Connecting local responses around the world
Raymond (my husband), Lois (my oldest daughter) and I were invited in the village last December to have a meal and a conversation with him and a group of HIV infected men: a schoolteacher, an ex-prisoner and a soldier. They are struggling with their health, discrimination is rampant and finances for their activities are lacking. They are also proud: of the fact that together they have made it possible that more and more young men dare to share their stories with others.
The kepala kampung knew that we would probably not meet again. For his work with the HIV infected men and women in his village he did not expect a dollar contribution from us. But with his words he got our commitment. He encouraged us to continue using our skills and talents for a world where HIV infected people can be included.
Wayan Suardika is the one who brought us to the village. Wayan Suardika has become a friend. He is the motor behind the network of people living with AIDS, also in other places in Bali. Thanks to his efforts IDU and HIV/AIDS are on the agenda and the local hospital has the distribution of methadon integrated in the HIV/AIDS services. But project money for his NGO has stopped for some years now.
Now, many tourists on Bali will know Wayan only as a fantastic host to Bali. To earn his living Wayan has set up a tourist agency and small credit union (cooperation). This allows him to feed his family, but also to spend his free time and some spare dollars with the community and his friends.
The commitment of the heart is probably the most sustainable resource mobilization we can wish.
I am so grateful to all the Wayans in the Constellation!