Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset Projects Update


Rotary Clubs are managed according to a one-year period that starts on July 1 and ends on June 30.  During the current Rotary year, Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset [RCBUS] has been involved in three projects:

  • The Long Sam Program which is helping to prevent the devastation of the National Forest in East Kalimantan along with its wildlife and the culture of the Dayak who reside there
  • The Sewing for Living project which
  • empowers Balinese women to be able to work from their homes to help support their families
  • Water projects which address the need for a better water infrastructure in many villages in Bali and in Lombok

The Long Sam Program restores the forest, rescues the animals, and revitalize the economy in East Kalimantan.

RCBUS has collaborated with other NGOs, governmental agencies, and the military, all striving to create a vibrant future for the forest in East Kalimantan including healthy animals free to roam that forest and economically secure people who live there.  Throughout the Rotarian year, RCBUS has helped to ensure the vulnerable animals are being rescued, forest conservation efforts are successful, and economic growth is being developed.  Two RCBUS members, Marion Hook and Hans Schmidt, traveled to East Kalimantan to ensure that the club’s efforts were being realized.  They found that locals were being educated to use traditional wisdom to preserve the forest, a staff with more than 10 years’ experience in forest and wildlife conservation, implementation of practices initiated by the locals who knew that the forest was in danger, consistent input from the locals, and the support governmental initiatives mandated to preserve the forest.  They also found a need

  • For a blood work laboratory in order to treat animals more successfully
  • To expand the Animal Rescue Center
  • For appropriate transportation for people and for the animals being rescued
  • To expand microbusinesses and agroforestry techniques
  • To increase the parameter of protected forest
  • To connect fragmented forest to form one forest

The Sewing for Living project sponsored by RCBUS teaches local women to use a sewing machine and to crochet. Balinese women have always had multiple jobs: taking care children and family, doing all the housework, providing help to the community, and assisting at temple and cultural events, among other duties.  It is important for women to make their own money, not only for their self-esteem, but to enable each of them to support her entire family. Sewing For Living teaches marketable skills that women can use from their homes.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of these women are the sole providers for their families.

With the help of Rotary Club Tucson Sunrise, RCBUS is negotiating with Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona.  Sewing for Living is dependent on donated yarn.  Goodwill Industries receives donations of yarn.  We are in discussion for how to take the yarn that is collected by Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona and redistribute it to the Sewing for Living project.  Once this is done, RCBUS will be able to instruct more women in sewing and crocheting.  The program will be able to open in more villages.

Right before the pandemic began in 2020, when the project first started, then RCBUS President, Kartika Dewi, had arranged for local businesses to hire the women to work from their homes.  Many of the businesses closed due to Covid, and the women were left without markets for their handcrafted items.  The women continued to improve their skills.  Most of the materials they used were donated from Australia and several states in the USA.  RCBUS partnered with Rotary Club Tucson Sunrise in Tucson, Arizona.  They supplied materials and a cash donation to help RCBUS find markets for the items.  One such market sends items made in Ubud, Bali, to Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia; Puerto Peñasco, Mexico; and Tennessee, USA where they are donated to people in need.  Sewing for Living has partnered with a local entrepreneur who opened a gift shop on JL. Sandat in December of 2021.

Sewing for Living was recently featured during the district wide Vibrant Club Workshop via Zoom in Bali.  RCBUS was asked to prepare a document that would make the project transferable to other District Rotary Clubs.  Rotary Club Tucson Sunrise featured the project at their Rotary District’s Conference which took place at the end of October 2021.  The project will also be featured at Rotary’s District Conference to be held in Semarang, West Java, in May of 2022.

RCBUS also partnered with Rotary E-Club Cologne who is supplying markets via tradition Christmas Markets in the Cologne area. E-Club Cologne has also held a fundraiser via Zoom to help support Sewing for Living.

Families in Bali are able to purchase food thanks to the Sewing for Living project which has managed to unite people on three continents in an effort to both empower girls and women and to improve the local economy in Ubud, Bali.

RCBUS has completed over 15 water projects, Currently, we are working on one in Seraya Village in East Bali.  First, RCBUS visited Seraya Barat with 2 men who were experts in drilling for water to find out the possibility of drilling a successful well: they discovered it is impossible to do so. The soil is too rocky, making it too expensive to drill a well as deep enough to supply the needed water as water resources on the mountain are severely limited. Seraya Barat has 200 families divided into 8 groups, each group comprised of 25 families. Because the water supply is so small, each group of 8 families has access to water every 25 days. Out of 200 families, about 35 families don’t have water tanks, so they must get water from their nearest neighbor who willing to share their water. Every 25 days, each group of 8 families receives 1,200 liters of spring water. What water is available must be used for drinking, cooking and for the farm animals. A daily shower is only a dream. The rainy season offers hope of more water, but only if the rain can be harvested. Water tanks are an option, but they are too expensive for these subsistence farming families. Rotary Club has sponsored and helped to install 13 water tanks.  We are raising money to be able to purchase and install more water tanks in Seraya Village.

Please mark 10 September 2022 on your calendars.  That’s the date of the 2nd annual RCBUS Bogies for Bali charity golf tournament held at one of the top golf courses in the world, Handara Golf & Resort Bali in Bedugul.  Proceeds from this year’s charity golf tournament will support three RCBUS program: water projects in Bali and Lombok, Sewing for Living, and the Long Sam Environmental Program.  It includes a BBQ, chipping contest, and an awards ceremony.

Members of RCBUS are friendly people of action. If you are considering joining RCBUS and would like to attend a meeting to see what we are all about, please contact Marion Hook at marion.hook@gmail.com for more information. IIf you are interested in Rotaract, please include the word Rotaract in your subject line.  We meet every 2nd Monday and every last Monday of the month at Wedja Restaurant in Mas. If you would like to join this dynamic group of people from four different continents who love Bali and work to help the people who live here, information to do so can be found at rotarybaliubudsunset.org/how-to-become-an-rcbus-member/