published in ChildrenDisability on April 4, 2018

From tears… to teacher

One of the most important things you do through ALWS is help people in developing communities learn to accept and support community members with special needs.

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From tears to teacher

You can see why this is a critical need when you hear mum, Niamen, from Indonesia talk about her daughter Olieria.

“When Olieria was born, it was such a big shock to me.

I at first felt really disappointed. My husband was away, and the staff in the hospital separated me from my new baby for two days.

When I saw the other women with their babies, and then looked at Olieria, I would cry.

Some of my family and friends though helped me realise she is still a gift from God.

We did not have very much money, and I was worried. I would often be crying when I think of the future for Olieria. What will happen to her when her parents die? Who will look after her?”

When families already live in poverty, the challenge of a child with special needs can be overwhelming – especially when other community members may not realise how much such a child can achieve.

That’s why it’s so exciting to see the change that is happening thanks to the kindness of the ALWS family, working with Australian Government support, in Indonesia.

Your help is implemented by our Indonesian partner CDRM&CDS, equipping and training local Lutheran churches to support their communities.

Niaman describes what this partnership is doing in her family’s life:

“CDRM&CDS have helped change my feelings.

They have assisted our family to increase our income through pigs and chickens.

They also support Olieria to go to school. She tells me she is very happy when she can play with her friends.

Olieria helps me around the house too. She says the hardest is doing the kitchen work – the sweeping, and washing the dishes, because things sometimes slip from her arms.

Now I feel more confident for Olieria and her future. Olieria has a strong spirit inside. Even if some people tease her or some friends treat her like she is strange, she is simply silent.

Olieria hopes she can one day be a teacher. This makes me happy.”

Niaman