Meeting with SOS Children's Village Bali's Head
To be frank, I wasn't expecting much, but SOS showed me more than I can possibly fathom it could. 🤯
What they do 💪
"SOS Children's Villages International has 118 associations in the world. I travelled to Bali to meet the Director of SOS' Bali's branch, Pak Putu.
Putu first shared their operations in Bali. With 7.1 hectares of land (~13 Football Fields ⚽ ), they house 115 orphans and abandoned children, with about 8-12 children assigned to one "mother", residing from birth 🤱until they graduate from high school 👩🎓😊.
Upon graduation from middle school, they attend high school and live in SOS' hostel in Seminyak or Kuta 🌄 where they attend high school.
Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)
On top of their own "village" which even houses a library, hall and a computer lab, 🤩they have devised a new programme recently called Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) which has been running 🏃♂️ for more than two years.
Amazingly, this programme has reached out to 5 regions with many villages, totalling 135 families, and 227 children.
Desa: (This is not full sum, he only gave a few from the massive excel)
Part 1 of FSP SOS CV Beneficiaries:
FSP's beneficiaries are also in Tabanan, where SOS Children's Village is located.
These are not orphans or abandoned children but rather whole/partial families that survive on $1-2 a day without the ability to send their children to school, buy shoes, books, uniforms and stationary. Again, without the help of SOS CV, children will not be able to attend school, but end up helping weave baskets from vines, working in the fields.
What WOW can do
To get to school, Children and Teens in FSP programme ride second hand donated motorbikes illegally without a license, or safety helmets. Frequently, they are also underage. But when SOS tells the children not to commute with 🏍 🚫, they reply with "then what's an alternative?".
This is exactly where SOS Children's Village says we can help. 💁♂️Families who do not have this mode of transport then walk for hours on end to get to work, to school, or even to receive medical care. A case study below. 💓
Visit to villages, families, village chief and school principals.
Ni Komang Wahyu Jani Artini,
the third child of two parents who makes 1.5million Rupiah per month (~averaging $5 a day).
Wahyu strives in her academics, topping class often, and even teaches Balinese dance to younger children after school every other day.
Wahyu is a little celebrity in her village. She often performed the Bali dance for events and ceremonies in the community. She was featured in the 📸 local newspaper to make baskets, chairs, containers and a boat oar from plastic recyclables ♻️. She shared with me during the interview she wanted to be a teacher 👩🏫 when she grows up as she always taught of it as a job of kind heartedness, and because she wants to encourage other children to study as well.
Wahyu is extremely lucky to be receiving aid from SOS children's village (SOS CV), allowing her to attend school.
But this story is not without its struggles.
Wahyu's parents are low skilled workers who barely make enough to scrape through day to day.
Her father works as an ad-hoc construction worker 👷♂️ in the vicinity and helps to construct houses when there are projects in the community. However, once that stops or when there are no projects happening, he will be jobless and earns 0 income.
Her family lives day by day, with no savings. His wife, sells banana and coconut leaves (offerings) 🍁 but earns an insignificant amount from that, about 30 cents per day on good days and on bad ones, none.
Hence, with the help of SOS CV 💪, their child is able to attend school, and provides a possibility out of the poverty cycle.
12, Wahyu goes to school everyday by a donated motorbike or by walking. Waking up at 5am everyday, she has a bath, and walks an hour or motorbikes for 7-10 minutes for 6km. She travels nearly 20km a day – 6km to school and to her after school activity of teaching Balinese dance to younger children 3km away and 9-10km back home. 😪
😣 Undoubtedly, this is illegal due to her age and lack of driving license. But she is just one of many children in the area who attends school and after-school lessons on their bikes.
I did however, see school buses leaving the school I was visiting, the size of a truck carrying nearly 25-30 students. But again, that is the lucky few students of the 413 in SPN1🏫, being able to afford school bus fares. Besides, those on the school bus live along the main streets where roads are accessible by car.
Wahyu's family pays 50k (~S$5.00) per month for electricity, 25k (~S$2.50) for food daily, Benzene petrol for his daughter's commute 10k (~S$1.00) and father earning on average 36k (~S$3.60) daily.
There are many families like Wahyu's. In Tabanan region alone, there are 7 villages, housing about 25 families each, totalling about 180 families.
With your help, when you donate $280, you help ensure one family will be able to survive without worrying about their next meal.
Some details shared
One of my quests coming here to Bali is also to register our NGO. I asked SOS Bali Pak Putu how to do so but none of them really knew how. This was because SOS' headquarters is in Bandung and they are the ones who did the registration a long long time ago: 11 years. Nevertheless, they gave me the contact of a few directors in Bandung SOS Headquarters.
Pak Putu alongside Mierza and Alit (man who brought me around) gave me a shortlist of villages and statistics. But more info like names and Date of Birth and address requires permission from HQ in Bandung.
💯Alit brought me to visit the families receiving aid from SOS. I'm extremely thankful that Alit brought me around to visit 3 families under the scorching sun and all for free when he could've taken a good 3 hour break. Although he spoke limited English, he still tried his very best to assist me with translating from English to Indonesian to Balinese. He didn't even accept my offer to pay for his benzene (gas) which can get expensive. Truly a kind heart! 💓💓
What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.