The days here are so long and so full of stories and people that it is impossible to tell them in a few lines. We had the opportunity to live a moment too important not to be told. We were invited to Defi’s home and we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the reality that parents of children and teens with disabilities are facing every day.
Defi’s parents told us that she started to talk only after she was four years old; she had difficulties interacting with other children. Indonesian culture doesn’t help the acceptance and the sharing of disabilities but her parents haven’t lost faith. With courage and willingness they tried to understand what could help their child.
The school system is organised in two types of school: regular and special. The special school is divided into three classes—one for deaf children, one for blind children and the last one for all intellectual disabilities, without distinction. Defi’s family has decided to enrol her in a special class, thinking that it would be more suitable. It wasn’t an easy choice because this meant a lower chance of inclusion and also accepting that their daughter has a disability.
Day by day Defi grew up, showing a talent for singing. She has a gift. It’s easy for her to learn any song and interpret it with great passion. We had the lucky chance to listen to her singing and it was a kind of magic; there was just her voice in the room, the light in her eyes and the emotion we felt in listening. It’s as if her talent was fighting all her problems/difficulties’. It was like the music could clear all the difficulties for a few minutes.
Obviously, it cannot be that simple but I think the family was able to look with the eyes of those who can see beyond the surface. It’s thanks to this that Defi can have the opportunity to follow her dreams and to build her future.
We came out of that house with the great desire Defi will find, on her way, people able to help and accompany her, like the volunteers of Save the Children. Despite our optimism, we remain painfully aware that there is still a lot work to do; that many children are still far from being included and that families are not adequately supported. We come back home with the hope of listening again to Defi’s beautiful voice.