BILiC helps Indonesian man Ujang find confidence and new friends

Stories | May 27, 2022

Bandung Independent Living Centre empowers people with disabilities to connect and build social networks,  forging independent lives where they can flourish.

Young adults like 19-year-old Ujang Andi found friendship and peer support thanks to ‘Tangguh Mandiri’ (Tough Independent), a group run by BILiC.  

Ujang lives in a village in Indonesia. Before joining the peer support group, Ujang was self-conscious about his deformed arm. A self-confessed introvert, he didn’t socialise much, especially with new people.

When Yanwar, the BILiC community organiser, visited Ujang for the first time, Ujang was surprised that someone with a similar physical disability could travel and visit with people. He was even more surprised when Yanwar said he wanted to bring Ujang to social activities at BILiC.

With Yanwar’s support, Ujang stepped outside his comfort zone. He met other people who weren’t ashamed of their disabilities, and they became friends.

During training sessions run by BILIC, Ujang learned about disability rights and realised the many opportunities he had missed throughout his life – including access to education and employment.

Bullying had forced Ujung out of school when he was younger – he now hopes to continue his education. Being a member of the peer support group has also increased his self-esteem, and he has become more involved in his community.

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) for this project.

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