Saturday, 17 February 2023. The weather started to get cloudy at 09.15 WITA. Inside the room, it feels cooler, and the vaccination participants don’t seem in a hurry. All available seats are filled. Approximately 3-4 people come every 10 minutes.
A woman with firm steps enters the Bali Bersama Bisa Mental Healthcare (BBBMH) Foundation office in Dalung. Her name is Maya (34). One child is carried on the right side while the other is running around, aged two. Her father and mother followed behind him, with their husbands, watching their children pacing back and forth. This room is not as large as a hall or meeting hall, but it is proportional. There is no queue until abandoned. All health workers work from their desks, from screening until the vaccine injection is complete.
Precisely at 10.10, she received a third dose of vaccine injections (first booster). While waiting for the vaccine certificate and data registration to the Peduli Protect Application, Maya talked.
“At that time, we should have wanted the first booster together, but I was sick and pregnant. So it’s not allowed. It was probably early last year. So the others have, I don’t. That’s why we waited until now,” she said.
Maya along with her mother
Vaccination information she got from her sister-in-law was accessed via the WhatsApp group of the church group she joined. Maya and her family left Jimbaran for Dalung, nearly an hour away. Vaccination is essential for them.
“We are all in one family (COVID-19), except for Maya. At first, I did because there was comorbid diabetes. Then the doctor said, try to check it, and it’s true. It turns out I was positive. Finally, all checks and indeed positive. My husband was the worst at that time, being treated for up to 40 days in the hospital. February, on his birthday, the year 2021,” said her mother.
While her father was in the hospital, other family members took turns to monitor his health condition. One day, Maya, her mother, and her husband were also exposed to COVID-19 and were required to self-isolate. This critical situation one year ago has fortunately passed. Awareness of health and immunity is increasing. They prioritize it.
This vaccination activity is part of the Bali Province Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination Acceleration Program (VACCINE) carried out by the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Health Resilience (AIHSP) through Save the Children Indonesia (SCI) and the IDEP Foundation besides that also involving several communities and BBBMH as the host. The vaccination center was also managed in collaboration with doctors and medical personnel from the North Kuta Health Center, Badung.
In particular, this inclusive vaccination program also targets vulnerable groups, especially older people, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. Angga (31) is one of the participants with a quadriplegic disability. At 10.30, he was waiting for the vaccine certificate. He used to use a wheelchair for his mobility. “Not long ago (wheelchair). I just got it yesterday. Someone donated it,” the father explained.
Since two years ago, Angga has been vaccinated. This is not just an obligation, he said. Vaccination is one of the government’s appeals, but he realizes that immunity and health are also essential to pay attention to.
Angga lives in the Padangsambian area with his parents and two younger siblings, who are still studying at SMK PGRI 5, and the youngest is four years old and still attending kindergarten. While the second sister is married and living in Brisbane, Australia, followed by her third sister studying in Sydney, Australia.
Angga and his father who always accompanied his son’s steps
This man is active in community activities. It’s just a matter of will, he thought because his disability didn’t lead him to lose any traces of hope. Social relations are constantly maintained, and support is often found from friends. For three years, he spent much time at a foundation in Tampaksiring.
“Now I’m participating at Graha Nawasena Disability Hope House, Denpasar City, on Jalan Cambodia number 4. I’m participating everywhere, yes, as long as there is a disabled community I’ll join,” a loose smile accompanied his words.
Many people started independent businesses when the pandemic came suddenly in March 2020. Some of Angga’s friends were involved in the culinary field, and some were selling incense. He chose another commodity: organic fertilizer. “If food is already mainstream, there’s a lot of it. Even though fertilizer has few buyers, it’s not too many sellers,” he said.
Facebook is the only medium for selling to date. The number of buyers was far below expectations, so he needed to take advantage of the advertising promotion feature. Support from family continues to flow, likewise with one of his pals in Malang, East Java. From him, he was inspired to become a Content Creator. Even though it never occurred to me at all why someone should have ideals.
“My dream has been to become a content creator since the boom. I also have a disabled content creator friend. He was born without hands. He’s one of my inspirations too. He has content called Roti Gaming, focused on e-sports,” he said.
Angga admits he needs to keep learning to understand his condition, including other people’s views on disabilities and the limited space for movement. He once criticized himself and made fun of him. He thought at that time, rejecting yourself was necessary.
“Excuse me, with disabilities want to pass. That’s what I often say when I’m meeting people. When I’m sad, I immediately think it’s time to make peace with the situation. And hopefully, you can truly accept and make peace with the situation.”
If the story was compared to what was seen that day, Angga changed a lot. Half the time we talk is used to joke. He often laughed and discussed other businesses he was hoping for. “Come on, let’s go home,” said his father. Angga walked with the wheelchair, assisted by his father, to where his mother awaited. They walked to the exit.
Article & Photo: Nicolaus Sulistyo © IDEP Foundation