13th October 2015.
We were informed of five orphaned children, living with no parents or guardian in Central Bali. The situation upon assessment was even worse than what we had initially heard.
It was after explaining our sponsorship program that we heard of children living in quite shocking conditions. The group were telling their driver about the work of Bali Children’s Project, when he mentioned there were children nearby him that needed help.
The situation sounded dire. We heard that the children had been more or less living on their own after their father committed suicide and their mother could not cope and had left.
Bali Children’s Project staff Gede and Manda went to assess the situation to see what the reality was and how we could help. What they found was even worse than what we had initially though.
The five children were suffering from having no parents. We were told that their father had passed away 7 years ago and their mother had not seen them for over a year.
Their parents were so poor that the government had built a basic house for them.
Not only were the orphaned children left alone in their parents house, they had nobody to look after them. Their uncle has been desperately trying to take care of them, but cannot help full time.
The sad situation got worse when we heard about what the orphaned children were doing.
The eldest – a girl – has become relatively settled and has married into another family.
The second eldest – Yulianti – also a girl of 14 years old was not around. When we asked why, we were told she was in hospital.
She had left school at grade 7 and has been confined to hospital for almost a year. We were told she had suffered burns to 60% of her body after hot oil fell on her while working.
13 year old Luigi had also left school after grade 7 for different reasons. Having not been able to afford fees, he became a labourer. He now spends all his time working now and has no interest in school.
9 year old Deppa is still in school and was working all hours of her spare time washing dishes in a local restaurant.
She earned 5,000 IDR (about 0.35 USD) for one day of work.
We immediately covered this cost that has meant Deppa has now stopped working.
Youngest sibling Beki is just 7. He is thankfully not working, but his prospects for staying in school are slim to none – just like his older brothers and sisters.
We were shocked to the core at the situation these children found themselves in and got immediately on the case to help them.
Sucheta, who runs Go Eat Give has already kindly committed to sponsoring school needs for Deppa and Beki.
It means the siblings can stay in school and not have to drop out like their elder siblings. The sponsorship will also cover food, so 9 year old Beki does not have to work all hours just to afford eat.
Luigi is slightly more difficult as he is adamant he does not want to continue school. This is a more sensitive matter that we are working to change, but is difficult under the circumstances. We sincerely hope to get Luigi back in school to brighten his future prospects and are working towards this.
Upon visiting 13 year old Yulianti, we found some good news. Yulianti (the top photo) was not in fact in hospital, but was being taken care of by a kind local doctor. She still requires regular hospital treatment and visits twice a week.
We found out Yulianti was not in school (due to her burns) and have made it a priority to give her an education.
We are currently organising logistics for home schooling as she is unable to go to standard school.
It is one of our top priorities to help these children, who have been handed such a tough start to life. We are in touch with local authorities, schools and partners. We’ll be getting much more aid and support to the children and searching for a long term, sustainable solutions. We hope to give the children a more comfortable home life too.
In the meantime, the children have received new mattresses and pillows, thanks to kind donors from the volunteer group.
The educational sponsorships have ensured Deppa and Bekki can stay in school and won’t be forced to work. We are working on home schooling for Yulianti and hope to also convince Luigi to go to school once more.