Annie is the girl where it all started. When Sarah Capman saw an article about this little girl in the newspaper, she decided to go there. The girl was eight years old and weighted 6,4 kilos. Her mom and dad were divorced, her father had mental health issues and was locked in the bedroom. Her grandma and grandfather took care of her.
Sarah started taking care of her. She took her to a doctor to see what was going on and how they could help the girl. Annie was gaining weight, so she was getting big and strong enough to eat by herself, she needed to be 12 kilos. In a couple months, she wasn’t the aggressive child anymore, but a very sweet, little child, who attended school, went to the beach and ate fries for the first time. Sadly, one day she was being fed milk and she aspirated it. It came op trough the hole in her mouth and into her lungs. She got phenomena from it and died very quickly. That’s when Sarah decided that one pneumonia suffering, is one person too much, and she started the outreach program with Robert Epstone.
86 percent of the people that Solemen helps are kids, the rest are adults. Most of the people that they help here are sick and need surgery. And when they had surgery, they need to recover. That’s why Solemen made a recovery center in their new building. This is a place where the solebuddies can recover after they had surgery. They will also be surrounded by other people so they can also have fun and distraction, and they won’t be alone.
The recovery center has ten rooms in total, all for families. There is place for 30 people in the center, and Solemen takes care of each one of them. No one is coming to the center alone, by example; children always take their parents so they can stay together in the period that they need each other. The rooms are used for children and adults who must go to therapy or the hospital, but also for those who are recovering from surgery, chemo or other illnesses. It is a safe place to stay and a nice environment to have recovery.
The people who stay here to recover suffer from all kind of disabilities. Several kids suffer from heart diseases. The most common disease for the adults is cancer, most of them are in stage three or four, which is when the prognosis is much worse. There is staff in the center that takes care of the people. they give them the right food and medication, so they can fully recover. The Solebuddies get a balanced diet, that makes sure that they will get al the nutrients that they need, based on Indonesian taste. The diet has a lot of protein, fruit and vegetables in it.
People usually trust Solemens staff really fast. Although in the villages at first they will say: “bule bule bule”, wich means white person. But when they come by more often, they start to trust solemens people, and it turns in to a positive situation.
In five years, Sarah Chapman hopes to have a team in every area in Bali, so they can help people over the whole island more easily. She also hopes that Solemen can get a doctor, so that they can visit all the villages and see everyone who is suffering from any kind of disease. That’s because like Sarah says “one person suffering, is one person to much”.