March 2023. Takahiro Nanri and Chikako Masuzaki from the Sasakawa Health Foundation (SHF), Japan, visited PerMaTa and YDTI in South Sulawesi. Their aim was to assess the situation of people affected by leprosy and the work of PerMaTa South Sulawesi and YDTI. On the first day, a meeting with the team from Gowa and Makassar took place in our office. Salma reported on the status of our microcredit scheme, which was launched in 2021 with SHF support and is going well, and Yuli gave an overview of our current activities. Pak Taka asked PerMaTa members about their motivation for becoming activists and what kind of leader they would like to be. He was pleased and surprised to find that they all had very clear ideas about what they wanted to achieve, which was to help others affected by leprosy.
On the second day, we visited Pak Hassan and Taslim in their homes in Gowa, as examples of people we help with rehabilitation and peer support. We then attended a meeting of our VOICE youth group in Gowa and discussed their work and challenges. 3
The 3rd day was spent in Bantaeng district: the PerMaTa teams from Bulukumba and Bantaeng reported on their activities, their hopes and their challenges. We then went to Jeneponto district to meet Pak Rinal from the Leprosy Control Programme and to visit two affected people, both in very poor condition and in need of much more peer motivation and rehabilitation. Finally, on day 4, we met the Jeneponto team and discussed our plans for the future.
Thank you very much for this visit, Taka and Chikako!