Don’t be shy. I used to be like you

Mental-health, Stories | September 14, 2023

At 41 years old, Wahono is a confident man who runs his own catfish farming business. But this wasn’t always the case.

At the end of high school, Wahono began experiencing mental health condition which made him withdraw and isolate himself from his family and friends. After being referred to a hospital for treatment, Wahono’s mental health is now stable. He takes medication and has regular visits with a doctor, both of which have helped him to not have a relapse in a very long time.

Yet, Wahono’s journey has not been easy. Before becoming involved in one of CBM Australia’s mental health projects in Indonesia, Wahono was an incredible shy man that lacked confidence. This all changed when he joined a Self-Help Group supported by one of CBM Australia’s mental health projects in Indonesia. Through the group, Wahono learnt not only how to manage his own mental health, but he also got the chance to connect with other people with mental health conditions. This provided Wahono with the supportive environment he needed to build his skills and courage to be able to interact and socialise with others. Now, instead of being scared to talk to other people, Wahono is the one initiating conversations! 

“Don’t be shy. I used to be like you. I am your friend”, said Wahono to his friend who had just joined the Self-Help Group (SHG) meeting. 

With his newfound confidence, Wahono also decided he wanted to make money of his own, instead of relying on the support of his brother. After watching his brother manage his catfish farming business at home, Wahono also became interested in catfish farming. And so, he learnt how to farm catfish, from preparing the pond to harvesting the fish. This made Wahono a perfect candidate to receive a small business start-up kit through the CBM supported project.

In March 2023, Wahono received a pond, catfish fingerlings, and fish feed to start up his own business. The pond was placed right next to his house, making it easy for Wahono to feed and monitor his fish every day. By June, Wahono was ready for his first harvest. With help from his brother, they harvested, weighed and cleaned 14kg of fish, which they then sold via WhatsApp. Wahono made sure to record all his harvests and sales, and then save his money so that he could expand his business.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Wahono.  

 Wahono with his catfish pond
CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and thanks our implementing partner Pusat Rehabilitasi YAKKUM. 

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