Ubud News


After eight years, the founders and project leaders of the Ubud-based Sukacita Foundation can look back on a significant contribution to the development of education and care for children with intellectual disabilities in Indonesia.

Mila van der Meer and Marieke Nijland are passing the baton to the team at Yayasan Anak Unik, an organisation that has evolved from their original foundation, taking its name and vision from their book, Anak Unik (Unique Child).

When these two inspiring Dutch women started their Bail journey, children with intellectual disabilities were often described as “stupid” or “dumb in many Asian families, villages and educational settings.

Sukacita Foundation worked in schools and other educational settings across the Indonesian archipelago, taking part in national and regional planning, to share the message that every child deserves to be seen as unique and is capable of opening our eyes to a new perspective on the world. The name Sukacita Foundation will disappear, but the body of work they have created to help educators, including books, posters and visual communication tools, will remain available for download on the new interactive website www.sukacita.org.



Christmas time and Galungan are good times to share stories about hope (harapan). Check out the award-winning film about the former “begging women” of Muntigunung, as a powerful example of hope gradually becoming reality.

Yayasan Muntigunung, a foundation set up by a small group, continues to transform the lives of women in this small, subsistence-level community on the slopes of Mount Agung, where the nearest fresh water used a five-hour walk away before rainwater tanks were installed for most houses.

If you are interested in trekking to and through the tiny Muntigunung village, buying their locally produced and grown products and learning more about their inspiring stories of change and hope, visit www.muntigunung.com and watch the video Harapan, at www.markorandelovic.com/portfolio/harapan/.



Congratulations to the organisers of Rurung Festival Peliatan. Rurung means “laneway”, but as Ubud ex-pats know, many a village laneway is the focal point of community activity, close to the banjar where the everyday bustle of Bali life takes place.

Rurung Festival Peliatan Chairman, Wayan Sudiarsa, said the theme of this year’s festival was “Lelaku Tani” or “purpose in life”, an expression that implies the importance of continuous learning and a conscious awareness of our individual roles and responsibilities. Over three days, the festival reflected on “Malam Tradisi” (the olden times), examined “Malam Modern” (today’s situation) and explored visions for the future in “Malam Kontemporer”.

Artists and children’s sessions, photo essays, explorations of movement and advice on traditional plants filled the days’ programs, with performances by traditional gamelan orchestras and two modern bands, Unbro’ken and De Gess and Friend Acoustic in the evenings.



A wealth of knowledge and expertise comes together at the Yoga Barn in March 2019, with 100 hours of training in Thai yoga massage and myofascia release.

This immersion will be really useful for body workers, dancers, healers, yogis, and individuals or couples who are looking for a more mindful way of touching, adjusting and working with others. The program looks at both the ancient teachings of Thai Yoga Massage and modern approaches to healing, including the principles of touch, experiential anatomy, and Fascia Universe (definition, researches, myofascia lines). Special events includes sound healing and kirtan performances.

The program will run from February 28 to March 10, with morning yoga, movement practice and meditation and the Yoga Barn’s delicious organic brunch included. For more info: www.yogabarn.com.



Ubud’s Sacred Sound and Healing Voice Collective founder, Shervin Boloorian, has just returned from an extensive Australian tour – described as a world healing journey of sound and vibrational rejuvenation – with performances and workshops across the country from Margaret River to Byron Bay.

Shervin sings and plays a myriad of exotic world instruments, all with the intent of using the musical frequencies he creates to go deep into the organs and cells of the body to heal and align the body’s energies. Participants say it is a magically relaxing experience, with profound results.

Next month, Shervin Boloorian will be joined by a Bhakti yoga teacher and Kirtanist, Gregory Kaps, in an intensive ten day Sacred Sound and Healing Voice program in Ubud. For more information email shervinboloorian@earthlink.net or find Shervin on Facebook.



Congratulations to Ubud home -grown wellness retreat centre, Fivelements, who have exported their successful formula to open a vibrant ‘urban retreat’ centre in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Fivelements is a great supporter of cultural and community activities in Bali, playing host to each year’s TEDX UBUD talks, amongst other innovative and enriching programs.

Fivelements has won over 30 international awards, spanning across hotel and resort, wellness, spa, culinary and sustainable design industries. For more info, visit www.fivelements.org.




How do we tackle Bali’s environmental and specifically waste problems? Awareness building and education are the key, according to the team at TEMESI Educational Centre in Gianyar.

About 5,000 people visit the centre each year, including groups of school and university students, government officers and staff from non-profit organisations, as well as interested individuals.

Originally built as a waste recycling facility, TEMESI expanded its operation to include an education centre that focuses on solid and liquid waste, energy reduction and safe water.

Visitors can: use binocular microscopes to analyse water quality; view various composting techniques; see demonstrations of alternative renewable energies, and take tours of the facility’s biogas production program (which converts toilet waste to gas for cooking) and wastewater garden.

Educational group organisers say that visits to the TEMESI educational centre are a very effective way to inspire their students about recycling and other environmental themes, showing ideas for energy saving solutions in Balinese households including low energy lamps and cooking ovens.

Bookings are helpful for group visits of more than 10 people. Call 085 100 438 083 or email temesi.compost@gmail.com (bahasa Indonesia only).