Hellena Souisa – After catching the coronavirus, Jenny Mikha was faced with a choice: go out on the streets to find food, and infect more people, or starve.
Like many of Indonesia's marginalised and stigmatised waria (transgender women), Ms Mikha didn't have a family network to support her while she was sick last month.
It was only thanks to help from the Waria Crisis Centre Yogyakarta's coordinator, Rully Malay or "Mom Rully", that Ms Mikha was able to self-isolate at home for two weeks until she felt better.
"At first I didn't want to tell anyone that I was sick, I thought I could still take care of myself," Ms Mikha told the ABC. "But because of this pandemic situation, I called Mom Rully and she asked me to self-isolate."
Ms Mikha said she was grateful for the support she received while she was self-isolating and to be healthy again.
"There has been absolutely nothing from the government," she said. "It's all from donations, from solidarity."
'Most of them died because they were malnourished'
According to Ms Malay, at least 18 trans women have died in Yogyakarta during the pandemic, but many of them did not even have COVID-19. "Most of them died because they were malnourished," she said.
Ms Malay, who also runs a transgender NGO called Kebaya, said many suffered from depression and comorbidities, such as heart attacks and strokes, which were triggered by the difficult economic situation.
"In the past we were able to survive even though things were tough, but since this pandemic it has been much more difficult, especially now there are no charities operating," she said.
Ms Malay said normally trans women in Indonesia worked as buskers, make-up artists, or hairdressers, earning about $100 a month. But during the pandemic, few were able to support themselves.
Ms Malay went to social media to seek donations for Yogyakarta's trans women and collected about $13,000, some of which went to Ms Mikha.
"To date, we have spent around $6,000 and we're saving the remaining $7,000 for unexpected things, especially if there is a death or funeral and funeral arrangements," she said.
"We're also planning to rent a room so we have an alternative place to stay."
Ms Mikha said most trans women didn't go to government health services because they weren't registered with the government.
"Apart from technical problems of synchronising our data, most of us are hesitant to register ourselves due to stigma in the community," she said.
She added that without an ID card she could not participate in elections, or even open a bank account.
Zudan Arif Fakrulloh, a director-general in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said services were available to all Indonesian citizens, including trans women.
"Because some of them were reluctant to come to us, we tried a different approach by working together with some trans women communities in collecting their data to register their Civil Identification Number [NIK]," Professor Fakrulloh told the ABC.
He urged trans women and groups to go to the Civil Registration Office to be registered.
Surviving on supplies of rice and instant noodles
Yulianus Rettblaut, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Transgender Communication Forum, said waria in the Jakarta area faced similarly difficult conditions to those in Yogyakarta.
Ms Rettblaut, better known as "Mami Yuly", runs a shelter for trans women in Depok, about 45km from Jakarta, which is funded by a hair salon employing eight trans women.
"Almost no customers come to the salon. Now I don't know how to pay the rent, I'm two months in arrears," she said.
She said the shelter provided emergency temporary accommodation for 831 mostly elderly trans women in the Greater Jakarta area, and that 17 were living there effectively on a permanent basis.
This was even despite the local neighbourhood head warning her that a maximum of 10 people at a time could stay there during the pandemic.
"But it's called a halfway house, we can't control how many people come back and forth, right? And if someone needs help, how can I refuse it?" Ms Rettblaut said.
She said the women in the shelter were mostly reliant on donations.
"Now we have only 35 kilograms of rice left to survive. That's all I've got," she said. "But even so, many trans women friends have come and asked me if I could give them some. My heart was torn."
Ms Rettblaut has also asked the trans women who work in the salon and live at her shelter to make and sell cakes.
"As long as we can have enough money to buy rice or [instant] noodles, we will be okay. We will just hang on," she said.
"We are having a hard time, because in this month alone there are around 27 trans women in Jakarta who died from COVID.
"Fortunately, because they were buried according to COVID protocols, it didn't cost anything.
"But there are hundreds of trans women who are currently self-isolating and have difficulty getting access to health care, because some do not have ID cards."
Meanwhile, a collaboration between activists and community workers in Canberra, Melbourne, Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali is working to fill the gaps in support.
The cross-border community initiative has so far raised more than $10,000 through the GoFundMe platform to support Indonesian transgender women while they self-isolate at home and to access vaccines.