Photo Essay

Double Disability


Double disability combines the physical and mental handicap from brain damage (also called cerebral palsy). While double disability maybe hereditary, often in babies born of incestuous parents, it may also be caused by delayed treatment of high fever in toddlers.

Wisma Tuna Ganda Palsigunung is a home for people with double disability, established in 1975 by the Muslimin Orphanage Foundation. The home, whose motto is "making children humans", is located on Jl. Raya Bogor, Cimanggis, West Java. Equipped with thirty beds, the place can accommodate up to fifty people.

Most of the disabled people in the shelter had been sent to live there by their families since they were toddlers. Most of their families cannot be contacted now, because they have moved and cannot be traced.

Apart from having mental handicap, 75% of the children in the home are unable to walk. Therefore they had to undergo daily physical and mental treatment. Since 1975, Wisma Palsigunung had taken care of 91 children, 5.4% of them went to schools for children with special needs, 16.3% were adopted, 34.3% stay in the home, and 44% went on to lead a normal life.

When a child dies, more often than not their family is not by their side, since the shelter has no information as to where the child's family had moved. Once, when the caretakers managed to trace a child's family to tell them of the death of their child, the parents only sent a courier to bring Rp 500,000, without bothering to come themselves to see the remains of their child.

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