A Movement of Recovery

by Ines Wynn

There are quite a few addiction recovery programs in Bali and some of these were highlighted in an article I wrote in the BA edition of 6 July 2016. Undoubtedly more recovery centres have seen the light of day since then as these programs are sorely needed given the high rate of addiction in our society. Most of these programs –at least those catering to expats and foreign nationals- can be easily located with a Google search but to my knowledge there is no easy way to find a comparison site or a platform that allows people to have an overview of all the available services in a given area, especially lower-cost facilities and those catering to the Indonesian population. At least up till now.

As founder of Sivana Bali Rehabilitation Centre, Nev Doidge has been aware of this obvious lack of information, especially the alternatives to high-end, private treatment centres. What’s more, he also felt that addiction treatment and recovery programs often have a reputation of having to be ‘endured’ rather than enjoyed. He felt there should be a more joyful way for recovering addicts to look forward to a clean and purposeful life and all it has to offer; to truly celebrate their recovery process. For that two-pronged approach he created Movement of Recovery (MOR) Project, a platform specifically designed to be a gathering place for all information about recovery services available in Indonesia, using the organisation’s website and diverse social media platforms to reach people needing help. Besides publishing an index of the available services, the site also allows these providers to promote their services and share resources. MOR offers the marketing promotions to facilities that generally cannot afford to do so otherwise, to local NGOs, government facilities and private services alike.

At the same time MOR is also a place for recovering addicts to tell their story in 2 minute video clips and explain how they broke free from active addiction, giving an inside view into the lives of those who have found freedom from substance use and associated consequences. As such it is creating a tribe of brothers and sisters in recovery in Indonesia and abroad celebrating their success, sharing their stories across the media platforms and helping other addicts take the plunge into recovery.

In essence, Movement Of Recovery (MOR) is a lifestyle choice peer support system and the beginning of building community based resource centres whereby youth, those in recovery, and the larger community can feel supported and be encouraged to aspire to live healthy and productive lives. ’All are welcome’ says Nev, ‘as are all modalities and models of recovery rehabilitation.’

Nev Doidge has always had a bit of a reputation as a groundbreaker, always seeking new ways to help addicts regain a joyful hold of an addiction-free life. Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand he has been living in Bali for the past 7 years where he established the successful Sivana rehabilitation centre. As a professional Alcohol and Drug practitioner and Social Worker in the addiction field he wanted to push the challenge of recovery to new heights and saw the creation of the MOR Project as a fitting next step.

So he bought a camper van called Rosie -now sometimes dubbed as Valentino Rosie after the famed motorcycle racing champion- and formed a team with an Indonesian addiction professional named Johanes Maryono (Joh) and a crew of 11 volunteers from as far as New Zealand, Australia, Poland and Indonesia. Nev and Joh took off on a 20.000 km cross-island trip from Bali to Aceh and back to build momentum for the MOR Project.

‘Joh is an Indonesian addiction and recovery counsellor from Solo who’s been working in the field for 12 years and founded two low end facilities here in Indonesia’, says Nev. ‘He originally came to me looking for a job. He was given the option to do what he knows and what he’s good at for a great salary at Sivana or he could join me on a venture, building a voice of change through Indonesia by travelling on the road in a van with me and no pay. It speaks volumes about Joh’s commitment that he chose the MOR Project.’

During their travels, Nev and Joh comb the areas on their parcours to find lesser known programs and facilities that cater to addiction recovery and rehabilitation in order       to document the necessary information for the MOR database. As part of the documentation process they are recording, filming and promoting the local recovery services, offering a networking platform for services to promote themselves, share resources and information.

‘Movement Of Recovery MOR is an independent body that can reach many through our extensive social media network and website’ says Nev. ‘We are an international resource with a large potential to gather funding for initiatives furthering the growth of services, resources and recovery throughout Indonesia.’ He further explains that ‘the MOR project has a clear set of principles and values to which we adhere. One of these is that we do not critique any service or get involved or have opinion on political issues, with any person or institution. Our only reply or response is – how can we help?’

The MOR platform is used to build resources and funding initiatives to help and motivate addicts seeking treatment in Indonesia, to raise public awareness about available resources to treat addiction, to give addicts in recovery a chance to celebrate recovery and to break the stigma surrounding substance related issues and addiction and to promote the courageous and awesome work local services are providing in Indonesia while battling difficulties like lack of resources and funding. The team is using GoPro, drones and video on the road trip to capture the spirit of recovery in Indonesia and abroad.

The MOR website is still under construction and will launch early 2019 with a directory index of all treatment services available in Indonesia, contact information and video footage of that service. It is a service that can offer direct help to those seeking information for themselves, family members or friends. In the meantime the MOR team is using their social media network to promote and document their journey. MOR’s Facebook page contains videos and posts of many services and addicts in recovery, westerners and Indonesian people sharing their stories about their journey of recovery through social media. The video clips are in both English and Indonesian with translated subtitles.

The MOR project started in February this year and the movement is rapidly gaining momentum as substantiated by some 19.000 active followers on its Facebook page and the media attention from various local print and digital media. Newspaper articles on the venture through Sumatra have appeared in the Pekanbaru Tribune Newspaper and the Padang Metro newspaper. TV interviews in Lampung and Jakarta have hit the local airwaves and given impetus to the cause. MOR has also been featured on various media platforms such as Kumpuran, Liputan 6 and Kompass.

The Indonesian road trip started in Bali and wound its way through the major cities of Java, from Banyuwangi to Surabaya, Solo, Jogjakarta and Jakarta. From there the team crossed over to Sumatra and visited Lampung, Curup, Padang, Bukittinggi, Pekanbaru, Medan and Aceh. Aceh is the end point where the team began their return trip to home base Bali planning to arrive around the 1st of December. In all they will have travelled 20.000 km in 150 days.

Once in Bali they’ll recoup and begin uploading content to the website and social media networks and establish the first MOR community resource service in Bali. They are also planning to establish the next MOR project in Jogjakarta where the community has a serious need but lacks the resources. The project is a totally independent initiative steered by persons in recovery and all involved in the growth of recovery. It has no affiliation with Sivana Bali or any other organisation or institution in order to serve and remain a voice for all persons and all services related to recovery or those that support the cause.

This is not a moneymaking venture by any means and is currently funded entirely by Nev’s personal savings but initiatives are in discussion as to how to make the project an independent source where it generates its own self sustaining revenue. When that goal is reached, Nev wants to take the project one step further and establish an all-Asia database directory service for persons and families seeking help from substance related issues, not just for Indonesia.

Sometime next year the team will travel to New Zealand and Australia showcasing the MOR journey and the need for support in Indonesia to further the growth of recovery. They will do this through their social media network, video footage and presentations. MOR can produce many different videos to promote the growth of recovery in Indonesia and abroad and allow people to donate and fund different causes undertaken by the MOR Project.

When queried about the highlights on this trip so far, Nev mentioned his great delight at being welcomed into Indonesian recovery services, homes and government agencies throughout Java and Sumatra. ‘It’s been a massive insight for me as a Bule, seeing the want and spirit of Indonesia and those seeking recovery, looking into the eyes of young Indonesians and knowing the consequences of drug use do not discriminate. It has been truly inspirational to see that MOR is able to instil the desire for a joyful recovery among Indonesian addicts and that the signs are there it will make some serious positive change together with other existing persons and organisations that are doing great service and supporting the cause here in Indonesia. The MOR project asks and invites those in recovery, those that support the cause, and the larger community to help build and support the MOR Project in helping create a place of hope, love and support and lead the way to healthy lifestyle choices.’

www.movementofrecovery.org – (Website due to launch early 2019)