15th March 2017.
When differing faiths work together, amazing things happen. TK Batu Gambir is a shining example, as the community will now be getting a new kindergarten.
Welcome to Batu Gambir, North Bali
In the small village of Batu Gambir, far from the popular tourist areas of Bali, lies a community desperate to support their children’s early stage education.
TK Batu Gambir is a kindergarten with 20 students of mixed Muslim and Hindu faith. The community lives in harmony and work together as well as any community we have come across.
Faith Works Together
That includes running the local school, a kindergarten, which has been set up by two teachers of differing faith.
The school is only a school by name though. They have no formal building, no supplies and no materials. There are two teachers – one Muslim and one Hindu teacher – who are both great friends.
They run the school to help provide early learning to children from the area and earn very little doing so.
Having gotten together to start the school, they needed a space to teach in, with Batu Gambir’s head of the village offering the only room available; a small 3 x 4 meter room within the ‘Banjar building’.
Banjar buildings are normally some of the most grand within Balinese society – they are the central point for community events, religious activities, meetings and are generally a good indicator of wealth within a community.
With little other infrastructure, the school’s dedicated mixed faith teachers have been doing an incredible job, teaching in cramped conditions without any supplies. It’s a wonder how they manage to make enough room for 20 students.
After hearing about the school through a friend, our School’s Support Manager Ayu Trisna went to check it out.
‘This school I think is the worst one we have seen, because they have a small room and no supplies for the children. It is very difficult for learning.’
Vision of a New Kindergarten
With such a welcoming community, Ayu was able to discuss Bali Children’s Project’s Schools Support Program, and the process was set in motion for building a new school. Ayu being Ayu, she also dropped by with plenty of clothing donations, to the delight of the students.
After working on a formal agreement with the community, the village and teachers helped to identify community land that could be the site
for a new school.
Support Makes the Difference
It’s all thanks to funding from the Timothy Sykes Foundation, whose support is enabling Bali Children’s Project to create our 5th project.
With funding in place and the land already secured, our trusted builder Pak Ketut and his crew are already on site, ready to start work.
We’re always in need of supplies that can help schools, so please get in touch if you can help.