Contrary to popular belief, Bali’s tourism industry which is growing at an unprecedented rate doesn’t always impact people living in rural areas. The myth of the ‘trickle down effect’ strikes again, it seems. Many families in rural areas are caught in the poverty trap with little or even no income to survive – this helps to explain the huge number of school-age children not attending school in particular regions. They prefer, or actually have no option other than to work on the land or sell things like bracelets, fruits and other items to earn a living and support their family.

The economic factor is one thing. The next critical problem is the school facilities. Many schools in the villages are surviving in a very poor physical condition. Broken furniture and leaking roof are one of the things children have to deal with every day, while teachers struggle with a limited source of educational materials and teaching aids. This inconvenient truth triggers a very high drop-out rate in rural primary schools.

Photo courtesy of Bali Children Foundation

So many charitable organisations on this island are doing a remarkable job to break this vicious cycle by educating these children and giving them options to look at better employment opportunities in the future. Bali Children Foundation is helping children through its various initiatives since 2002. Founded by Margaret Barry, this foundation creates an educational pathway for disadvantaged Balinese children by providing a journey, from junior schools until graduate level, leading to their growth and long-term sustainability.

Focusing on the north and west remote areas of the island, Bali Children Foundation ensures that children under their support will graduate and get decent jobs. They have supported over a thousand children through a scholarship programme, which also contributes to school fees, uniforms, shoes, books, bags, stationery and all the basic needs to support a child through their education.

Photo Courtesy of Bali Children Foundation

Every child, indeed, deserves an opportunity to succeed despite their beginnings. Unfortunately, many of them who live in orphanages feel they are destined for a future akin to their families before them. However, it only takes a little guidance and effort to encourage these children that they have the potential to succeed despite what life may have dealt them. Through numerous child’s programmes, these youth can change the way they see their future. With positive approaches, vocational skill developments and encouragement, they can break the cycle and see the better possibilities for their future. Of course, their willingness to succeed is another element to be maintained.

To equip children with the tools they need is Stella’s Child’s goal. Founded in 2013 by Timothy Cameron, they strive to unlock the potential of underserved youth by providing children with a blend of programmes that increase their self-esteem and confidence as well as their employability. Stella’s Child believes that every child under their care is intelligent, talented and capable of reaching any possibilities. Their graduates have proven to earn highly paid positions with the definite possibility of promotion to executive positions. To this date, all of Stella’s Child graduates have found career paths or have enrolled in tertiary education programmes. Their programmes are creating a mind shift to children and allowing them to reach their potential.

Learning new skills, Photo courtesy of Stella’s Child

Located in an isolated east side of Bali, East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) started their education programmes in 1999 initiated by David Booth. By 2007, they had started 6 schools in the most remote mountain hamlets. After getting support and approval from the local government education department, they designed literacy programmes that would serve as a foundation for future development. EBPP recruited the teachers, all local people who were motivated to learn and lead their communities forward through their own children. The curriculum is tailored to their needs, and in addition to the standard curriculum, EBPP students learn about nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, good health practice, environmental education, arts, crafts and music. In turn, the children teach their illiterate parents and together they are transforming their communities and look to a future where poverty will be history!

Providing education where education cannot be found, East Bali Poverty Project

All EBPP’s education and other programmes have been made possible thanks to private sector donations. But now, starting the 2018 – 2019 academic year, EBPP’s Jatituhu and Pengalusan schools are under-funded. To keep its vision alive and empower locals, EBPP also sells bamboo bikes. To purchase these bikes, you can order online through

Similar with EBPP focusing on health education as a foundation, Bali Kids’ top priority is to educate the community in relation to HIV and offer the best quality care for children affected by HIV/AIDS. Founded in 2005 by Alice Matulessy and Brenton Whittaker, this organisation sends out their qualified team of Doctors and Nurses on a weekly basis to travel to remote villages, residential care facilities and centres for the disabled. At the sites, a health education programme is presented and followed by a Q&A session. After the class, children with health issues have the opportunity to be treated either on-site or at the clinic located in Abian Base.

Bali Kids understands the necessity of education about HIV, that anyone with HIV must not be discriminated against. Thanks to their 14 years of service, people now are more aware of how it is contracted, how to prevent HIV and the steps to take if a person is suspected of being HIV positive. The level of fear has certainly been reduced in many communities because of this knowledge. The next effort is to keep children suffering from HIV/Aids at their residential care centre. This is a crucial step because the village they live in can be a risk for some children whose immune system is compromised. Poor hygiene and nutrition, unvaccinated pets and livestock, as well as low education standards, present a risk in the village for such children. However, when the children reach an age where they have a clear understanding of their illness and can self-medicate, sending them back to their village becomes a viable option. At the moment, Bali Kids also runs an Anti-Smoking education programme, which is a serious health issue for the Balinese Community.

For the love of reading, courtesy of Bali Kids

Another way to make sure children are well-educated, mothers’ skills education must also take part. Most of the cases, the unskilled women get pregnant at an earlier age and have more children than their educated peers, continuing the poverty cycle and also producing more orphaned children. Unskilled women are also open to manipulation, such as prostitution, trafficking and slave labour. These facts triggered Mike O’Leary to establish Bali WISE, a community-based programme that will support skills education for women, in 2012. Generally, Bali Wise removes the barriers preventing disadvantaged women to access further education and secure work.

Empowering marginalised women through skills education, Bali Wise provides a six-month intensive programme, which includes hands-on learning sessions for improving English speaking and writing skills, learning basic hospitality skills, accounting, and gaining knowledge about women’s and reproductive health, family planning and character building. This free education programme focuses on business and vocational skills, especially in the hospitality sector. They partner with hotels and companies for the on-site working experience.

Since 2012, Bali Wise has succeeded to place more than 800 women in gainful employment, with above 87% of graduates finding full-time employment within three months. In this six-month Skills Education course, each student will receive all educational resources, uniform, 3 meals per day, accommodation, and even a monthly allowance of USD $50 that they can send home.


How to Support

Education is the bridge to a better future, and not many people have access to get a proper education. Non-profit organisations can be an answer to save these unfortunate people. Many NGOs, however, rely on donations to keep the ball rolling.

Bali Children Foundation

Direct Payment donation
Bank: Commonwealth Bank
Account Numbers: 1023110631 (IDR) or 1023103052 (AUD)
Beneficiary: Yayasan Samiarsa Seminyak

Teaching facilities, which includes supplies for classes, pictorial books and other educational aids
More detail on how you can support, please visit:
Address: Jalan Raya Kesambi No.369, Kerobokan
Phone: +62 851 00648400

Bali Kids

Direct Payment donation
Bank: Commonwealth Bank
Account Number: 1018735527 (IDR)
Beneficiary: Yayasan Anak Anak Bali

Sanitary pads for volcano evacuees, formula and porridge for infants and toddlers, cold and flu medicine, extra soft disposable diapers, cooking oil (canola or vegetable only) and first aid kits for evacuee families.

More detail on how you can support, please visit
Address: Jalan Raya Cica, Abian Base, Badung
Phone: +62 361 9006331

Stella’s Child

Donations to Stella’s Child can be mailed to: Stella’s Child 2707 Adams Mill Road NW No.507 Washington, DC 20009 USA
Or you can visit for online donation using credit cards
Address: Jalan Made Bulet No.9X, Dalung
Phone: +62 878 62468665

Bali Wise

Direct Payment donation
Bank: Permata Bank
Account Number: 5801231804 (IDR)
Beneficiary: Yayasan Role Bali

More detail on how you can support, please visit
Address: Jalan Siligita No.22 – Nusa Dua
Phone: +62 812 39693383

East Bali Poverty Project

Direct Payment donation
Bank: BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia)
Account Number: 0055295647 (IDR)
Beneficiary: Yayasan Ekoturisme Indonesia

More detail on how you can support, please visit
Address: Jalan Tunjung Sari No.2 YZ, Padang Sambian Kaja, Denpasar
Phone: +62 361 410071

Joannes Rhino

Joannes Rhino

Joannes Rhino is a Editor in NOW! Bali Magazine