Supporting the rights of people with disabilities is a core focus for the work of Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) in Indonesia.
Through local partner Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Community Development Studies (CDRM&CDS) people learn to accept and support community members with disabilities.
To hear Niaman talk about how she felt when her daughter Olieria was born, it is clear this is a critical need.
“When Olieria was born, it was such a big shock to me. At first I felt really disappointed. When I saw the other women with their babies, and then looked at Olieria, I would cry. We did not have very much money, and I was worried. What will happen to her when her parents die? Who will look after her?”
When families already live in poverty, the challenge of a child with a disability can be overwhelming, especially when other community members may not realise how much such a child can achieve.
ALWS, working with the support of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), is equipping and training local churches to support their communities – an approach that has changed Niaman’s life and that of her family.
“CDRM&CDS have helped change my feelings. They have assisted our family to increase our income through pigs and chickens. They also support Olieria to go to school. She tells me she is very happy when she can play with her friends. Olieria helps me around the house too. Now I feel more confident for Olieria and her future. Olieria has a strong spirit inside. She hopes she can one day be a teacher. This makes me happy.”