In classrooms across an impoverished mountain village in East Bali, stories are being re-written and futures are being rescued by children, especially girls, learning and preparing to lead their communities for a better life.
When East Bali Poverty Project was established in 1998, the poverty rate in Desa Ban was staggering. Thousands of families were living without access to clean water, sanitation, roads, schools, health facilities, and electricity. Children, girls in particular, were forced to share the heavy burden of poverty; most suffered from acute malnutrition and most were illiterate.
Parents wished to send their children to school to get education. However, apart from most families struggling from day to day to put food on the table, there were no accessible government schools! When we asked the villagers “What is the most important assistance that EBPP could provide?” they requested, “Education for our children so they can lead us to a better life.” And with that, we started collaboration with the community to bring a lasting change to the most impoverished communities, most notably through education.
Jatituhu and Pengalusan are two of the most isolated communities in Desa Ban where the nearest government school is more than 4km away with no public transport. Before EBPP Schools started in Pengalusan (2000) and Jatituhu (2005), no children from the communities went to school. EBPP schools were the place they acquire knowledge and life skills to optimize their potential and empower them for an independent future – whilst at the same time teaching their illiterate parents.
In recent years, we are very proud that more girls in both hamlets are staying on at school getting the education they need. Currently, we have 72 students in Jatituhu and Pengalusan of which 40 are girls! It is important to note that whether or not a girl stays in school has an astounding effect on not only her quality of life, but also on her family and the community as well. For girls in the most impoverished communities like Jatituhu and Pengalusan, the knowledge and skills they learn at schools can help them to get a better life, educate their own children and build a healthier family.
However, we are currently facing a challenge. Since 2017, the previous donor of Pengalusan and Jatituhu schools could no longer continue providing financial support for the school operation. The annual costs/child is US584 which will be used to provide education which covers not only the national curriculum, but also lessons on art and traditional Balinese Dance, computer & financial literacy, reproductive health, and vocational training through EBPP EMpower programmes which started in 2015. This additional curriculum will arm the children with knowledge and skills to unlock more opportunities in the future.
Your help is really needed so that these children can continue their education. To donate please visit our Global Giving campaign page at www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-our-education-today-for-a-brighter-future.
Continuing the much needed education for all of these children is especially crucial now after the Mount Agung volcano crisis. As you probably know, Jatituhu & Pengalusan Schools were suspended from 22nd September 2017 when the government ordered full evacuation of all 19 communities of Ban village and all others within 12km radius of Mount Agung crater due to the eruptions.
All of our communities have finally returned home after evacuating for more than 5 months. However, most of them have lost their only saving, their cattle, of which they sold below the market price when they panicked during evacuation period.
Mount Agung is still on high alert and has frequent small eruption, the last being on April 30th. The communities realise that IF Mount Agung has a major eruption and they cannot go back to their homes, their well-educated children are their only hope to survive outside of their village!
These 72 students represent almost 300 families in Jatituhu and Pengalusan who are looking to their newly educated children to rebuild their lives and lead them towards a better and more prosperous future. YOU CAN HELP!