Taboos in Bali

With the new school year starting, it was induction time in schools all over Bali. It’s a special time of year for children, who are experiencing junior or senior high for the first time.

It also represents a huge opportunity to educate. With all school students eager to start the new year, the unique opportunity to present information to youngsters is a key point in our sex education calendar.

Working with 25 schools across five regencies, our team worked almost non-stop to deliver classes to 9,557 students!

Special Workshops

Normally, the team undertakes five workshops per month, focusing on five schools all in the same regency, but in these circumstances they were able to reach 25 schools in just one month.

With a mix of videos, engagement games, group work, question and answer sessions and even condom simulation, the workshops have been a hit with schools in Bali.

The special workshops required plenty of preparation. Our goal is to not only deliver sessions, but help schools self-educate and capacity build.

Bali Children’s Project does this through working with mandatory ‘HIV/AIDS Awareness Club’ (known as KSPAN groups). The groups learn how to deliver sessions themselves, which means lots of preparation time.

Many schools struggle to promote effective sex, health and HIV/AIDS education.

Special workshops involve running two workshop classes in tandem, one delivered by the school’s KSPAN group and another by Bali Children’s Project. Students are invited to take part in both as part of their inductions into school.

Our team helped the KSPAN groups to develop and deliver their classes – using song as a vehicle for learning about HIV and AIDS. The class then discusses the song and find out key facts through group work.

Over in the other class, Bali Children’s Project, assisted by the KSPAN group deliver film showings, condom simulation and a testimonial from our facilitator, who lives with HIV.

Technology Matters

In 2018, Bali Children’s Project is launching some innovative new aspects to the Sex Education program. Monitoring KSPAN groups closely, we will be deploying an innovative new mobile phone app, helping teenagers all over Bali to learn potentially life saving information, wherever they are.

The phone app becomes a key free resource for KSPAN groups, who use it to help educate fellow students and themselves.

Technology plays a huge part in youngster’s lives, and all KSPAN groups are encouraged to create their own Instagram accounts to show off their educational work in their school.

The active instagram accounts help Bali Children’s Project to monitor and identify groups struggling, doing well or needing a little help. It’s all part of a larger competition that rewards KSPAN groups for their efforts.

Real Issues

The beauty of these start-of-year workshops is that schools make HIV and AIDS, sex and drug use a key topic from the start of the year.

It’s needed too.

Cases of HIV and AIDS in Bali have been rising every year since record keeping began in 2010.

The number of people contracting HIV/AIDS has doubled from 12,000 in 2013 to 24,000 in 2018.

A huge reason as to why HIV and AIDS has spread so fast is down to education. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, cases rose by 15%.

In the UNAIDS Databook, knowledge of HIV prevention among young people (15-24) is shockingly low; only 11.4% or 1 in 10 people considered sufficiently educated in HIV/AIDS.

Stigma and marginalisation is real too. Based on survey done by UNAIDS, 2 out of 3 Indonesians would not buy vegetables from a shopkeeper with HIV (out of fear they would contract it).

Educating those who are soon to become sexual active could save their lives.

Youngsters who are soon to become adults can make informed decisions about their life, thanks to what they have learned in school. With heterosexuals between 21-29 at the highest risk, educating before becoming sexually active is crucial.

For 2018, this program is kindly funded by The Mel Wolf Foundation and Lucky Number 9. It is also supported by our friends at Three Monkeys Cafe’s and individual donations.

Bali Children’s Project is searching for long term funding to improve and increase workshops for teenagers

This program only runs thanks to funding from grants and supporters. We need to raise $24,000 USD each year to sustain the project, and aim to raise up to $50,000 to expand and improve in 2019.