest denomination in Papua and some government dignitaries. More importantly, she speaks with the King—her Father in heaven—daily.
Alliance Women has a goal to raise $36,500 to help fund the construction costs of a family-style dorm that will provide a safe place for students like Irianti to belong.
For more information on how you can give to this project, please visit www.alliancewomen.org/give.