Increasing self-worth and overcoming self-stigma of young people affected by leprosy by helping elderly people affected by leprosy to meet their basic needs through problem solving and advocacy at the local government and other activities.
This project, funded by VOICE, is the acceleration of the Sipakatau project 2018-2020. The young people of Sipakatau are now supporting a new group of young people: Pakarena.
This process of facilitation, couching and knowledge transfer from the old Sipakatau team to the new Pakarena team is done, as in the first phase of the project, by helping other people: Young people experience what they can change, how important they are for the community, how much they can help other people. This time we have chosen old people affected by leprosy as our target group. In the first phase, it was iliterate women and people with disabilities.
The older generations of leprosy affected people did not have the benefit of multi-drug treatment that cures leprosy within a year. As a result, they have severe disabilities that worsen with age. This affects their economic situation, income and general living conditions. Many elderly people affected by leprosy have experienced stigmatisation and discrimination throughout their lives, they have not had the opportunity to receive an education, are unable to participate in the community, are excluded from society and often even from the family. Women are particularly affected as it is more difficult for them to earn an income if they have a disability and are stigmatised because of leprosy (e.g. in the food sector).
The 2 year project started with refresher training to further increase the capacities of the Sipakatau team. Their first task then was to identify other young people affected by leprosy in the three new sub-districts of Gowa, South Sulawesi. They visited them and started a dialogue, introducing PerMaTa and their work, and inviting them to join the Pakarena team. The next step for the Sipakatau team was then to transfer their knowledge and experience to the new members through discussions, workshops and field work.
After this, the community work for both teams began. The Sipakatau team guided the new Pakarana team. They identified elderly persons affected by leprosy and visited them to introduce PerMaTa and invite them to joint activities.
Through a PRA (participatory rural appraisal) workshop, young and old will identify needs faced by the elderly people and discuss feasible solutions. This dialogue continued in monthly group meetings facilitated by Sipakatau-Pakarena pairs. The young people shared the results of their discussions and possible solutions with the responsible local government offices through visits to the offices and advocate for support.
The acceleration project started with a refresher training to further build the capacity of the Sipakatau team. Their first task was then to identify other young people with leprosy in three new sub-districts of Gowa, South Sulawesi. They visited them and started a dialogue, introducing PerMaTa and their work and inviting them to join the Pakarena team. The next step for the Sipakatau team was to share their knowledge and experience with the new members through discussions, workshops and field work.
After that, both teams started working in the community. The Sipakatau team guided the new Pakarana team. They identified older people affected by leprosy and visited them to introduce PerMaTa and invite them to joint activities.
In PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) workshops, young and old identified the needs of the elderly and discussed feasible solutions. This dialogue continued in monthly group meetings led by Sipakatau-Pakarena pairs. The young people shared the results of their discussions and possible solutions with the relevant local government agencies by visiting them and asking for support.
Another part of the project addressed economic opportunities for affected people. We held a series of workshops to find out and make people understand, especially young people, what their goals, hopes, barriers, solutions are in the field of income generation. Based on this, we organised vocational trainings and training on how to, for example, write a CV, how to behave in a job interview. These trainings and workshops were also used by the young and old people to connect, to help each other, to share concerns. A strong community of people affected by leprosy grew out of it. We thank VOICE for these years of support!!