May 2023. The last workshop for our young Sipakatau and Pakarena teams affected by leprosy took place on 19-21 May 2023 in the mountains of Malino in South Sulawesi. Sadly, the VOICE project will come to an end after 2×2 years. This last gathering brought together not only the young VOICE teams but also other young people affected by leprosy from a number of districts in South Sulawesi. They had the opportunity to meet friends, the VOICE teams shared their experiences from the project, and together they made plans for cross-district collaboration to stop stigma and increase participation.
The overall topic of the workshop was ‘public speaking’. In several sessions, the young people learnt about leprosy and how to raise awareness in community and schools. Young members of the VOICE teams, meanwhile capabe facilitators, had prepared and carried out these sessions!
The participants had a lot of fun and went home with many new experiences and insights. However, there were also moments of deep sadness as some young people shared their grief at having to live with the consequences of leprosy. The recent death of a young girl was very present in our thoughts and feelings.
We thank VOICE for their support all these years, without which this amazing group of young people would not have the voice they have today!
The project is implemented by PerMaTa South Sulawesi and YDTI.
Voice is a consortium managed by Oxfam Novib and funded by The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.