The newest program for Bali Children’s Project is the creation of Traditional Balinese Herbal Gardens. This program of agricultural sustainability, aimed at teaching Balinese youth the history and value of their own heritage, creates rich organic gardens. This important heritage has been sustained for centuries by healers and farmers working the land.
In the face of modern technology, our aim is to have Balinese teachers and farmers work with children, youth, and parents to create and maintain gardens that will enrich everyone. Experts in organic gardening are giving workshops, so that the gardeners and farmers and children creating this garden can grow healthy crops.
Our first and currently most beautiful garden is in Tulikup, Gianyar. Swiss organization Citizen of the World (COOW) gave BCP a grant for its creation. The garden was quickly designed and planted. Medicinal and healing plants grow abundantly, with learning information attached to each.
In the summer of 2014, led by intern Jenna Murphy, an additional garden was added that is aimed at an audience of girls. Herbs and plants for “women’s issues” are growing there, and classes are being offered for the girls at the garden. It’s a unique experience to see the expression on the girl’s faces as they learn about their bodies and their link to nature.
The garden is being groomed as a small eco tourist site, with plans to educate tourists who are interested in visiting and taking lessons in Balinese agriculture. Plans also include funding to hire a trained teacher in organic gardening to give regular and frequent classes to perpetuate this dream.
Plans now involve planting a garden with every kindergarten that we create or assist, with the dream that this program can become part of the learning process for the children from their earliest years. It’s a great tradition and BCP wants to do its part in sustaining it.