27 Dec Bali Children Foundation
A 15-year-old boy from Tigawasa village is living alone in a tattered house made of bamboo and old tiles. His name is Putu. After the death of his father, Putu’s mother remarried, leaving him. For income, he often works in a small bamboo workshop owned by his uncle, earning around IDR 10,000 (AUS$1) per day. When it is not enough, he asks his uncle for food.
A Bali Children Foundation representative visited Putu with the Head of the village of Tigawasa. As a result, Putu is now studying in the 9th grade of junior high school and he is highly motived to continue his education. BCF will now support Putu along with over 1,100 students in a similar position, by paying for their school fees, transport costs, school needs, university costs, job placement and mentoring; and where necessary contributing towards living expenses, giving these children and their families an opportunity to break the poverty cycle.
The Indonesian island province of Bali is famous worldwide for its ancient culture, spectacular beach resorts, breathtaking landscapes that include steaming volcanoes, hectares of terraced, emerald green rice fields, tropical rainforests and the most warm and welcoming people – idyllic in every sense.
However, Bali’s remote rural communities have been heavily impacted by both man-made and natural disasters and many families are caught in the poverty trap with little or no income. There is minimal government assistance and all education must be paid for. The dropout rate in rural primary schools is very high. Children frequently have no option other than a lifetime of working on the land for limited remuneration.
Our vision, at Bali Children Foundation, is to provide an educational pathway for disadvantaged Balinese children – a journey leading to growth and long-term sustainability by providing:
– community education in remote areas of Bali
– English in the Village (EITV) and Computers in the Village (CITV) classes in 16 locations
– educational opportunities to children at associated Children’s Homes
– contributing to primary, secondary and tertiary scholarships to children in 40 communities
In 2008, our work expanded to community education and the establishment of the village projects. Whilst we are happy to assist children’s education via sustainable Children’s Homes, we would prefer to have children living at home while they study at school and in BCF education facilities.
To achieve this, we developed a survey procedure, selected districts and started working with community leaders and families. With their support, we established our education projects in villages in North and West Bali and recently Nusa Lembongan.
On invitation, applicants are invited to apply for a community education scholarship. To be eligible, the family must hold a Government Poor Card. Once identified, the potential applicant is “surveyed”. A typical community survey might involve a journey of 45+ minutes into remote areas where roads do not exist and the only method of transport to the family is by foot or motorbike.
Typically we will encounter previously unseen poverty and hardship. For example, in one small group of dwellings – no electricity, sanitation or clean water – we found an entire family of six sleeping in one bedroom; in another one-room house five sleeping in the kitchen, a blind mother with a brain tumour, and young children living with hunger and malnutrition.
The family profiles vary but most of the families are landless farm labourers who work for a landlord, receive shelter and food but very little cash income. The mothers either bead garments or make baskets to provide some funds for the household.
Although the majority of parents have Primary School level education, many are functionally illiterate. Children of these families typically drop out after Primary School or early in Junior High School.
However as Bali becomes more sophisticated, prospects for uneducated workers are poor. We hope to arrest this pattern. By becoming involved at Primary level, we offer an education pathway for families who cannot afford senior education for their children.
Putu is just one of so many children in the village who urgently need our support. On our last visit to Putu’s house, we found that in Tigawasa village around 700 households are currently living below the poverty line. This is almost 50% of the total population of Tigawasa.
This discovery has encouraged BCF to start another online auction to help the children get the education they deserve.
Our target in this auction is to collect IDR 165 Million (AUS$ 16,500) to start helping 50 children from this community. Join us in making a difference for all of the children, their families and the community of Tigawasa!
You can help by liking, sharing and bidding on one of the many fantastic auction items posted on the Bali Children Foundation Charity Auction Facebook page – or if you have something to donate in Bali, Singapore, Sydney or internationally, please message us through the Facebook page.
Alternatively, as an individual or a business, it is only approximately $330 per annum to sponsor an individual child’s education and break the poverty cycle for that child, their family and community. If you are interested please contact us through our website for more information – www.balichildrenfoundation.org.
Thanks for your support!