For the past 2½ years, Abie Cahya Kusuma has made many prosthetics, orthotics and mobility aids for the people we support across Bali and Eastern Indonesia. Now he has left PUSPADI Bali and reflects on his wonderful time here, in an interview below.
How would you describe your experience at PUSPADI Bali?
I feel grateful to be part of the PUSPADI Bali team because this is my very first time working and here I’ve learnt a lot about how to apply my knowledge from the school (the Jakarta School of Prosthetics & Orthotics), in the real world. Like, all of the people, including the staff, the environment and clients are very nice and we keep supporting each other.
There has been a lot of progression from when you graduated, through to your time at PUSPADI Bali and until now. What are some of the things that you’ve learnt?
The key thing is the feeling of that support, like, this place is not like other places. The people we support are amputees and our staff are amputees, so, we have a different approach. I’m not an amputee but it feels like I know how they feel. It’s such a great feeling to see a person with a disability start to walk – and then I’d sometimes call Pak Nesa (PUSPADI Bali’s Workshop Manager) who’s an amputee for example, and they (he) have a different kind of motivation that I couldn’t give to them. They are some of the things that I’ve really experienced.
Also, through PUSPADI Bali, that experience of spending time with amputees so I understand their condition and a bit about their home life – so, I have an understanding of the whole package of the daily life of an amputee.
What are some of your favourite memories at PUSPADI Bali?
My favourite memories are visiting families of people with a disability in poor conditions and how they maintain their spirit and motivation. I mean, they really want to change and they have a very big will to do so; it has an impact on us (the PUSPADI Bali staff). I’m grateful looking at all the people around me and it has made me want to help more people.
Working at PUSPADI Bali has deepened your understanding about disability rights and advocacy. What more do you want to see happen in that space in Bali?
In terms of disability rights, it’s the part of our program which is the empowerment and also raising awareness of disability. In that, people with a disability can do something differently or maybe more with the others around them. We should not pity them. We should give them a chance because they can do it. We should empower them and raise awareness with their families that people with a disability shouldn’t hide from the community. That’s what I’ve learnt. The patient lives at home and in the community, so, if the rehabilitation is only in our Centre (ALC) and not at home, it’s not working. Therefore, there needs to be a connection between the community, the family and also, PUSPADI Bali.
Where are you going to next?
I want to gain more experience in another culture so, I will be working in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. It’s a great opportunity for me because I really want to work abroad and the workplace is in the holy city of the Muslim religion.
I’ll be working for a private company which has a workshop like PUSPADI Bali, so, it’ll be the same work, of doing assessments and making prosthetics and orthotics.
It’s a sad time too because I know PUSPADI Bali is like a family to you. Tell us more about that.
PUSPADI Bali is more than just colleagues, they are like family because here we support each other and what we’re talking about here isn’t always job, job, job – like, if there are personal issues sometimes, we solve it together.
They are like family and I think of Bali as my second home. Bali is a good place and so are its people, food and life.
“….People with a disability can do something differently or maybe more with the others around them.We should not pity them. We should give them a chance because they can do it. We should empower them and raise awareness with their families that people with a disability shouldn’t hide from the community.” – Abie.
(image far left: photo credit: Harjono Djoyobisono).