December 3 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an annual occasion designed to gather the support for people with disabilities in our communities, and raise awareness of the importance of creating a future with equal opportunity and no barriers for people with disabilities. For SIAP SIAGA, this means ensuring that people with disabilities are also empowered in the efforts of building local resilience in disaster preparedness.
Through one of the partners for PULIH BERSAMA, Konsorsium Swara Parangpuan, SIAP SIAGA assists local small business owners in Kupang to explore alternative viable business areas to the culinary industry most of them are currently working in. In September 2022, a Handicraft Workshop was held for three villages in the Kupang Regency. This workshop trained the participants to crochet products which are popular and in demand locally. The workshop instructor will also help the participants to market and sell the finished goods, giving them a new income alternative for their respective households.
Out of the 14 participants, two came from the disabled community with different sensory and physical disabilities. Ibu Adriana Rakmeni (pink clothing) was delighted to receive the handicraft training, especially because she’s previously always had very limited access to skill development due to her physical disability. The homemaker said that the training gave her an increased sense of self-confidence and she believes her newly-learned skills will help her contribute to her family financially. Fransiska Bureni (blue clothing) has a sensory impairment which meant she was unable to even finish primary school, but she has been supporting herself through her baking business. Siska, as she is more familiarly called, was thrilled to take part in the workshop. She admitted that she often applied to take part in workshops or training programs but always received rejection due to the prerequisites that ask for school certificates.
Through enrichment projects such as these, SIAP SIAGA hopes to contribute to the improved local resilience and the empowerment of the disabled persons in the community.