BaliCore: Relief for Remote Villages


Lucky readers who are perusing this issue of the Bali Advertiser, poolside in Canggu, or in an Ubud home office overlooking a grove of shimmering palms. You did it! You found a way to get fresh coconuts for a song, you’re surfing beautiful breaks, and maybe you’re having a tough time not gloating about it when writing emails back to your friends and family stuck in the places you left behind.

Here’s also a shout out to readers who didn’t quite get to that e-visa application page in time, who might well be watching sleet or snow falling, every time you glance up from the computer screen that has been ruining your eyes for the last few months. You miss Bali; you’d love to be part of it all again.

The reality for Bali is that the primary source of income has been banned and the economy has been devastated. CoVid-19 cases have to dwindle before the government PPKM restrictions are lifted and hotels and resorts reopen.

Bali’s guiding principle for prosperity is three-pronged: harmony with the gods, harmony with other people, and harmony with the environment and nature. You’ve heard it before; it’s Tri Hita Karana, and this cultural foundation is being threatened. Thousands of Balinese have fallen on such hard times that bold snatch and grab crime is up, resources are being illegally poached and sold, and unsteady voices tell of shaken faith and fears for Balinese society. Most Balinese are looking for ways to survive which fall within this powerful trio of stability.

So where do we privileged people fit in? I can predict a few groans of Giver Burnout, and who hasn’t groaned a bit when a new youth club from the banjar comes knocking, or umpteen charitable causes stack up in WhatsApp? Which yayasan (charity) can you trust to empower people and not make a one-time handout? Has anyone curated a selection of yayasans that make sense right now?

Well, here’s a good answer for all of that.

BaliCore 2021 and its documentary project People of Bali is a way to give with confidence to proven yayasans. You can combat or totally avoid Giver Burnout just by being able to see clearly what your money is doing, where it’s going, thanks to social media. Read on, because this is good.

In April, a small group of NGO volunteers will embark on a fact-finding and charitable relief trek to several of Bali’s remote and at-risk villages, and the public gets to follow along on Instagram and facebook.

The five yayasans aligned in this effort will channel our donations into planned projects for these communities, including nutritional assistance, sustainable agriculture and economic solutions, clean drinking water, veterinary services, and more.

BaliCore is the organizer of a charitable alliance of these established and proven yayasans: Solemen Indonesia, Scholars of Sustenance, Kopernik, Social ImpaKt, and Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA). The project is being promoted widely, and the goal, with your large or small donations, is USD $20,000 (just under IDR 300,000,000).

The initiative lists these three targets:

  1. To assist in the development of sustainable farming efforts and social initiatives
  2. To bolster the supply of food & essentials to outlying communities until international tourism resumes
  3. To increase the capacity of critical feeding and medical services for Bali’s stray dogs

One example of the effectiveness of donations is that USD $20 (price of a bottle of Bali Moon Lychee Liqueur) provides clean drinking water to a family for 3 years, while USD $30 (what you might pay for a half-day spa package) feeds a family for 2 weeks or helps deliver food and medicine to dogs around the island.

Google any of these groups. Kopernik’s ability to empower women and create economic diversity is very appealing right now. BAWA responds to crisis calls for all kinds of animals, not just our island’s mascot, the Bali Heritage Dog. High-profile Solemen has an island-wide network of volunteers who go to work without hesitation. Scholars of Sustenance partner daily with the F&B industry to end food waste and give families the nutrition to stay healthy. And Social ImpaKt’s simple water filtration system is so amazingly portable, it’s another one of those miraculous inventions which upgrades living standards with very little cash outlay.idGuides, a community-based ecotourism education group, has a track record of successfully teaching villagers how to guide trekkers and responsibly maintain and use foot trails for visitors who want something authentic and back-to-nature. As a BaliCore advisor, idGuides has mapped a challenging route for the trekkers, at 15 to 20 kilometers per day, with low impact sleeping and eating arrangements, social distancing and other strict CoVId-19 protocols in place for the safety of these seldom-visited villages.

BaliCore volunteers will tabulate how these villages have been impacted by Bali’s tourism closure, film the stories that need to be told, learn what the communities need and want, and lay the groundwork for sustainable solutions in harmony with local powers.

A resulting project called People of Bali will serve as a documentary of the ten-day journey, from preparations onward. We can already begin following this extraordinary project on social media. Stories of compassion, purpose, and progress are already being posted. The facebook site is BaliCore 2021, their Instagram account is balicore2021 and the group can be emailed at balicore2021@gmail.com .

Support is growing, as seen in a crowdfunding account at

www.gofundme.com/f/bali-ten-day-fundraiser?qid=3339817436e2fa885ee777bd41c142e0

Alternatively, donations may also be made via bank transfer:

Yayasan Derma Atas Pangan

Bank Mandiri KCP Denpasar Teuku Umar (Bank Code 008)

Account No. 145-00-1338377-9

Address: Jalan Teuku Umar 85, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia 80111

Phone: +62 (0) 361 257566

SWIFT code: BMRIIDJA

Long-range, when Bali is healthy enough to reopen, you will have the opportunity to get on some of that trail yourself, and you’ll see with your own eyes how these villages have enhanced their Tri Hita Karana with sustainable and healthy solutions. Thanks to you and BaliCore.

 

By Renee Melchert Thorpe

Spreading art news? Make comments and suggestions by email: mala.arts.bali@gmail.com

 

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