A Guiding Light for the Visually Impaired

November 22, 2019
Therapy Pool at Rawinala Foundation - A Guiding Light for the Visually Impaired

Indonesia’s geo-political history has established and shaped a highly diverse environment and society. The Indonesian archipelago represents a major juncture of Earth’s tectonic plates, a bustling convergence nexus of people and cultures between Oceania, mainland Asia and the world for over a millennium. Similarly to Indonesia’s rich past of diversity and unity, Rawinala Foundation has been living up to these national attributes by showing the light to people with disabilities all across Indonesia. Rawinala, meaning “light of the heart” in ancient Javanese, is committed to becoming a comprehensive service center for people with multiple disabilities and visual impairments (MDVI) in Indonesia.

In 1973, the Dwituna Education Foundation Rawinala was formed by several Javanese Christian Church activists to address the 30,000 children across Indonesia with MDVI. Of the great number of children with MDVI, merely 1% is fortunate to have access and receive the appropriate education and care by trained professionals. MDVI receives little to no public exposure, leading to minimal recognition of the condition and as a result, limited support from the government and the general public. 

According to the official data of the Indonesian government, 33% of all children with MDVI in Indonesia live in families earning under $2 USD a day. As a direct consequence, children with disabilities have a higher likelihood to experience poor health through malnutrition and lack of access to clean water and additional health services. Adequate support is necessary to avoid further widening the social gap between these children and the society at large. 

Despite the high expenses and requirement for human resources, Rawinala Foundation has trained 30 teachers from across Indonesia to enhance their special education skills and support students with MDVI. Additionally to the Foundation’s inspirational cause, the Foundation and its teachers assist in the fight to address multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as improving the quality of education (SDG 4), reducing inequalities (SDG 10), and improving the well being of the children (SDG 3).     

Rawinala Foundation is on course to building and opening its very own school this year to accommodate the 61 MDVI students. This major achievement would not have come to fruition without donations.  

The future of this establishment and the 30,000 MDVI children is significant. Thanks to the generosity of CAF America’s donors, Rawinala Foundation is able to expand its invitation to a growing number of disabled children across Indonesia. To learn more, please visit rawinala.org.

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