Daniel Marguari

Ashoka Fellow
Indonesia,
Fellow Since 2005
Yayasan Spiritia

Citation

This profile was prepared when Daniel Marguari was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
The rapid spread of infection in recent years made Daniel realize that the time had come for AIDS organizations to take an evolutionary step. He sees the future of the public movement against AIDS rooted in the action of local groups, working in a decentralized but coordinated way. At the center of Daniel’s vision are Indonesians from all walks of life who live with the disease. Daniel is empowering those infected and those affected—family members, spouses, and children to form groups that can reach out and support others in various ways. Spiritia, the organization he leads, has helped start sixty independent groups in 20 provinces over the past 3 years. The groups accommodate people from diverse backgrounds who also vary greatly in how willing they are to speak out publicly about their status.
Daniel believes that infected people can take the lead in their communities to support others and advocate for the services and care they deserve. This system of empowering individuals most affected is meeting the urgent challenge of how to reach out to people at the local level and comes at a time of new opportunities afforded by the decentralizing of resources and the authority of government agencies. When a group feels strong and ready, Daniel encourages them to take on a more public role. This may involve educating and lobbying the related agencies, hospitals, and decision makers to fulfil service provision needs, influencing public attitudes and policy, and finding innovative solutions appropriate for their region.
Daniel and the Spiritia team actively initiate links between the organizations. Acting as a national umbrella organization for the network, Spiritia has succeeded in inspiring the creativity and problem solving skills within these groups. Most of the approximately 1,000 infected people who are members of the groups have become actively involved in the response to HIV/AIDS in their regions. Spiritia has created channels of communication between groups and helped several of the groups with well-established programs to now act as regional umbrella organizations to encourage the formation of more support groups in their provinces.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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