In 2015, I was experiencing Carer Burnout and could no longer sustain caring for my daughter Freyr who was 14 years old at the time. I was faced with putting her into State Care when at ‘the eleventh hour’ a friend of mine from the Philippines offered that I could come and live with their family and help to care for Freyr who has medium to high level intellectual disability and traits of Autism. I was humbled and accepted my friend’s offer and moved with Freyr to the Philippines in January 2016.

Freyr being supported by local families in the Philiippnes

And that was the beginning/start of our journey the past five years into a more inclusive and fulfilling fun life for my daughter and an eye-opening personal journey of learning, discovery and adaptation for myself. Though at times incredibly challenging, in terms of living conditions and unfamiliarity of language – we have been incredibly blessed and welcomed…
photo collage of Freyr's experinces in bali

We have used our income from Child Support from Freyr's father to sustain living overseas (which we received up until recently); Freyr has made many new friends and I have felt supported by living in the caring cultures of Philippines and Indonesia and have been able to cope with her care while also having the opportunity to develop my own learning in natural building with bamboo from local people and other families where we have stayed over the duration of the past nearly 5 years.

 

....My vision from here is to "crowdfund" between families of kids with special needs to create a time-share retreat model for meeting the needs of ourselves as carers and our children now and into the future.

I aim to create a Super-Natural-Annuation-type model which parents and people with disabilities themselves may co-invest in to propagate disability-friendly, accessible, inclusive, fun and natural spaces for people to coexist and work together in - becoming self-sustaining through community-enterprise activities and sharing with other families for harmonious supported living.