Long term supporter Robert recently came to Bali, visiting some of the students he has been helping to sponsor for school. In this article, Robert shares his insights about the expereience:
With Bali Children’s Project (BCP) we visited a sponsored child on the east coast. He’s doing well in school and hopes to become a mechanic. The fascinating village elder came to tell us how he is inspiring the younger generation to change from subsistence ‘getting by’ to learning and work as an investment in the future.
Bali Children’s Project was also able to take me to visit another sponsored child, again on the east coast. Without reliable rainfall they cannot grow rice hence sweet potato being their staple food. You can see their rainwater harvesting system in one of the photos. The money saved on school fees allowed them to build a single room house, but it’s crowded with 3 children and 3 adults. The land is very fertile. However without a motorbike they have no way of getting their products to market (ideal for a micro loan). They also make bamboo baskets, of which I am now the proud owner of two!
The third visit of the day with Bali Children’s Project was to a family in Denpasar with a wildly inventive father. He had a homemade bean sprout production centre plus a hydroponic pak choi system and was in the midst of producing his own design tofu machine. He said the sponsorship had allowed him to keep his son in school, where he is first in his class, and the money saved went to buying a new 10 year lease on their small home thus providing much needed stability.
I was also fortunate to visit a couple youngsters I sponsor in beautiful Jembrana on the west coast after a harrowing 2.5 hours on my scooter, battling with lorries and buses. Thanks to Anas of BCP for leading the way! On graduation one of them hopes to be a chicken farmer and the other a mechanic. Without BCP introducing a sponsor, the kids would have left school years ago to pick up casual work labouring or wood carving to contribute to the family’s living expenses. As a high school graduate their earning potential is much much greater. It’s the only realistic route out of poverty. One picture shows an impressive dragon fruit plant. Also, I learnt that different castes have different colour temples in their compounds.
There are many children in Bali who are desperately needing sponsors to stay in school.
One in five children do not make it through high school in Bali. We can change that, but only with your support.