invisible burden intro
highlighting the challenges they face, the cultural backgrounds and existing poverty and stigma,
but also their resilience, vigour, and hopes for the future.
biri ride overlay
A collective effort during the planting season illustrating the strength of this community.
first i meet text
leprosy often affects text
Ringu develop multiple
ringu develop multiple overlay
In the past five years, Ringu developed multiple skin lesions with loss of sensation on his face, arms and legs. He started multi-drug therapy, which he needs to take for at least 12 months.
ringu talo biri
ringu talo biri overlay
Ringu, Talo, and Biri are having their monthly check-up with Doctor Gladys at the Sumba Foundation health clinic.
nurse palpating overlay
A nurse palpating the nerves.
a statue of Jesus
a statue of Jesus overlay
for granted in Sumba given the harsh living conditions.
taro biri overlay
Talo and Biri sit in front of their house, talking about the buffalo they are going to sell. In Sumbanese culture, the buffalo is the islands most important status symbol. The people work hard to own this sacred animal, care for them, and eventually sacrifice them to honour the ancestors and ensure eternal afterlife for the deceased.
rainy day text
heavy rainfall overlay
During heavy rainfall, health care workers visited Rada at her house. Wounds on her feet have limited her range of motion and have made it difficult for her to come to the clinic.
rada with husband
rada with husband overlay
Rada with her husband and 10-year old daughter.
rada's husband overlay
notice any improvement in her condition.
like her mother had in the early stages of leprosy.
rada nolonger has feeling
rada nolonger has feeling overlay
Rada no longer has feeling in her hands and feet. Injuries, such as burns or cuts, easily go unnoticed. Rada inspects her feet every day to check for new injuries and take care of existing wounds.
Rada washes overlay
This is important as she walks barefoot and cannot afford to buy shoes.
rada's footprints floor
rada's footprint floor overlay
Rada’s footprints on the floor.
rada's footprints overlay
rada searches overlay
and gives her the opportunity to connect with her daughter.
rada's village text
and inner turmoil filled their personal space.
Robertus was a very good horse raiser, which is a traditional sport in Sumba. His friends believe that leprosy was afflicted on him during one of his races. Robertus accepts the judgements silently with an open heart. Until today, many myths exist about leprosy.
robertus riding overlay
Robertus family house
Robertus family house overlay
Robertus’ family house.
robertus drugs overlay
Robertus places the prescribed drugs between the weeds on the roof.
exposing his hands and feet to severe injuries.
A bowl of rice ready to be planted in the fields.
to thanks overlay
sumba hiils overlay
Sumba hills have been deforested and are being prepared for farming.
Toru has developed severe deformities of her hands and feet. When I met her, she had a deep wound on her left foot. The bone was already infected (osteomyelitis). The infection was so bad that part of her foot needed to be amputated. Toru’s community believes that she is being punished for refusing a love offer from a man. To reconcile, Toru’s father and the traditional healer sacrificed a chicken.
toru text II
Toru has a strong and fierce personality. She sees her disabilities as her strength, to push her towards completing her goals. “After I graduate from college, I aspire to work as a teacher to help my family, ” Toru said.
toru ties up
toru ties up overlay
Toru ties up her hair before undergoing a routine check-up at the clinic. Disabilities are more than physical dysfunction. Disabilities impact daily activities, social events and may induce stigma and discrimination violating basic human rights.
toru on her way
toru on way overlay
Toru on her way home.
Toru checks overlay
Toru checks her class schedule, before returning to college.
toru talking overlay
Toru talking to her family who just returned from the field.
toru checks report
toru checks report overlay
Toru shows her report card.
toru student rooms
toru student room overlay
Toru’s student room that she rents with some friends.
toru lives overlay
she is determined to complete her degree and build a career.
These images expose
It challenges communities that are already plagued by inequities and lack access to care, ensuring
the next generation remains anchored in poverty.
toru flower overlay
Toru holding a pumpkin flower: a bright light in the darkness, symbolizing hope for a better future.