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Hafiza Elvira: Empowering Sitanala Leprosy Village to be More Productive

In Sitanala Kusta Village, Tangerang, Banten there is a special hospital for lepers. When these patients were reported cured, they decided not to go home and prefer to stay in the neighborhood around the hospital because they felt ashamed of the effect of leprosy which caused permanent disability to their bodies.

No wonder if Sitanala is referred to as a leprosy village because there are so many OYPMK (Persons Who Had Affected by Leprosy) who live there. Unfortunately, these former lepers already abandoned because many people are useless.

And when most people are busy thinking about themselves, there are a few people who still care about OYPMK in this Sitanala Leprosy Village. Hafiza Elvira Nofitariani, familiarly called Fiza is one of them. She and her friends brought the Nalacity into the Sitanala Leprosy Village and gave hope to those former lepers.

Nalacity also has one big goal, empowering people with disabilities to get a better and independent life.

Nalacity was originally a social entrepreneurship initiative program initiated by a forum of outstanding students (mawapres) of the University of Indonesia in the Indonesia Leadership Development Program (ILDP) under the University of Indonesia’s Student Affairs Directorate.  But after the training program provided from the campus was completed, Fiza and her team continued to develop their program until now.

At first, the program they offered was a chicken farm, but after conducting small-scale research and seeing the field conditions about the condition of the mothers of one of the RTs in Sitanala Kusta Village, the business plan was changed to a beaded hijab. Fiza saw that the women there were still able to sew even though they were in poor physical condition. After Fiza observed the recent market conditions, the need for hijab in the market was very large because hijab became a trend and a need for Muslim women.

So that it is not the same as the hijab produced by other brands, the Nalacity’s hijab product has a characteristic that collaborates with others. The pattern is made uniquely, decorated with shiny beads to add to the elegant impression of who is wearing it.

Fiza can indeed be called successful with the Nalacity, but don’t think if the trip with the Nalacity runs smoothly. a success, it always starts from failure right? What called a success, is always starts from a failure.

Changing the people mindset that needs to be empowered is the most difficult. Their past work is relying on the giving of other people, where it actually what make optimism for a better financial future are decreasing. We can’t let them relying on other people forever, what if there is no one to rely on.

The Nalacity gives them a fresh start, changing the mindset that was just received, slowly they are learning to be independent and producing works that are valued by the wider audience.

Online marketing is becoming the main alternative to sell products. Apart from being simple and easy, the reach of buyers is considerably broader. Nalacity did not end the collaboration with several  LSM or other social organizations like Dompet Dhuafa and the Directorate General of PP & PL of the Indonesian Ministry of Health. The more people who are joined, the more people care about right?

According to the woman who served as co-founder and Director of the Nalacity Foundation, Nalacity was inspired by the many Indonesian social entrepreneurs who had previously made various kinds of community empowerment programs. He said the goal was clear, there was an impact that could be felt by the people in need.

She also hopes that community empowerment activities like this can be increased again, especially for OYPMK. The goal is that they will not be discriminated and we can also help them become independent in the future.

For Fiza, success is not enough. She wants to be useful for many people, also to inspire more people, so there will be more people like Fiza who want to go into the field and make real changes. Being a leader in any program or project is indeed not easy, said Fiza, what really important is to focus on intention and a strong commitment to realizing what has been planned. The key is collaborating with people who can be trusted and divide the work portion according to the skills.

The article has been translated & edited by Franky Nugraha. This original article was here.