The reinvigorated effort is led by volunteer Anastasia Retno (Nana), and she is passionate about progressing ALPs involvement in Indonesia. She shares her thoughts on the process:
What are the difficulties Special Olympics Indonesia has running the program? How do you overcome them?
Lack of funds to run the activities is a major challenge. Special Olympics Indonesia concentrates its existing funds on sport activities, understandably a top priority. So there is not much left funds for ALPs activities. We’re fortunate to run our Jakarta events at no cost, parents of athletes sponsor meals, universities provide classroom venues, volunteers provide transportation. If we extend the ALPs events to other provinces in Indonesia, we will need funding for the activities.
Do you see improvement in ALPs athletes?
We have two athletes, Yofan Aditya, and Rizka Feryani, who have been withthe ALPs Speaking Club since its early days.
Yofan is a great speaker, opinionated and proactive. He attended the Global Youth Activation Summit at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, and benefitted greatly from the experience. These days, I can brief him just an hour before the event.
With Rizka, it takes longer to encourage her to open up and talk about her athlete experience on stage. But she’s progressed well since the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Leaders Conference in April.
Can you share with us: what was a rewarding moment for you during the ALPs process?
I have many! The most rewarding moment for me is the athletes’ enthusiasm. I get their calls and texts, asking “Sis Nana, when is the next Speaking Club?” That question makes me realize how much ALPs means to them.
During discussions, I am amazed by the athletes’ answers; they are proud of their achievements and are free with their opinions. I have great support from Special Olympics Indonesia’s Board members, athlete families, coaches and volunteers. It makes me want to keep going for the Program’s success!