On Tuesday, we brought you the story of staff member Sri Lestari’s second annual Journey to Inspire, in which she rode across Indonesia on her modified motorbike. As Indonesia’s premier spokesperson for people with disabilities, Sri and her journey were covered extensively by the Indonesian media, including every major newspaper and several television stations, and has inspired millions across Indonesia. Sri’s journey was more than inspirational, however. It was historic.
As part of the Journey to Inspire, Sri had the incredible opportunity to meet with Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo when she reached Jakarta. Sri informed Mr. Widodo about the need for wheelchairs, accessible spaces, and most of all support within the healthcare system for the 2.5 million people with disabilities in Indonesia. President-elect Widodo then took a ride on Sri’s motorbike! Sri was also featured as part of the President’s inauguration ceremony on October 20.
In addition, US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake participated in the closing ceremony for the journey. The ceremony took place at Tugu Proklamasi (Proclamation Monument), a national symbol of Indonesian independence. The monument was truly a fitting location to celebrate a trip that demonstrated how much is possible when people with disabilities have the independence of mobility. While there is still a long road to travel, there’s no doubt that the journey towards an Indonesia with equal access for all has begun and will continue. And with Sri leading the way, it’s sure to be an incredible ride.