Purnawan Budisetia is an award-winning leader and innovator of charitable causes in Bali and has worked in social services for 27 years. Born in Jakarta and growing up in Semarang, he moved to Salatiga, Central Java in 1986 to attend college. After graduating with an Agronomist Bachelor degree from Satya Wacana University, he taught horticulture in Bandungan, Central Java for an educational organization. He moved to Bali in 1990. From 2005 to 2007, he worked for the IDEP Foundation as coordinator in their permaculture program. In 2001, Pak Purnawan together with the late doctor Jonathan Mulia, founded Yayasan Peduli Kemanusiaan, a non-profit whose main goal is the rehabilitation and support of people with disabilities.
What inspired you to establish YPK Bali?
YPK was set up in response to the crying need to rehabilitate poor people by providing affordable, caring and professional services. Since its inception, YPK Bali has helped 21,968 patients through a number of multidisciplinary therapy programs. I became director of the group in 2007.
Do the national and provincial governments give YPK financial or material support?
Help from the Bali government is limited. They have their own disability programs, mostly by giving direct cash assistance. However, the government supports disabled programs of institutions and NGOs by providing assistance with registration, legal documents and administration through various government bureaus.
Do you offer phyiscal therapy?
In 2001, we opened the rehabilitation centre which provides individualized rehabilitation for people with disabilities to effectively increase their movement, function and strength. Our various therapies optimise their ability to undertake daily activities independently. The treatments incorporate physiotherapy, occupational therapy, gym exercise and music therapy. We also teach daily living skills like cooking and gardening. Since 2001, YPK has assisted 1,092 people with integrated rehabilitation treatment.
Where do you get YPK staff?
Our staff are full time and salaried. We do have a few experienced volunteers from Australia, Holland and Germany who work pro bono training our staff in particular areas, i.e. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and fundraising.
Where do your find therapists?
In the beginning, from 2001 to 2005, we recruited all our therapists from Java. Currently, all our therapist are from Bali. We first advertise job vacancies and then interview those who meet our criteria. We’re looking for people who not only have the requisite skill but also the heart to make emphetic social workers. Working for YPK requires sincerity and patience.
Do you have any programs designed specifically for children?
In 2009, we started an education program for children and young adults with disabilities who have limited access to schools. We give them tailored life skills training and job training to develop their potential for a better future. The program integrates therapeutic approaches that develop the students’ physical and emotional skills. Children are able to read books and access the internet. Teenagers can increase vocational skills like food packaging, baking and crafts. So far a total of 141 disabled children from the Denpasar and Tabanan regencies have joined the program and 77 are still active in the program.
Which program is particularly close to your heart?
One of my favorites is BaliRungu, a hearing impairment program begun in 2012 that focuses on the prevention and treatment of hearing disabilities. We provide hearing assessments, access to ENT specialists and distribute subsidized hearing aids to help people with hearing impairment. Volunteer doctors also inspect and clean the ears of children. The program also aims to increases public awareness on the prevention of hearing loss. From 2012 to September 2017, BaliRungu has assisted 19,477 people in schools, villages and orphanages.
Do you serve people who live in the island’s remote areas?
Our experienced teams regularly visit remote areas to treat those who cannot make it to our centre in Denpasar. Since 2010, our modified vehicles outfitted with rehabilitation equipment visit different villages each day. Not only do each unit’s physiotherapists provide treatment to people needing care, but they also educate and promote community awareness of disabilities and how to provide care at home. This includes instruction on post-stroke nutrition, how to increase nutritional intake for malnutritioned children by eating locally grown food, home exercise regimens and how to make homes disability friendly. As of September 2017, our mobile services have served 38 different locations and have assisted a total of 2,039 people.
What about people who have no transporation?
Our transport service reaches out to those who don’t have their own means of transport, which can prove very challenging for people with disabilities. This service is meant especially for families who have difficulties in bringing their disabled children to the YPK Bali centre. Poor children, youth and adults are thus provided with increased access to basic rehabilitation and education services.
Does YPK also help the elderly and the homeless?
YPK’s latest plan is a residential care facility meant to provide accommodation and 24-hour-care to at least 20 homeless people with disabilities. Some of the elderly we found could not be appropriately cared for by their families. The facility will provide food and shelter for both adults and children and offer the necessary medical, nursing care and rehabilitation. If possible, homeless children will receive life skills training and classes in math, language and science. This long-awaited facility is a major financial investment for YPK and requires significant donor support. Fundraising events, sponsorship campaigns and international funding are required on an ongoing basis. The project was kickstarteded last year thanks to a generous donation of a 25-year-lease of land to build the facility. The building design was contributed free by local volunteer architecture firms.
When will the residential care facility be ready?
It has become a lengthy process, but we hope that the two story residential care building will open in early 2020. We have plans to operate it as YPK’s social center, which will include a homestay for elderly who will be able to socially interact with patients and other residents. Elderly foreigners with KITAS and KITAP visas are welcome to help several days a week. We hope this enterprise will be able to support various other YPK programs.
What can people do to help?
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Copyright © 2017 Bill Dalton