Introduction

IHF Bali operates an Education Center in Buitan Village, Manggis, Bali, located approximately 2 hours away from Denpasar.

English, Math, and Computer classes are run at the center daily, and are available to students ranging from SD1 (first year primary school) to SMA (senior high school). The classes are taught by both local and international volunteers.

 

Bali Tourism & Poverty

Bali is an island almost completely dominated by tourism. The immense discrepancy between the wealthy and the poor continues to grow, even as tourism booms. This often leaves people who live by traditional means caught in poverty and struggling to survive.

Volunteers at our IHF Bali Center teach the children that there are other possibilities for their futures aside from Bali tourism and poverty. We teach them that the world is open to those who are willing to explore.

Religions in Bali Center

The IHF Center in Bali is located between a Muslim and a Hindu village. There are no religious barriers within the center and people of all ages, castes, and religions study together freely.

Children at Bali Center

The children at the Bali Center are mostly from remote villages with little, or no, infrastructure. Access is a major issue for these children, as public transportation only reaches the main roads and many people living in rural villages do not have their own private vehicles.

Programs and Communal Family Structures

While some of our IHF Centers are safe-homes, this is only the case out of necessity. In Bali, communal family structures exist, so children have many mothers and fathers to care for them.

Rather than offer a safe-home, IHF provide schooling and meets other needs of these impoverished children. The children life off site with their communal families who love them. We believe these beautiful communal family structures should not be lost.

By providing free education, a permanent support system, and running additional programs such as free healthcare check-up days, IHF offers the children of Bali a stable platform to gain the confidence and knowledge they need to excel.

Location

Ongoing Events 

The Indonesian island of Bali starts welcoming visitors again after months of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 crisis and yet successfully containing the virus.

 

The Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster has recently signed the ‘New Era of Life Order Protocol’, a decree that will regulate the reopening of the Bali economy and announced a three-step plan to reopen activity in compliance with “new normal” policies. The three stages of Bali reopening are: The first phase: July 9th, 2020 – Bali reopens all local businesses but limited to the island’s local residents only. It says the locals would have to be “mentally ready” first before eventually receiving visitors. The second phase: July 31st, 2020 – Bali reopens to wider segment that includes domestic visitors. The Third Phase: September 11th, 2020 – Bali will officially open its borders for overseas visitors, in which time IHF Bali Center will consider to open its door for new volunteers again.

 

However, among those sectors which are now reopened, the island’s education sector is temporarily left off as its reopening is dependent on the policy issued by Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture. Schools should ideally be commencing new school year again in July. Our major concern however goes to our children. The new school year always represents the most costly time of the year for students – enrolling in a new school year, paying annual fees, extra-curricular fees, uniforms, shoes, books, and more. In fact, things might have got a lot worse for most families. With a reduced income due to the pandemic,  raising school fees for their children has proved even more difficult. If families can’t afford that, students have little choice but to drop out.

 

 

This is pretty much critical time that sponsorship will save the day! The IHF Bali Center will re-focus to help finding students at high risk of dropping out and give them a future by covering their school fees. This program is wholly reliant on the kindness of our sponsors. There is a list of children awaiting sponsorship on the Sponsorship Waiting List and we are inviting supporters to to come to their aid.

This year on July 31, Muslim devotees celebrated the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha which is known as the Feast of the Sacrifice. The villagers at the predominantly Muslim Buitan village celebrated the holy day in a subtle way as there were no big feast celebrations.

 

The night before Eid al-Adha, children from the village gathered to celebrate the  “Takbiran” night at the mosque. they took turns to sing the “Shalawat”. Takbiran ended at 9 and continued after the fajr prayer until before the Eid Prayer.

 

The day began early with morning prayers at the local mosque and ended by performing sacrifices. Goats and cows were slaughtered and directly butchered on site. The meats, known as qurban, were then divided equally into portions for distribution to go out to every home in the village and the poor. Just like in other places in Indonesia, the meat is usually turned into satay or the basis for curry dishes or other local meals.

 

Past Events

While the National Task Force of the Mitigation of COVID-19 has given broad powers to regional governments across Indonesia to implement the ‘new normal’, Bali up to now remains vigilant. The Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster, told public that Bali is not yet ready for ‘New Normal’ at this time since the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country have not shown a sign to slow down and local transmission of the coronavirus still happening in Bali. 

The Bali Center, however, is taking a cautious approach to the current development. Although the Center is not yet re-open, our work continues despite strict health protocol and under social distancing measures. Our teams are still reviewing the best ways to support the children we help and others who might have been impacted. As we start to see these impacts, we will keep supporters updated on how they can help.

As schools have physically still closed and unlikely open again until maybe mid of July, most of our children are continuing with online studies set up by their schools. School closures of course have an impact on our work too, as everything we do revolves around helping children to access education. The children miss their school, friends, etc and parents are at the same time also worried their children might fall further behind in their education.

The challenge with online studies is that many of our children are indeed in need of phones with a good internet connection, as not every household has the privilege of internet access and they cannot go to internet cafes to get their lessons. They need to find other children who can share their phones for online learning.

During this pandemic, with many businesses in Bali still close and the island effectively closed for tourists, we are seeing a drop in new donations. Some of our programs that are affected are: our classrooms for English, Maths, and Computer are still closed. They will reopen when school reopens; Sponsorships are also declining since no sponsored children are currently in school. Life may have slowed down for many in Bali, and it is likely to have consequences on children education in future

We will continue to act appropriately based on government advice and be more patiently wait until the situation has improved. 

Since last week, Bali has reported an increasing number of predominantly local COVID-19 transmissions. We’ve been closely monitoring every development especially in our surroundings and are all being more cautious with our activities that might invite a crowd or involve a large group of people or children. The local authorities in Bali and even at a smaller community like ours in Buitan village, has ordered the community including us to obey the government’s instructions. Therefore, no event is currently planned until we are certain the situation is a lot safer for all of us – the local community, the children, and the volunteers.

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Read Bali Center Volunteer Manual Here: