A summary of the latest updates relating to COVID-19 and how it is affecting the work of Bali Children’s Project.
The current Situation
***Updated 1st May 2020***
Up until recently there were very few cases of COVID-19 in Bali.
However, recent tests of 1,210 people showed a 37% positive rate, with suspicions things could get a lot worse. With test kits finally getting through, Bali is bracing for a huge increase in official figures.
Bali is seeing more and more restrictions as all air travel has now been stopped until 1st June. This means Bali’s main income of tourism will continue to be hit, leaving many people without jobs.
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.
Bali Children’s Project is taking a cautious approach to the outbreak. Our team continues to deliver work from home or outdoors under special circumstances using protective equipment.
We are still reviewing the best ways to support the families we help and others who have been impacted. As we start to see these impacts, we will keep supporters updated on how they can help.
Schools Go Online
Like elsewhere in the world, schools are closed and unlikely open agai until June.
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. We are seeking support to create an online cartoon so that the information is available to all children in Bali – and Indonesia.
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.