A Tough Woman

On Friday, 23 September 2022, the ADRA team who partnered with Pertuni in the Pulih Bersama vaccination event visited an interactive discussion and vaccination event in Tuban – East Java.

These activities aim to educate and vaccinate eligible people who are vulnerable to Covid-19, including the elderly, people with disabilities, comorbidities, and pregnant women. We are also highlighting an inspiring blind woman from the village in Tuban Sub-district. Despite facing immense difficulties due to the pandemic, she is one of the truly amazing women who has overcome her disabilities to stay healthy and productive, making money to sustain her family.

Yuli Sunarti, a 50 years old woman, a masseur who was born without sight; despite having a physical disability, she is a self-sufficient woman, shares her experience during the pandemic. Most people stay home when the entire world is under the gloomy spell of the pandemic. However, she has no other choice; she must work to make money to sustain the family.

Although the pandemic has reduced her movement, she has constantly been reaching out to those in any circumstances to reach those in need of a massage. She explained, “Before the pandemic, I got around 6-8 customers daily. However, customers decreased drastically during the pandemic, with only about 2 or 4 customers. Every day, she tries to get customers by actively promoting ready-to-receive massage calls via Whatsapp despite her family forbidding her from leaving the house, considering the very high Covid-19 case. Her husband has had no job since six years ago, and her sister needs money for health treatment. “To contribute to my household’s income, I must work daily”, said Yuli.

“I never hesitated to go out or feel worried and afraid of being infected by the Covid-19 virus. My strength to not despair in this challenging time is I believe God protects and guides me.” Yuli’s motto is to go out healthy and get back home, so she should be healthy and safe. She comes to her customers’ houses with expectant hope and make sure that they do not worry about her. The trust of customers is a very valuable compliment to him. Yuli rejoices to be able to help others.

To reduce the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus, she enthusiastically said, “I always wear a mask and use hand sanitizer. When I got home, I immediately took a shower, including washing my hair and clothes. I take good care of my body by getting enough rest, eating nutritious food, and drinking vitamins.” She was seeking information actively to be able to immediately get vaccinations, both at the Community Health Center and village office. Still, it is not easy because of the limited vaccine for people with disabilities. She was so happy when she finally got vaccinated and did not experience any side effects following the first and second doses.

She continues, “After months of seeking vaccination services for the disability; finally today, I took my booster vaccine shot at a vaccination event organized by ADRA in collaboration with DANRAMIL, PERTUNI, and Community Health Center. She told her sister about it, and the sister asked her, “Are you happy now”? Of course! I am satisfied, grateful and relieved to have the additional protection from the covid-19 virus, so I could protect myself, my family, and others and continue to serve others through my work. Now, I am more confident in being active outside.”

Yuli Sunarti is just one of the many disabled community members who were the focus of the Pulih Bersama Program Covid-19 vaccination event. She was invited by ADRA volunteers who were involved in the Pulih Bersama Vaccination event and received her third dose of the Covid-19 vaccines as part of the Pulih Bersama Vaccination event supported by the AHP (Australian Humanitarian Partnership).

“Thank you for this event! I hope I can encourage others to get vaccinated by sharing my vaccination story,” said Yuli enthusiastically.

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