Marisa Kristianah, Country Director, CBM Global Indonesia © CBM Global

Working with CBM for over 17 years, I am so grateful to be able to manage a diverse and talented team that speaks and lives inclusivity.   

In Indonesia, an archipelago country with a population of nearly 300 million, CBM has been working for 45 years. While inclusivity has become our country’s motto ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika – Unity in diversity’, the lives of people with disabilities are still far from the fulfilment of their basic rights. Around 23 million people with disabilities are still unable to enjoy their rights to education, quality health services, and decent livelihoods. Poverty and stigma are still the reality for people with disabilities.

This year, Country Team Indonesia launched a new strategy. This is valid for the next five years and will focus on three pillars. First, increasing the capacity of the team and partners to provide technical assistance to program participants, government, and other organisations. Second, maximising the role of Organisations of People with Disabilities (OPDs) in their dialogue with the government to voice the fulfilment of their rights. Finally, developing, documenting, and promoting programme models that have proven effective in reducing the risk of disability and empowering people with disabilities.

Compared to the previous plan, there are several new things. First, the scope of work expands and now includes humanitarian response; second, a clear focus on the advocacy agenda: social protection for people with disabilities and de-institutionalization; third, dedicated efforts to document project model and learnings; and finally, maximising the integration between programme priorities: eye health, mental health, livelihood, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian response.

After my 17-year journey, I am still passionate to work with CBM Global to end the cycle of poverty and disability in Indonesia.


Marisa Kristianah

Country Director, CBM Global Indonesia