Australia Awards in Indonesia

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20 Mar 2016

A Social Worker with a Heart for Troubled Kids and People Suffering from Drug Addiction

Farid Wajdi, Head of the Social Rehabilitation Department of Central Kalimantan Province, knew early on that he wanted to be involved in social work. While most people don’t even find out what they want to pursue until college, Farid spent his high school years at the Surakarta Social Services Vocational High School, Central Java.

Farid later continued his social welfare studies at the Social Welfare Higher Education Institution in Bandung, West Java, and graduated in 1994. Upon graduation, Farid was employed by the Central Kalimantan Social Services Department and in 2001 was appointed as head of a project that aimed to instil social and moral values as exemplified by the national heroes of Indonesia.  Prior to that, Farid was appointed as Head of the ‘Handicapped Rehabilitation Project’ in 1999 and Head of the ‘Troubled Kids and People Suffering from Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Program’ in 2000.

“It was during that time that I developed a strong sense of wanting to help troubled kids and people suffering from drug addiction.” Farid further elaborated, “I saw how stigma prevents troubled kids from getting the help they need. How could we help if the parents themselves denied that their children needed assistance?”

“In cases of drug addiction, stigma isn’t the only obstacle we faced. I realized that in order to rehabilitate successfully, the root of the cause should be to instil self-awareness in these victims of addiction to want to get better. ‘Forcing’ them to rehabilitate would only serve as temporary solution,” Farid explained.

To further equip himself for the cause, Farid applied for and was granted an Australia Awards Scholarship and went on to earn his Masters in Social Work from Flinders University in 2006.

“My studies in Australia aided me in viewing issues in a more comprehensive manner and in looking for solutions based on a more professional standpoint,” Farid went on to say. “The skills I acquired play a key role in my current position where I am required to oversee issues in a broader scope.”

When he still served as Head of the Program Division of the Central Kalimantan Social Services, Farid was in charge of not only overseeing rehabilitation programs geared toward helping troubled kids and people suffering from drug addiction, but also rehabilitation programs that care for the social welfare of marginalized children, those from an older generation, victims of natural disasters and so forth.

“One specific program involves the distribution of capital aid for 3500 underprivileged families.” Farid further explained, “We screen priority areas and families are required to send in business proposals to ensure the aid is fully utilized. Social workers are trained to assist them in the execution of their business plan for this annual program.”

Farid Wajdi also played a role in the drafting of Central Kalimantan’s 2011-2015 Mid-Term Regional Development Draft from mid-2010 to January 2011.

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