4 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/19/2012
INDONESIA
Jakarta, the "House of the Angel": Catholics help those sick with psychic disorders
by Mathias Hariyadi
In Indonesia, people with mental health problems are isolated, kept in "cages", abused. Illness is seen as a scourge, and the patient, someone to be isolated. Since 2008, a Catholic woman has initiated aid and assistance projects. A work that follows Christ's teaching and example, and for which she has received a government recognition.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - For the majority of Indonesians, mental illness is still a stigma, a social disgrace, a problem to be kept hidden at home, in a cage or in a clinic which, in reality, is more like a prison. Schizophrenia, depression, and disorders resulting from abandonment lead the subject to a progressive alienation from family, work, and everyday life, which is then transformed into deprivation, lack of feelings and ties, abandonment. Struck by the extent of the problem, which even the government purposely ignores, a Catholic woman with some medical training has decided to open a "House of Angel", which has now also become a foundation. A place where people with mental disorders, psychiatric illnesses or abandoned to their fate, with no one willing to take care of them, can find shelter, a bed, a hot meal restore their strength.

According to an unofficial report - in this area the numbers remain uncertain - from April 2009, in Indonesia the people with disorders or mental illness were more than six million, or about 3% of the total. A number that surely has grown since then, just as the population has grown, passing from 200 to the current 250 million. For Dr. Surjo Dharmono, a specialist in psychiatry at a hospital in central Jakarta, the number of people with problems "has surpassed six million." The majority of the cases are to be found in the big cities; stress, social tensions, traffic, crime, unemployment and lack of green spaces and public services are critical factors that increase the risk of psyche-related diseases.

The psychiatrist confirms that in the capital and in nearby Bogor, more than 30% of his patients suffer from mental disorders, which often are not even diagnosed due to the lack of adequate controls. Under the provisions of the 1945 Constitution, the state has the responsibility to care for the needy, including the poor, the marginalized and those with mental disorders. However, the reality is quite different: the cultural heritage, social problems and the lack of adequate facilities deprive patients of treatment and care. And in many cases, to this emarginalization are added violence and abuse, better known as "pasung" in Indonesian. This practice - common in villages and poor areas - involves confining the patient in a kind of bamboo cage, with their ankles tied.

To respond to the crisis, private citizens have started centers or institutions that take care of people with mental health problems. Among them is the Catholic Dorothea Angelic Dolly Pudjowati, originally from Purwokerto, central Java, with medical studies - though she never graduated - and a long experience in social work behind her. She's grown to become the example of how the Church and its social doctrine can find practical application in helping one's neighbor. At first she helped the homeless, providing them with shelter and food. In 2008 she formed a group with whom she founded the "house of grace", opening the door to poor and marginalized people. The parish of St. Anthony started a project to assist the homeless in East Jakarta, focusing on those who had psychiatric disorders, who were then conveyed to a counseling center called "House of Love"; at the same time, in a mobile clinic she offered free consultations. Those who have received aid and assistance have defined the work of the Catholic volunteer "holy speeches without words."

Her most ambitious project found fulfillment in 2009, with the birth of the "House of Angel" and of the the foundation of the same name, in the district of Bekasi, about thirty miles east of Jakarta. According to the philosophy of "seek and find", the center doesn't expected the sick or those in need to seek help; the activists are the ones who travel the streets, among families or in meeting points such as public parks, train or bus stations, looking for people in need of assistance and help. Like the first patient Dorothea took care of in 2008, named Ucok, found in a state of confusion on board a large truck at the depot station. "I want to help those in need of assistance", the woman told AsiaNews, "as Jesus Christ has always taught us." Commitment and passion for the other, which have earned her a special recognition from the government - an award for a Catholic woman in the most populous Muslim country in the world - because such commitment is based on the values ​​of altruism and solidarity.

 

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/14/2011 INDONESIA
Jakarta: prisons and jobs, committed Catholic volunteer workers
by Mathias Hariyadi
05/29/2012 INDONESIA
Central Java: Irish priest wins Islamic award
by Mathias Hariyadi
12/28/2004 INDONESIA
Great show of solidarity, ships and planes bring aid
by Mathias Hariyadi
10/31/2012 ASIA - INDONESIA
Asia's Catholic doctors to cooperate, adhere to Christian ethics and help the vulnerable
by Mathias Hariyadi
12/30/2004 INDONESIA
New Year celebrations cancelled in Jakarta
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
CHINA
Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
by Joseph YuanAfter 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.
CHINA
Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions
by Joseph YuanThis is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.