Inspirational women #2: Delisa

In the run up to International Women’s Day on March 8th we are posting the stories of some of our inspirational female Young Voices campaigners. Here’s Delisa’s story:

“The Tsunami was like a bad dream”, says Delisa as she tells her story about the terrible event that changed her life when she was seven years old.

Delisa sitting on some steps holding some crutches and a prosthetic leg“On December 26 2004, I was with my mother and sister at our home near the beach in Aceh Besar, near Banda Aceh. Suddenly, a ferocious wind hit my house. I thought it was a huge earthquake. I saw water exploding from the sea and I heard a roaring sound like I had never heard before. I yelled to my mother and then everything went dark.”

Delisa was swept away by the water. When a volunteer found her, she was lying motionless, her legs and arms were broken, but she was still breathing. She was brought to the nearest hospital. The medical team there had to amputate her right leg.

Her mother and her sister were both lost in the Tsunami. Her father and everyone around her motived her to survive and continue with her life. Now 16, she is a senior high school student at a well-known school in Banda Aceh.

In 2013, Delisa joined Leonard Cheshire Young Voices Indonesia to learn more about the rights of young people with disabilities. Through Young Voices she has made many new friends and her confidence has greatly increased, especially in public speaking. As a Tsunami survivor she is invited to many events to tell her story of survival. She is particularly passionate about education, and she uses these events to talk about the obstacles which she and other children with disabilities experience at school, including inaccessible buildings and learning resources.

She says: “I have come a long way as a Tsunami survivor in Aceh. I will not stop here, and I am going to keep fighting for my dreams to make my father proud of me.”