Bali Children Foundation Press Release


MEDIA  RELEASE

26  January  2018

BALI  CHILDREN  FOUNDATION’S  MARGARET  BARRY  AWARDED  ORDER  OF  AUSTRALIA MEDAL

Yarram-­born  philanthropist  Margaret  Barry  was  awarded  an  Order  of  Australia  Medal  (OAM) for  services  to  education  in  Melbourne  on  26  January,  2018.

Margaret,  who  has  lived  in  Bali,  Indonesia,  for  over  27  years,  is  the  founder  of  Yayasan Samiarsa   Seminyak  (Bali  Children  Foundation),  a  not-­for-­profit  organization  which  brings educational   opportunities  to  disadvantaged  children  across  Bali.  While  developing  the foundation,  Margaret   owned  and  operated  her  own  fashion  and  lifestyle  brand  MAGG  Bali. She  closed  the  business  in  2017,  however,  to  focus  solely  on  philanthropic  work.

“I  decided  after  42  years  making  frocks,  I’d  done  about  as  much  as  I  was  going  to  do  in  that  space,”     she  says.  “I  really  wanted  to  do  something  that  would  make  a  significant  difference  to  people’s  lives.  I   enjoyed  the  creativity  of  being  in  the  fashion  industry,  but  it  is  way  more  exciting  to  create  sustainable   change  in  communities  and  see  young  graduates  move  into  their  adult  lives.  After  15  years  of   balancing  fashion  and  philanthropy,  it  was  time  to  decide.”

It  was  the  2002  Bali  bombings  that  pushed  Margaret  into  action.  “I  believed  that  terror  was  created  by   economic  disadvantage  and  by  people  having  no  options,”  she  says,  “by  giving  them  options  I  believe   that  we  can  fight  terror  in  Bali  and  prevent  it  getting  any  foothold,  but  the  only  way  I  could  see  that   being  successful  would  be  providing  education  to  the  disadvantaged  children  in  Bali’s  remote  areas.”

She  worked  with  children’s  homes  in  North  and  West  Bali  for  the  first  three  years,  and  concluded  that   a  more  sustainable  aid  model  was  well  overdue.  “Through  children’s  homes,  we  could  only  impact  a   limited  number  of  students,  and  there  were  so  many  villages  where  the  children  were  just  as  poor,  if   not  more  poor,  than  the  ones  in  the  children’s  homes.”

In  2005,  Margaret,  Bali  Children  Foundation  chairman,  Agung  Sutama  and  founding  Board  member   Mike  Dolbey,  launched  their  first  community-­based  project  in  Corot,  North  Bali,  supporting  a  total  of  40  students.  The  exercise  was  a  huge  success.  “Over  the  next  ten  years  we  kept  expanding  from  one  village  to  another,  and  we  now  reach  over  3700  students  in  53  communities,”  Margaret  says.

Her  work  is  backed  by  directors  of  the  Australian-­based  charity  Bali  Children  Foundation  Limited,  The   Australian  Government  and  generous  donations  from  around  the  world.  Going  forward,  Margaret   hopes  to  complete  the  work  on  Bali  and  create  a  future  proofing  plan  for  the  foundation.  “Most  likely,   once  Bali  is  done,  we  will  move  into  the  Eastern  Indonesian  areas  where  there  is  enormous   disadvantage,”  she  says.

For  now,  meanwhile,  her  work  remains  planted  on  Balinese  soil.  “There  are  still  a  heap  of  kids  on  Bali   who  need  to  be  helped.  The  region  around  the  Mount  Agung  volcano  will  be  particularly  important   once  the  mountain  settles  down.”

On  how  it  feels  to  be  honoured  with  an  Order  of  Australia  Medal:  “It  is  very  exciting  to  receive  the  award,  but  I  have  to  recognize  that  a  job  of  this  size  can  never  be  done  by  one  person.  I’ve   been  backed  by  superb  board  members  from  the  early  days,  committed  staff,  and  hundreds  of   fantastic  supporters.”

 

About  Bali  Children  Foundation  

Bali  Children  Foundation  is  a  not-­for-­profit  organisation  that  brings  educational  opportunities to  underprivileged  children  in  Bali,  Indonesia.

The  island’s  poverty-­stricken  villages  are  well-­hidden  from  the  tourist  traps  and  many  visitors  are   unaware  of  the  hardships  they  face.  Through  education,  Bali  Children  Foundation  strives  to  improve   their  quality  of  life  one  young  person  at  a  time.

The  foundation  works  with  students,  families,  schools  and  communities  to  identify  the  children  that   need  financial  help,  support  them  through  school,  maintain  strong  grades,  and  help  them  secure  good   jobs.

“Students  who  finish  year  12  and  get  well-­paid  jobs,  earn  incomes  that  are  four  to  eight  times  greater   than  their  family  income  combined,”  says  founder  Margaret  Barry.  “As  we  get  whole  villages   graduating  through  year  12  and  picking  up  job  opportunities,  the  children’s  families  benefit  from  that   and  the  whole  community  becomes  improved  as  a  result  of  this  better  economic  situation.

“It  takes  about  10  years,”  she  says,  “to  develop  sustainable  change.”

Margaret  leads  the  team,  which  is  supported  by  BCF  Bali  chairman  Mike  Dolbey,  Yayasan  Samiarsa   Seminyak  ketua  (chairman),  Agung  Sutama,  SH,  and  the  board  of  the  Australian  charity,  Bali  Children   Foundation  Limited  which  is  headed  by  Paul  Wheelton,  AM  KSJ.

 

Scholarsips

Over  1100  of  BCF’s  students  are  individually  supported  through  personal  benefactors.  A  scholarship   contributes  to  school  fees,  school  uniforms,  shoes  and  socks,  books,  a  school  bag,  stationery  and   hygiene  kits  –  all  the  basic  needs  to  support  a  child  through  their  education.  Scholarship  providers   play  a  mentoring  role  in  the  student’s  lives  through  visits,  encouragement  and  praise.

 

Vocational  education    

Bali  Children  Foundation  brings  English,  computer  and  reading  classes  to  remote  schools  in  North,   East,  West  and  Central  Bali.  The  educational  modules  are  created  and  delivered  by  a  team  of   qualified  teachers.  Classrooms  are  provided  by  the  Indonesian  Government,  then  suitably  set-­up  by  BCF.  Over  3700  students  are  currently  enrolled  in  these  programs,  which  provide  the  skillsets  needed  for  Bali’s  growing  economy.

 

Health  and  disability

Any  work  outside  of  the  educational  field  is  outsourced  to  BCF’s  charity  partners  –  Bali  Kids,  Kolewa   and  Stepping  Stones  Bali,  among  them.  With  the  help  of  these  organisations,  BCF-­supported   communities  receive  health  and  dental  checks  and  children  with  disabilities  are  given  the  care  they   need  to  be  able  to  attend  school.

 

Graduates    

Bali  Children  Foundation’s  support  extends  into  life  after  school.  Graduates  are  mentored  through  the   Work  Ready  program,  which  prepares  students  for  the  workplace  and  university.  Tertiary  students   receive  mentoring  for  the  duration  of  their  degree.  Once  employed,  BCF  steers  its  graduates  through   the  first  year  of  the  job,  making  sure  they  are  coping.  Programs  such  as  Food  for  Thought,  give  BCF   graduates  an  opportunity  to  be  trained,  mentored  and  hired  by  some  of  Bali’s  leading  hospitality   institutions,  such  as  the  Sarong  Group  and  Metis.  Through  such  experiences,  students  can  enrich  the   lives  of  their  families  and  communities,  alike.

 

Teachers  

The  foundation’s  teachers  are  responsible  for  the  curation  of  the  vocational  curriculums,  course   delivery  and  student  mentoring.  The  team  is  thoroughly  qualified  and  guided,  ensuring  the  best   possible  outcomes  for  the  students.  Teacher  training  occurs  regularly  at  BCF’s  North  Bali  office,  with   valuable  input  from  educational  volunteers  from  Indonesia  and  abroad.

 

Drop-­outs  

One  of  Bali  Children  Foundation’s  key  objectives  is  to  eradicate  school  drop-­outs.  On  average,  30%   of  Indonesian  students  drop  out  of  school  before  year  12.  At  BCF,  the  drop-­out  average  is  less  than   one  per  cent.  This  is  thanks  to  regular  meetings  with  the  students,  their  families  and  their  communities   to  encourage  positive  attitudes  towards  education.  Without  this  attention,  many  children  may  have   given  up  their  opportunity  for  a  brighter  future.

 

Friends  of  Bali  Children  Foundation    

Bali  Children  Foundation  has  many  solid  relationships  with  businesses  across  Bali  and  Australia.   These  invaluable  connections  provide  donations,  fundraising  support,  and  job  opportunities  to  many   BCF  students.  Over  the  years,  fashion,  hospitality  and  other  philanthropic  brands,  alike,  have   contributed  generously  to  BCF’s  cause.

 

Gender    

Female  empowerment  is  an  important  initiative  at  BCF  and  the  latest  gender  statistics  are  hugely   promising.  The  number  of  girls  outnumbers  boys  across  the  project  board  –  most  significantly  in  the   graduated  tertiary  student  figures.  This  is  game-­changing  in  Bali’s  patriarchal  society  where  until   recently,  women  were  greatly  disadvantaged  in  the  workforce.

 

Bali  Children  Foundation  gender  statistics

Bali Children Foundation’s latest program overview

 

More  Bali  Children  Foundation’s  reach

 

 

 

Margaret  Barry  in  the  media  

 

A  Little  Hope  for  the  Little  Folk,  NOW  BALI,  August  2017  (  nowbali.co.id/bali-­

children-­foundation/)

 

Bali  Children  Foundation,  NOW  BALI,  October  2016  (nowbali.co.id/bali-­

children-­foundation/)

 

Moving  Forward  with  the  Help  of  Education,  Indonesia  Expat,  Feb  2015,

indonesiaexpat.biz/other/charities/moving-­forward-­with-­the-­help-­of-­education/

 

Network  Ten  Australia,  BSFW  Humanitarian,

www.blisssanctuaryforwomen.com/media/

 

Australian  Independent  School  Bali,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TDh29RSzO0&t=14s

 

Food  for  Thought,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVQuA6Y6mzo&t=14s

 

Wealth  for  Social  Change, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8JD1I37lSY&t=1122s

 

Tamarind  Asia  Media,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW7YeULC9ZY

 

Anniss+Barton,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTsXVliP5mE

 

For  interview  opportunities  with  Margaret  Barry,  or  for  more  information  on  Bali  Children  Foundation,   please  contact  Margaret  Barry  on  +61  487  101  073  (Australia),  +62  811  396670  (Indonesia),  or  via   email  at  marg.bcf@gmail.com.