Asia Exchange visited the orphanage Bali Street Kids Project in September 2017. To celebrate our 10-year anniversary we traveled for two weeks to Bali. We visited the orphanage to see the local life from a different perspective. This is important for understanding life on Bali from all sides. We want to actively engage with the communities that give so much to us and our students, and help where we can.
Bali Street Kids Project is a place for children who have no parents to take care of them. For some children, their parents have died or they are so severely sick that they have no chance to raise the kids. Some children are physically or mentally disabled because they have been abandoned.
Needless to say, all the children have a tragic story to tell. One disabled girl who has severe dyskinesia was found by the founder of the children´s home Putu. Before coming to YKPA the girl had never visited a doctor or received any help for her sickness. The girl is now, after hard training, able to sit and stand when supported. When she was brought to the orphanage, all she could do was to lie on her back. At Bali Street Kids Project, children are allowed to be children and everyone is treated with great care and love.
Bali Street Kids Project gives children a chance to get food and a safe environment to grow up. They get the tools required to survive. The founder Putu maintains the orphanage but thanks to donations and selling handcrafts, the project to keep the children’s home running can continue.
The tiny superwoman Ibu Wayan is working in the kitchen every day cooking for all the kids. On Sundays, boys and girls take turns to learn how to cook. The office is staffed mostly by adult former YKPA kids. Every day the children need transport, food needs to be bought, visitors are coming and so on. It is a heavy job for them but they are more than happy to give back to the place where they once lived.
The orphanage’s atmosphere is extremely positive. It’s hard to resist taking part of the children’s games when you hear their laughter and see their smiles. Often though it takes a few minutes for the children to fully relax when they meet someone new. In the beginning when we arrived, we were greeted with nervous laughs and many of the children hid while they observed the new guests with great curiosity. Nevertheless, after a short while, the orphanage was full of noise and action.
One popular activity is weaving bracelets together with the children. When the kids invited the whole staff to participate, no one hesitated to say yes and after a while everyone ended up sitting on the floor trying to catch up the rules of weaving. Suddenly the roles were switched and the kids became the teachers for the adults. With high self-confidence, many of the children took command to tell the staff whenever they did something wrong.
Poverty and a low quality of living are every day life for the local people in many places in Asia. When you are studying abroad in Bali, we encourage you to support charity organizations where and however you can. Let us make the world a better place together!
Find out more about the Bali Street Kids Project.