Handicap International’s actions in Indonesia focus on four key areas: disability rights and policy, inclusive education, and disaster risk reduction. The organization launched its operations in Indonesia in January 2005 by offering injured and disabled Tsunami victims physical therapy. The program became regional in 2017 and includes the Philippines, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Currently, 21 Indonesians carry out Handicap International’s mission.
In 2011, the Indonesian government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities following an intensive advocacy campaign by disabled people's organizations with active support of Handicap International. Despite this progress, Indonesians with disabilities face a high level of discrimination and stigmatization, particularly those who live in isolation and poverty. As a whole, Indonesia offers very little in the way of disability services, and of the services that do exist, the majority are inaccessible and staffed by under-qualified technicians.
In partnership with regional and local disabled people's organizations, NGOs, and governmental authorities, Handicap International advances the rights of Indonesians with disabilities at the national and provincial levels. This involves providing financial and technical support for organizations, often in the form of training in awareness-raising and advocacy. The organization also advises public institutions, such as the Ministry for Social Solidarity, to help implement a national action plan for disability and create a national council on disability.
Handicap International works with its partners to increase children with disabilities' access to, and success in, inclusive schools in the provinces of Nusa Tenggara Timur and Musa Tenggara Barat. The organization identifies obstacles to inclusive education; raises parents awareness and trains them to ensure that children receive better care-management; improves teachers’ ability to provide educational support; improves the physical accessibility of the establishments (access ramps etc.); and supports education authorities in implementing action plans for inclusive education.
Disaster Risk Management
Indonesia is regularly affected by natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and flooding. Handicap International continues to work with its partners and local stakeholders to include vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, in disaster preparedness plans. The goal being to reduce the risks posed by natural disasters, ensure that people with disabilities are not left out these plans, and to help provide for their basic and specific needs (notably rehabilitation) in emergency situations. Handicap International teams also stand ready to respond to emergencies and regularly pre-position equipment in areas most likely to be affected. In the event of a disaster, Handicap International also helps families access new livelihoods, particularly through training in irrigation and the use of seeds.