Misereor Germany supports us in a project in the districts of Bantaeng and Barru in South Sulawesi. We are again working closely with the activists of PerMaTa South Sulawesi. In addition to the management team with Pak Al Kadri and Yuliati, we have assembled a team of young persons affected by leprosy from Gowa to implement the peer-to-peer approach in the new districts.
Our objectives in this 3-year project are:
1. Young people affected by leprosy in Bantaeng and Barrru have overcome their self-stigmatization and participate in society.
2. Fulfillment of the rights and needs of people affected by leprosy in Bantaeng and Barru has improved.
3. The concept of empowerment in youth groups of people affected by leprosy is expanding to other areas (snowball system).
In the first year (2022) the focus was on Bantaeng where the PerMaTa Gowa team accompanied a new team of three young persons affected by leprosy. Together they provided information about leprosy in communities and in schools and they supported a number of young affected people so that they could participate again in their families and communities.
In year two (2023) the focus is now on Barru and the work with young people there. In Bantaeng, the new team of young people started working independently.
In year three (2024) both new teams (Barru and Bantaeng) will have their turn identifying other young people in their district and involving them in community awareness activities, home visits and advocacy.
The empowerment of (young) people affected by leprosy is one of the priorities of PerMaTa South Sulawesi – YDTI. This project is part of an ongoing program to bring young people affected by leprosy out of their self-isolation and to use their potential as agents of change. Once people begin to recognize their own worth, they are able to participate more in society and build independent lives. Ideally they will form their own PerMaTa districts chapters and remain active to help ending stigma and discrimination, thereby contributing to end the transmission of leprosy.