First-person perspectives on the world of work
Photo: Arkaan Muafi Putra Harahap
COVID-19 response

New skills helped my business recover from pandemic

I’m Juanda Badaru. I live in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.  Previously, my friends and I, who all have disabilities, had difficulty finding permanent employment.

Business owners don’t trust our abilities so we couldn’t get proper jobs to make ends meet.

I graduated from high school and studied in college. Before the pandemic I was running a small motorbike repair shop. I earned IDR 3,000,000 (210 USD) per month. But when COVID-19 happened that went down to around IDR 1,500,000 (105 USD).

When I heard about some job training being offered to people with disabilities I signed up.

Small, colourful motorboats on the water near Dua Island, Banggai, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

The area where I live in Central Sulawesi is a region full of small islands and travelling by boat is a main form of transportation.

© Shutterstock/Kayyis Ibadurrohman

I learned all about the maintenance and repair of outboard boat engines.  I also had entrepreneurship training.

Both trainings were very useful for my business. When I re-opened the repair shop I was able to expand. 

I now have four people working at the repair shop, colleagues with disabilities and others I met at the trainings.

Before, we only worked on motorbikes, now we also work on boats with small engines. People call us regularly if they have trouble with their engine.

A man with a deformed lip plugs in a power cable at the repair shop.

A member of my repair shop team at work.

© Arkaan Muafi Putra Harahap

Now I earn more than before the pandemic - around IDR 4,000,000 (280 USD) per month.

The training also helped me manage money better: I have partnered with a big store that supplies us with spare parts for motorbikes and small boat engines. Before, I was afraid to partner with others, but after the training I was more confident.

Before, I was afraid to partner with others, but after the training I was more confident.

Juanda BadaruSmall business entrepreneur

Around eighteen of my friends who have a disability joined the trainings.  Thankfully, they have found jobs now and have opened their own businesses or joint businesses with other participants.

We have formed an entrepreneurship WhatsApp group where we share our work experiences and support each other.

I’m very grateful for the trainings. This is the first time that people with a disability were involved in any kind of training where I live.

The exterior of the motorbike and boat engine repair shop. A mechanic is crouched on the ground and works on a motorbike. Juanda sits on a chair and looks on.

I have doubled my income at the motorbike and boat engine repair shop since the trainings took place.

© Arkaan Muafi Putra Harahap

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