First days at school are tough for everyone. Particularly so when your already 8 years old and starting school several years later than all the rest of the kids.
Such was the lot of I Nyoman Purnawan from a village near Tabanan who just started school this year in Denpasar. His chances at an education were severely limited by the economic circumstances of his family and his affliction with the crippling disease Cerebral Palsy.
Nyoman's condition has left him unable to walk without the aid of crutches or a wheel chair. His twin brother, Made is an able bodied, active boy. If things were not difficult enough, the boys' mother died many years ago, leaving their father and an aged grandmother to raise the children in very limited economic circumstances.
Through the kind intervention of a local businessman, Desmond James of Sourcing Bali, Nyoman now has his own crutches and a wheel chair, and no longer has to crawl on the dirt floor of his family's simple home. Over the past three years Desmond has sponsored the family, in building a modest home, kitchen, bathroom and helping with the family's expenses.
Earlier efforts to enroll Nyoman at the local primary school failed, the school unable to take on the special needs of educating children with disabilities. Eventually a decision was made to find Nyoman a special school, catering to the needs of handicapped children located in far away Denpasar.
For Nyoman, the prospect of leaving his family was a daunting one. Weekly transport to and from his village in Tabanan to the special school in Jimbaran is provided by Sourcing Bali, who also cover his expenses and cost of enrollment. Each weekend Nyoman is delivered back to his family to be with his Father, Grandmother and Brother.
Schooling is provided by the Yayasan Pendidikan Anak Cacat (YPAC) - a school catering to children with disabilities where 33 students are enrolled, including 15 who board at the school. While the facilities at YPAC are better than many local primary schools, the facilities still fall short of providing for all the special needs of its students. In difficult times such as these, the school has limited resources and funds to provide the stimulus and support needed to maximize the educational experience of its pupils. Commitments made by Sourcing Bali and other donors help ensure that these facilities are upgraded and teaching materials are available to enhance the education of these special children.
Moved to help make a difference in the lives of these children, Desmond James and Sourcing Bali are working with the school's directors on plans to upgrade education facilities, including the supply of computers, music, art, sport, recreation materials and general upkeep of the school.
Nyoman is looking forward to his belated academic career. Starting as a kindergartner he will progress through the grade levels developing skills in math, reading, writing and Indonesian. At present the boy speaks only Balinese, making it a problem to communicate with Om Desmond, who speaks English and Indonesian.
If you'd like to learn more about the work of YPAC or join Desmond in his assistance plan for the school, contact him via e-mail or by calling ++62-(0)361-423591.
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