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A Day in the Life of a Child Development Center Worker

Posted By Oktovina Butarbutar On September 15, 2008 @ 1:00 am In Country Staff | 12 Comments

selvie Selvie, a 41-year-old single parent, has been serving as the coordinator of Elohim Child Development Center for almost two years now.

During her first year at the center, Selvie had been facing obstacles, which came from both her own family and the community around the center.

She had to take care of her two children and her new enlarged family. Her husband had left her after 16 years and left her in anguish. She moved back to her parents’ house, where her two siblings along with their families had just moved in, too.

The community doubted whether Selvie would be able to manage the ministry. They thought it was her fault that her family had been broken.

Surrendering to God’s will is what Selvie has been doing as well as raising her children. She has two children; the oldest, Indriani Natalia, graduated from college few months ago and the youngest, Aldo Aprillio Samuel, is in fifth grade now.

Selvie has been spending up to 12 hours a day for the ministry since appointed to be the center coordinator. Her daily activities are more or less the same:

  • shopping for the children’s meal
  • going to the center to help the cook prepare the meals and to clean up the church
  • checking the reports and the day’s scheduled program
  • having praise and worship with children
  • talking with parents
  • coordinating with staff members after the activity
  • going back home

Spend a day with Selvie

  • 5.30 a.m. — Selvie starts her day with a personal devotion. Moments like this are the only time she has for herself and to express her feelings to God. She no longer asks God for things because she does not want to have a high expectation and get hurt if it will not happen. She learns to surrender her life in God’s will.
  • 7:00 a.m. — Selvie shops at the traditional market for rice and other needs for the children’s meals. She does that because the cooks are busy, so she takes charge in advance. There are eight cooks who are divided into two shifts. Each shift consists of four cooks who work a week at a time.
  • 9:15 a.m. — At the center, Selvie helps the cook prepare their own breakfast and meals for children. At the same time, other workers are cleaning up the church. If they need help, Selvie won’t mind helping them since there nobody is appointed to clean the church.
  • 11:00 a.m. — Selvie checks the center reports for thirty minutes to one hour. Sometimes she continues sitting and thinking of new plans for children activities. This is the time when she can think clearly because the children haven’t come yet.
  • 12.15 p.m. — Selvie goes home for bathing. If she has time, she would take rest for thirty minutes or put clothes in order. But she rarely has the chance.
  • 1:45 p.m. — Selvie joins the children in praise and worship for fifteen to thirty minutes before the activities begin. It is the perfect time for her to interact with the children. She would ask children about their condition and whether they prayed for their parents and their school activities.
  • 2:00 p.m. — Selvie takes time to share children’s development and problems at the center with parents who wait outside the church.
  • 3:05 p.m. — Selvie and other center staff coordinate on every need. For example, a tutor reported that a nutrient for child growth is out of stock and so Selvie, without waiting for the tutors to finish the lessons, goes immediately to buy it despite the rain outside.
  • 4:30 p.m. -– As activities end, Selvie usually watches over the center staff who take turns to clean up the church.
  • 5:03 p.m. — Selvie and the tutors hold an informal meeting at the kitchen. They exchange information about the children’s problems and development and brainstorm ideas about what to do to help.
  • 6:03 p.m. — The dusk comes; it is time for Selvie to go home. Her house is a fifteen minute walk from the center. Many times, Selvie and her friends spend more time at her house and share more time together.

Each day is a tiring day. Nevertheless, like Jesus, Selvie does not complain about how tired she is. It is in the ministry and from children that she finds encouragement and a daily lesson for becoming like Jesus.

“For me, a true leader is the one who serves others, just like Jesus to His disciples. If you just command and ask your staff to do this and that but you don’t really do what you’ve said, you are not a good leader.”

In spite of all her activities, Selvie still makes time to prepare breakfast for Aldo, who goes to school at seven in the morning. She also utilizes her time to have a chat with both of her children when she gets home in the evening because she realizes that she is the only parent they have right now. She has never passed a day without spending time with them.


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