The unfolding impact on the livelihoods for many in the communities CBM Australia and our partner organisation work in, presents another dimension of the COVID-19 crisis.
Updates from our Country Office in Indonesia have reiterated that many people are now facing economic hardship resulting from the pandemic. “I am sad because the demand of my product decrease. Many shops and market stop ordering my product,” states small-business entrepreneur, Hascaryo.
Hascaryo, who lives with mental illness, has witnessed a significant downturn in his business making paper boxes because of the current COVID-19 lockdown across Indonesia. He, like many other small businesses, is concerned for his future livelihood in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. And he is not alone. Other small business owners, many of whom live with disabilities, noted similar challenges, including the closure of many of the stands and bazaars where these traders would gather together to sell their goods. Now that those bazaars and stands are closed, these traders have seen a drastic reduction in their income.
For many people within these communities the loss of livelihood is not only a loss in income but also in social engagement and interaction, but also necessary support and therapy groups are unavailable as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. “We cancelled all meetings and therapy activities,” writes Sumarsih, an advocate for the Self-Help Group Sinar Sejahtera in Malang, East Java.
Sumarsih notes “…almost all Self-Help Group members have their home business, a small grocery shop, and they are now having income decrease since most of people do not go out for direct shopping.”
The impacts of COVID-19 have been extensive for people living with disabilities. Together with partner organisations, CBM Australia has been committed to supporting these communities in East Java and are working to provide much-needed assistance during this challenging time.
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