8 April 2022. As part of the VOICE-funded Pakarena project, the Sipakatau-Pakarena teams (young people affected by leprosy) conducted three Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA) exercises with older persons affected by leprosy. The meetings served to determine their needs and took place in April 2022 in Gowa, South Sulawesi.
The youth teams had previously been trained and had practiced facilitation of PRA. They used mapping as a tool to engage the participants and motivate them to tell about their life situation. While drawing a map of their community, they together discussed problems and unmet needs of the participants, most of whom live in poor economic conditions and many have disabilities and wounds.
The young people did a great job and were very engaged in talking to the old participants, learning from them and motivating them.
The needs and issues identified as a result of the discussions were then pasted on a wall for all to see. Next, participants were asked to rank them based on impact and importance to them. Based on the ranking, possible solutions were then discussed together. What can the elderly do to improve their situation? Where can the youth teams of young people affected by leprosy help?
In general, most of the problems revolved around state support, economic problems and poor housing conditions. Chronic wounds posed another serious problem because professisonal wound care for people affected by leprosy is nowadays almost impossible to obtain in Indonesia.
The Sipakatau-Pakarena teams have done a great job and will not stop there but will take the next step to lobbying local government and other stakeholders to address issues.
We thank VOICE for supporting this important project. 2