Wolly Mubeng Jogja (WMJ) is an initiative developed to promote the interaction of WMP teams in Yogyakarta with a range of different community groups across the city.
When the WMP Yogyakarta team first arrived to spend an afternoon with the Nalitari Community Dance Group, the dancers were a little confused about what they were doing there.
Why had these mosquito people come to dance with us?
Nalitari is well-known throughout Yogya – and indeed Indonesia – for providing a positive creative outlet for people with disabilities through movement and dance.
The WMP visit was part of a broader community engagement initiative to better understand community groups and to provide them with an understanding of our work with Wolbachia.
The idea is based on exchange. Sharing ideas and experiences. Spreading the word and building trust. Informing, learning and listening.
“It works!” says Sylva Haryosaputro, Media Officer for the World Mosquito Program in Yogyakarta. “We love to share the information about our project. Here, in Wolly Mubeng Jogja, we experience two streams of information. We explain dengue and the use of Wolbachia as a complementary strategy in their area, and they share their activity and experience so we can learn from them.”
The WMJ program has enabled our teams to visit a number of community groups; they’ve helped fish plastic from local waterways with local environment groups, joined in with an archery club and shared insights with a popular local vlogger.
Sylva is quick to point out just how much his workmates get out of the visits – besides just spreading the WMP story.
“They love it,” he says. “It's a really rewarding experience for our staff. I’ve also learnt a lot from this group myself. Chatting with one of the members of the group who uses a wheelchair, he told me he often feels insecure. But Nalitari allows him to express himself. He told me the workshop gave him the confidence to participate in a wheelchair race, as a representative for Yogya. So for me, I learnt about some of the challenges these guys face. How they help each other. And how much a group like Nalitari means to people in my community.”