From Shame to Leadership, Leah’s Story

 by Phil Costello, Indonesia Country Director

Daeng Leah was born and raised in Camba Berua and is the daughter of the local village leader. She met her “sweet heart” outside of Camba Berua, fell in love and got married. She and her husband rented a house in Camba Berua right after getting married and began their new life together.

Soon after their marriage, Daeng Leah and her husband found out that Leah could not get pregnant. They were both devastated. In Indonesian culture, not being able to conceive has numerous implications, one being that you are “cursed.” Leah began to withdraw from the community and became a very quiet person, keeping to herself most of the day.

When our TCD program began last July, one of our team members, Tiffany, began to develop a close friendship with Leah and discovered that not only was she a bright person with a great sense of humor, but she also had a lot she could teach the other women of Camba Berua. With all of Leah’s time at home, she had become an excellent seamstress.

Tiffany asked Leah if she would be willing to teach the other women in the community how to sew and Leah emphatically responded positively. As Leah began to teach the other women on a weekly basis, she began to transform from a shy woman, to a confident entrepreneur who had lots to teach others.