By Writer Astari Pinasthika Sarosa

05 January 2023 - 12:32

The digital world can help empower the communities of persons living with disabilities (PLWD) if it is more inclusive. Mariani Mustafa proves this with her business, Roti Maryam Nini. Starting from feeling anxious about the lack of finances in the family, Mariani then thought of starting this bakery business so that she could help with the family's daily finances.

“Initially, I got the Maryam Bread recipe from Google and YouTube. But it's not that easy! I experimented many times to get the right taste and quality so that it is worth being sold and enjoyed by all people, from children to the elderly,” said Mariani.

Then, Mariani joined the Skills for Inclusive Digital Participation (SIDP) programme with the British Council as one of the deaf participants. This programme, funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), has succeeded in helping Mariani develop her business in various ways.

Before joining SIDP, Mariani did not understand how to optimize digital applications for her business. Even though she knows how to use a cell phone, Mariani doesn't know how to use a laptop.

Initially, this woman from Makassar only used WhatsApp to sell her bread. “With this training, I want to sell bread widely, especially on social media like Instagram. I see the bread that I make myself become more in demand, “continued Mariani.

From the SIDP training, Mariani can now find new recipes for her bakery business. In addition, this mother of two children also learned how to use the Canva application to create marketing content. Mariani explains: “Although it is difficult to learn, now you can create targets and business stages for content marketing.”

Mariani attended basic and intermediate training with SIDP. Before this training, she never thought about learning much about the digital world. Mariani has now started sharing the information she learned during the training with other deaf friends. According to her, many deaf friends do not know about the digital world.

Although she has learned a lot from SIDP, Mariani feels that much is still to be learned. She wanted to get to know Instagram Business better, how to use a laptop, and create power points to give presentations because she had never seen training like this before. Mariani hopes that other deaf friends can also join the SIDP programme.

From this training, Mariani can also develop her business through networking. While attending the training, she met with one of SIDP's implementing partners, who could help her business get a permit from the Indonesian National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM).

"Hopefully, my business won’t get stuck and can continue to innovate," said Mariani.