Carys Mihardja’s Interview in Kick Andy Show: “Aksi Memupus Stigma”

Last week, on Sunday (7/3/21), Carys Mihadja, a grade 11 student of SPH Lippo Village was interviewed by Kick Andy on a National TV Station. Carys shared about her journey with Carys Cares—a non-profit organization that started as her Personal Project in Grade 10 and has turned into an internationally recognized movement.

Here’s what Carys said about her journey:

“From my thirteen-year-old self, sitting on my desk brainstorming this idea so feverishly enrooted in my heart, to seeing the amount of support people have dedicated to our friends with down syndrome till this day, I’m constantly in awe to see such a blessing unfold.

The first weeks of launching of my non-profit were met by supportive gestures, but the sales were mainly from close friends, teachers, and close relatives. There was a time when I felt quite discouraged, but the vision of this initiative was what got everything through. To see it now, flourishing throughout the entire nation, and for our work to be recognized and appreciated is a wave of support I am so grateful for. Whether published recognitions or opportunities like this on renowned talk-shows I don’t see it as an accomplishment of myself. I see it as the collective work, sweat, and minds of everyone invested in this initiative and most definitely, the brilliance of our friends and families with down syndrome who have been an unwavering source of inspiration and motivation for me.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing, there were days when I struggled to juggle other commitments, times when others have questioned me, and hesitations that naturally come here and there; however, I was able to persevere through them because of the support of my family at home and the family at school, which I am so indebted to. To everyone—and especially my entire down syndrome family—who have shown what grit is in practice, thank you for being unapologetically yourself. It has made all the difference, and it will continue to do so.

I’m so excited to continue this work through the next tens of years and to see what each and every one of us can do.”

Carys also shared about her experience of getting called for an interview on national TV for the first time:

“I got the call on behalf of the Kick Andy Show a couple weeks ago while I was in the middle of semi-rushing through an essay due the next day. Upon hearing the invitation, I was excited because this was an opportunity to show the nation the beautiful works of our friends with Down Syndrome. From Bagas’ monochromatic tote bag to Irfan’s Picasso-like strokes, I was electrified with excitement to put it out there. If my thoughts could be written, they would yell in capital letters, “ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THEY CAN DO?!”

On the D-day, it was a pleasure being able to converse with Om Andy Noya, who has been a central role in voicing the people’s voices. I got to share about my experiences and excitement, but most importantly I was able to share the core of the mission: to put forward the talents of the Down Syndrome community in Indonesia. They’re so able, so gifted – and it was right about time for people to start knowing…and loving.”

Congratulations Carys! We hope that many other students and people, especially women out there, are inspired by her thoughtful action and dare to empower themselves for the betterment of our society!