Many disabled children in Indonesia have a difficult time getting access to an education. One man is trying to change that, starting with his own neighbourhood. Bandung, Indonesia – Tatang was seven years old when a surgery to improve his failing vision went wrong and robbed him of his sight altogether. “When I came home from the hospital, my heart was broken, I was a wreck,” he told Al Jazeera. Eventually, with the support of friends and advice from other blind people, he picked himself back up, learned braille and went on to study anthropology at university. When he returned home after graduation, he realised there were no educational facilities for children with disabilities in his community. With financial support from his brother, he set up a school in his own home, teaching children how to read braille. Today, many years later, the school accommodates dozens of children with different needs. Along with the blind, deaf children are taught sign language with the help of volunteers, and children with Down syndrome get the attention they need. At times, Tatang struggles to keep the school operating. “Following my brother’s death, things have been very difficult for me, because not only the school, but my personal life was subsidized by him,” he says. Most of his students come from families below the poverty line, making it impossible for them to pay any kind of tuition fee towards the upkeep of the school. Educational opportunities for disabled children in Indonesia remain limited. The Indonesian government says it’s working towards change, and passed a new disability rights law in 2016. More recently Tatang has been receiving some limited financial assistance from the local government, but he still relies heavily on donations from fellow Indonesians to stay afloat. “I’ve never thought of giving up. No matter what, the students here are my responsibility, and I have to educate them, so they can have a bright future.” Filmmaker: Hassan Ghani Assistant Producer: Surya Fachrizal Translation: Nurfitri Taher Executive Producer: Andrew Phillips – Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe – Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish – Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera – Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

Category:

World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

eight + twenty =