A summary of the latest updates relating to COVID-19 and how it is affecting the work of Bali Children’s Project.
This article was first published on 17th March 2020 and updated 31st March 2020. This article is based on the available information and advice at the time of writing.
The current Situation
As of the time of writing (31/03/2020) there are very few confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Bali, with official provincial statistics stating “of the 146 samples that have been tested, 109 sample results have come out, namely 90 negative people, 19 positive people.”
Indonesia’s COVID-19 figures currently stand at 1,400 confirmed cases and 122 fatalities. There are some fears that the virus will have a huge impact in Indonesia amid concerns of a lack of equipment and social distancing measures.
With borders effectively closed, Bali’s tourism has been hit and major tourist towns are empty, with many shops and restaurants closed. It’s a stark contrast to normality in Bali.
Schools Go Online
Schools, which were supposed to only be closed until 31st March, will be closed for a longer time until further notice.
The closure of all schools is a precautionary measure. Of course this impacts children’s education but on a wider scale is an important action for safeguarding children and families in Bali.
As schools have physically shut their doors, most are continuing with online studies, with schools making use of technology such as Google Classroom and online examinations.
Many of our children are now in need of phones, as they cannot go to internet cafes to get theirlessons. They need to find other children who can share their phones for online learning.
School closures of course have an impact on our work, as everything we do revolves around helping children to access education.
The Bali Children’s Project office is currently closed. However our work continues. Bali Children’s Project staff is working from home or under social distancing measures. Donors can still arrange appointments and find out more about our work.
What about our Programs?
Below is a list of how our programs are affected;
School Sponsorships – no sponsored children are currently in school. Our area co-ordinators are continuing their bi-weekly checks on them and we have encouraged all our sponsored students to learn through their curriculum while at home. Many students are taking online classes set up by their schools. As the measures are temporary, student fees have not changed.
HIV and AIDS Awareness – as our workshops take place in high schools, our HIV and AIDS Awareness workshops have been postponed. Our team is taking this opportunity to continue our support of Student Health Groups. During this time, we’ll be contacting all student groups and conducting a review of their progress, along with over-the-phone advice and support. Our innovative workshops are currently on pause physically, but our team is arranging online classes, which make use of our mobile phone Web App which focuses on Sex Education.
Child Protection Workshops – the workshops in elementary schools are also postponed. Our team is taking this as an opportunity to train our two new staff, ready to launch an expansion which will double the impact of the workshops. Once school resumes, we’ll add extra workshops to meet the same target number of students.
School Support – Kindergartens are also currently shut. However, we’re still in the midst of building and renovating three kindergartens, under social distancing measures of course. Work on these projects continues, with three new facilities currently being built. We are also reviewing new potential projects.
Libraries and Learning Centres – Currently all Learning Centres are closed. They will reopen when school reopens. Meanwhile, our newly funded Mangesta Library project is about to start, so our team is busy preparing this. We are excited to also be planning further Karmagawa funded projects, while donors are welcome to see our Fund a Library page.
With Bali effectively closed for tourists, we are seeing a drop in new donations, while we remain eternally grateful for the kind support given by all existing donors. You are what keeps our work going.
With a few sponorship cancellations, we have been heartened by an incredible response from supporters. Almost all sponsorship cancellations due to the coronavirus have been responsored by kind donors. And of course there is a huge appreciation from students across Bali who know their sponsors are continuing to support them despite tough times.
Life may have slowed down for many in Bali, and it is likely to have ramifications on student education in future. Our dedicated team (working under social distancing advice) still have plenty on their plate, all with the aim of helping children access better education.
We will continue to act appropriately based on government advice and deliver our programs that make the difference between a life of poverty or a life of opportunity.
If you are travelling to Bali and want advice, please consult your local travel agent or government travel advice.
Bali Children’s Project relies solely on the support of businesses and individuals
If you would like to support our work please click the link below