Setyawan did not mind helping out and continued to do so while working as a village secretary in Paringan, which is located within Ponorogo regency. He married Lamini in 1998.
In 2005, Setyawan had to stop volunteering. “I had to stop doing it cos I had tetanus,” he recounted. He almost died but eventually managed to recover.
He told CNA that the near-death experience made him decide to dedicate his life to helping people with mental health problems.
In 2007, someone asked Setyawan to pick up two men, aged 37 and 45, who had been discharged from a psychiatric hospital.
As their families did not welcome them back, Setyawan decided to take them home.
Lamini remembers being shocked when Setyawan came home with the strangers.
“To me, it was just strange. Why should we have them at our house?
“We were still a young family and I wanted attention from my husband but was forced to share it with strangers.”
Eventually, she began to understand why Setyawan wanted to help.
“I realised that people who suffer from mental health problems also need attention, affection and love like us normal people,” Lamini recounted.
Setyawan added: “And now actually it is the other way around. She is the one who takes care of them.”
For the next 10 years, they took in mainly men who suffered from mental health issues.
But in 2017, they decided to house only women as Setywan started to take a step back due to health reasons and Lamini became the main caregiver.
Setyawan and Lamini do not charge a fee for looking after those with mental health problems. However, most of the families give the couple a small token sum to help out with their expenses.
When funds run low, the couple would draw from their savings. They have also received donations from the public.
Margo Widodo can take care of 12 people at once.