Giving back comes full circle

Former sponsored child Reni has built a successful career and gone on to sponsor children herself.

For Indonesian-born Reni Setianingrum, child sponsorship has been a gift that lasts a lifetime. The long-term support she received has had a lasting impact not only on Reni’s life, but also on the Australians who sponsored her – and now the children she herself has gone on to sponsor.

Reni, now 38, was sponsored by Tasmanian couple Lyn and Norm Huett when she was seven. At the time she was living in a Lombok orphanage, where her mother worked as a cook.

Inspired by Lyn and Norm’s letters, Reni began learning English. “It definitely gave me hope for me to keep on going, to study, and to be a good kid. Knowing that someone on the other side of the world, knowing that they care about me and making me feel part of the family, knowing life is not so bad, kept me going as a student,” she said.

Reni studied hard and finished school. She then secured a job on a mine in Indonesia. In 2006, she applied for a mining job in South Australia – and got it.

In 2013, Reni travelled to Tasmania to meet Lyn and Norm and personally thank them for the important role they played in her life. “It was amazing,” Reni said. “It’s like a dream come true, meeting the people that are part of me, who I am and what I’ve become now.”

Lyn and Norm also later met Reni’s parents, being among a proud group of family and friends attending her university graduation ceremony in Melbourne. The graduate diploma in management helped Reni gain her current role as a contracts coordinator in Adelaide.

Reni credits being sponsored as the spark that drove her to achieve. Aware of the opportunities she gained, she wanted to give something back – and now sponsors two children through World Vision.

“I want to repay the favour, I want to give hope to another child in a similar situation to where I was years ago,” Reni explained.

In 2013, she had the chance to meet her own sponsored child, Aldo, in Peru. “His family are farmers and [sponsorship has] given them facilities and training to manage animals. My donations also mean Aldo can do things like study and play soccer.”

Reni is living proof that giving to those in need can shape entire lives. “Sponsorship doesn’t just improve living conditions,” Reni said, “it gives children hope – and that’s the greatest gift of all.”

Reni with her former sponsors Lyn and Norm at her graduation ceremony in Melbourne.

Support children like Reni, who deserves the opportunity to grow up and live healthily. You can help turn a child’s life better and fill it with so much hope by Sponsoring A Child .