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December 2017 Newsletter

A Note From Marg

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Photo credit: Nicole Humphreys

A new year is on the horizon. How the last twelve months passed so quickly is beyond our comprehension, but one thing we do know is that 2017 has been a year of triumphs for Bali Children Foundation.

Our major projects in Songan (North Bali), Lembongan (East Bali) and the disability sector have been hugely successful. We’re currently bringing educational opportunities to a total of 3,734 school students, 50 tertiary students and 33 graduates many​ of which are girls. The fundraising efforts from our supporters in Australia have been stellar, with more events in the pipeline for the year to come. We share the details in the pages below.

As we ring in 2018, however, we remember the thousands of lives that remain disrupted by the ongoing activity of Mount Agung. The red zone’s residents are living in uncertainty at the mercy of the mountain and we’re mindful of the work that needs to go into assisting evacuated children with their education.​

Please join our efforts to support the evacuees and Bali’s economy in these trying times. We hope you enjoy reading about the year that has been.

With sincere thanks,
Marg Barry
Founder, Bali Children Foundation.

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Classroom To Classroom

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AIS headmaster John Milliss and our students

We are particularly excited about our partnership with Australian Independent School (AIS).

Each class at AIS sponsors one BCF student from the same grade in Tigawasa, North Bali. The partnership is as much about building relationships as it is about fundraising. This year, our kids joined their AIS companions for an afternoon of traditional games and performances at the school’s annual Indonesian Independence Day celebrations. And on 10 November, AIS hosted a Twilight Walk-a-thon around the oval of their new campus, bringing in significant funding towards educational opportunities in Tigawasa.

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Independence Day fun

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Students come together at the Twilight Walk-a-thon

Our latest mission is to bring high-tech education solutions to remote students in North Bali, and thanks to the generosity of AIS and a fabulous donation from Zoe Watson at Bliss Spa we now have the funding to create these programs.

A big thank you to AIS headmaster John Milliss and, of course, the brilliant students of Australian Independent School. Here's a video recap of the Walk-a-thon.

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Steps Forward In Songan

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We’re happy to report fantastic progress in our newest district, Songan. We first connected with this village after the tragic February landslides that left its community shattered. Our Sing for Songan event helped us raise enough money to fund English in the Village and Computer in the Village at SD2 Primary School and we’ve now expanded our programs to SD6 Primary School thanks to some solid fundraising efforts and a DAP grant from the Australian Government.

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A classroom at SD7, Songan

Our next challenge is to get our programs into SD7 – a primary school in the worst-hit part of the village, which until recently was completely cut off by landslide damage. This school itself is in an extremely neglected condition and road access remains too dangerous for our teachers to cross. The funds from SD7 have been secured and we hope that with government-funded repairs to the road and classrooms we will be able to establish our English classes here soon.

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The students of Songan

In the meantime, we’ve given the students of SD7 fresh school uniforms. These kids are greatly disadvantaged by their socio-economic circumstances and remote location and new uniforms are a great way to lift their spirits. Thanks to Danielle Cullen from the Australian Institute of Food Safety and Will Lovejoy and the My Red Envelope team for donating them.

We’re already providing English classes to around 476 students in Songan and this number will grow once we roll-out in SD7. We’ve had a stellar amount of support from our Bright Futures fundraising events in Perth and Melbourne, Sing for Songan in Bali, BIWA, sales of the novel Lucky Number 9, and German blogger Conni Biesalski who donates a percentage of the profits of her e-book Digital Nomaden specifically to this project. A big thanks to our healthcare partner Bali Kids, too, for providing check-ups and dental care to the students of Songan. We look forward to paving more bright futures in Songan in the new year.

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Pink Is The New Black

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Paul Wheelton, AM KSJ

Let’s talk about gender. “I’d seen it in what was open to my own girls, and even before that, I’d seen it with my sister and me—I had a lot more opportunities than she did.”
These are the words of our very own chairman Paul Wheelton, AM KSJ in a recent interview for Philanthropy Australia.

In the article, Paul voices his drive for supporting women and girls – an ambition that's paying off, as per our latest gender report.

“We’ve put a lot of work into the Bali Children Foundation over the years,” says Wheelton, “and introduced an English program and computer skills and now we have 28 young girls who are attending university.”

That number has since increased to 29, compared to 21 boys. In fact, the girls are topping all the charts at Bali Children Foundation. A truly incredible outcome.

Here are our most recent statistics.

Education Support 2017-2018 Updated 14 Dec 2017
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From Saba, With Love

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Jess Kirley, Saba Steck and the students of Kayu Putih

It’s been a year of action-packed fun with Saba’s Kids. The organisation, founded and run by Saba Steck and Jess Kirley, sponsors a total of 58 children through Bali Children Foundation.

In October, they enlisted a new sponsor, Roberta Rhau, who now supports Luh Noviani of Panti, Kayu Putih. She is in grade four and is Roberta’s first BCF sponsor student.

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Kayu Putih art workshop

The Saba’s Kids team hit the road with us in November, visiting student families in Kayu Putih and checking out our English in the Village, Computer in the Village and Reading in the Village facilities at SDN1 elementary school. Saba led an ​art class, which reflected the day's Reading in the Village eco story about a dolphin and turtle. North Bali's children are very familiar with both these animals and enjoyed the creative opportunity.

To top off the year, Jessie and Saba (an artist by trade) hosted an art day at their villa. With ice-cream, fun themes and plenty of smiles, it’s safe to say a fabulous day was had by all.

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Goings On About Town

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Mark Whately at Perth Bright Futures

We’ll start by thanking everyone who organised, contributed to and attended our fundraisers this year, with a special nod to Lindsay Beer (BCF Director), Mark Whately, Nicole Porritt, Leigh O’Neil, Sandy Shields Bell of the Bali Children Foundation Fundraising Board and Christina Iskandar. The Gold Coast and Sydney Diva lunches were great events, the 6th Annual Golf Day in Melbourne was a hit and our recent Perth and Melbourne Bright Futures lunches were fabulous. Together, we generated record-breaking sums which have gone towards shaping thousands of bright futures across Bali.

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Nicole Porritt, Ashlea Beer and Alison Lee at Melbourne Bright Futures

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Jacky Ames and Louise Henry at Living and Learning

On 12 December, the 16th annual Living and Learning ladies luncheon at Jemme helped provide support for two BCF tertiary students, five BCF secondary scholarships, five Bali Jepun Project sponsorships, Alor Orphanage and Harapan Project. The ladies, all strikingly dressed in red, did a fantastic fundraising job.

As we hang up our party shoes for 2017, we prepare for another year of good times for great causes. The highlights so far include the Bali Hope Marathon on 26 May, Bali Children Foundation’s 7th Annual Golf Day in Melbourne on 5 October, Bali Ball on 6 October at Alila Seminyak, and 2018’s Melbourne Bright Futures dinner on 16 November.

Head to our website for our event dates and details.

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Uncertain Times For Bali

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Photo credit: @benny_grlt, Instagram

Since it’s early rumblings in September, Mount Agung has shaken Bali both literally and figuratively. The mountain’s unpredictable eruptions have forced the 10,000-plus residents of its foothills to remain in evacuation camps until further notice. The flight disruptions (not to mention the inflammatory international news reports), meanwhile, have resulted in a major blow to the tourism sector. Hotel occupancy has been down 80 per cent and people are losing their jobs at a snowballing rate.

It’s the evacuees, however, who remain the hardest-hit. Our friends at GoStudy, Australian Institute of Food Safety, and My Red Envelope helped us supply 200 uniforms for the children of Klungkung to enable them to get back to their studies. And a huge number of our supporters, including Shabnam Melwani and friends, Umalas Kids Club and many other Bali fans have donated goods, money and water dispensers over the past two months.

Bai Children Foundation junior ambassadors Poppy Reed and Riley Amelsvoort have been working hard, too, raising admirable funds through raffle ticket sales at Cocoon Beach Club’s AFL Grand Final screening back in October.

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Happy wrappers on 19 December

Now we’re in the school holiday period, and thinking about camp morale. On 22 December, we’re delivering festive season gifts to the evacuees of Gor Sweca Pura camp. A fabulously efficient group of volunteers helped us gift-wrap on Tuesday. We hope these gifts offer the children some reprieve from the ongoing uncertainty.

Thank you to all our supporters and partners for the relief that’s been provided so far. We urge you to continue to help where you can and support the local businesses that are the secondary, but nonetheless significant, victims of this unpredictable natural event.

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Where We Work

We’re proud to be changing the lives of 3,784 students across Bali. Here’s our reach.

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The Extra Mile

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Tom Hickman and the children of Tigawasa

We are thrilled to be involved in the 2nd annual Bali Hope Ultra – a social enterprise founded by British expat Tom Hickman in conjunction with Classroom of Hope to help disadvantaged Balinese children receive an education.
Hickman first ran the overnight ultra-marathon in August, raising enough money to fund the primary school education of 10 BCF-sponsored children in Tigawasa, North Bali. Next year, Hickman aims to generate ten times this amount with the help of 14 more runners.

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Kath O'brien Photo source: Facebook

The line-up is spectacular with Australian endurance star Samantha Gash, our very own BCF star supporter Kath O’Brien, and Adystra Bimo, editor of Jakarta-based zine Runhood who ran the New York Marathon in October, among the brave contenders.

On 26 May, they’ll complete a gruelling 84km run which kicks off at The Lovina Resort in North Bali and ends at Alila Semiyak on Petitenget Beach. The participants will be introduced on The Bali Hope Ultra’s Facebook and Instagram pages and donations can be made on the Bali Hope Ultra fundraising platform.

It’s not all hard yakka for the runners. They’re set to experience Indonesian hospitality at its finest with luxury digs courtesy of Alila Hotels and The Lovina, bespoke dining from Sarong Restaurant Group. And guess what? There’s still time to join the team. Head to the Bali Hope Ultra website to apply and become a hero. We’ll see you at the finish line.

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Welcomed Visitors

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Kathie Smith and family with their sponsor family

It’s been a year of heartfelt visits from our sponsors. In October, Kathie Smith and her family dropped into the Tigawasa home of their sponsor student, Kadek Sriandin. Kathie took Kadek and her family to dinner at The Lovina Resort. This was their first ever restaurant experience. The Smiths were joined by their friends Lindel Domanski and Steve Furlong who were so taken by the visit that they, too, have become sponsors. A very happy result.

Chloe Croserio, our most recent intern, also hit the road in October, dropping into the homes of BCF students in Sidetapa, Cempaga, Tigawasa and Songan. She brought a huge amount of provisions for each family. This was Chloe’s last tour with BCF before returning home to Italy and we’re so grateful to have had her on board.

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Chloe Croserio on her last tour with BCF

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Wendy Ellis and her tertiary students

Our leading major tertiary sponsors Wendy and Max Ellis took their 10 BCF-sponsored students to lunch at Biku in Seminyak. They meet with their students a couple of times a year to gauge how their studies are progressing and discuss their futures. Four of their 10 students have already graduated and secured good jobs.

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We also hosted a Village Open Day in October – this time at Banjar, North Bali. Long-time BCF supporter Lizzie Love and her friend Nola Wunderle joined us for the two-day visit, which kicked off at the home of Lizzie’s year 12 sponsor student Juli Suastini in Dusun Munduk. Nola’s sponsor student, Diah Purnama Dewi’s house was next. She lives in Dusun Lebah, Dencarik, and is currently in year 11. The following day, the pair dropped into English in the Village, Computer in the Village and our dance and silat youth clubs in Banjar.

JOIN US IN THE VILLAGE

There are more Village Open Days like this one coming up, the next being 26 December at Banjar. The visit kicks off at 11am and is open to everyone. Should you wish to join, please email martini@balichildrenfoundation.org to register your interest. Sign-up is essential and unregistered drop-ins will not be accepted.

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Introducing Andie Carroll

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Andie and Marg in action

We’re fortunate to be joined by the experienced and extremely talented Andie Carroll, who is volunteering across our educational projects. Andie joins us from the UK where she has been working as an English and art teacher. She’s currently undertaking her masters of teaching while volunteering for Bali Children Foundation.

Andie is helping us train our teachers to upgrade their skillsets and curriculum. Over the next few months, she’ll be joining us in the field to get a sense of the environments our teachers work in and assist them with their delivery. With her help, we hope to take our teaching to the next level. Thanks, Andie.

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Bringing Them Ability

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There have been many happy outcomes from our disability partnership with Stepping Stones Bali. Our most recent win is the Wildebeest Group’s commitment to fund a life-changing operation for 12-year-old Sang Tu from Dusun Munduk, Banjar. Sang Tu has a cerebral palsy-related club foot which severely impairs his walking ability. He isn’t able to run or play sports with his peers. He cannot stand for long periods, so is often unable to join the weekly flag-raising ceremony at school.

We’ve been working with Sang Tu and his family since 2016 and are thrilled that he’s receiving surgery early next year. Stepping Stones have organised a procedure with a Dutch doctor at Sumatra’s Harapan hospital and a rehabilitation period at Harapan Jaya’s rehabilitation clinic.

With all going to plan, Sang Tu should see a vast improvement in his ability to walk and stand, therefore improving his school life.

Thanks to Stepping Stones, Harapan Jaya and, of course, Paul Wheelton and Lindsay Beer of the Wildebeest Group for helping change a young life.

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Congratulations, Indah!

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We’re extremely proud of our Educational Opportunities Advisor Indah Putu Rahmawati, PhD who received her doctorate from Victoria University on Saturday 16 December. Indah was our first English in the Village teacher and was instrumental in developing the program which now offers English to over three thousand children across Bali. She continues to mentor our year 12 students towards their Bright Futures.

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Happy Holidays

As we close the door on 2017, we thank our supporters from all ends of the spectrum – the sponsors, the fund raisers, ​the community leaders, the teachers, the volunteers, the students and their families – for making this our strongest year to date. Amid the adversities Bali currently faces it’s uplifting to see so many positive outcomes.

We wish you all the safest of holidays and ask you to think deeply, as we enter the festive period, about how you could help change the life of someone less fortunate. Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? Give education. Just $100 gives a student access to English and computer classes. With trying financial times forecasted we understand that not everyone may be able to offer large amounts, but even as much as $25 has an impact.

Until 2018, matur suksma.

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