Outreach in Bali: Twelve Ways You Can Really Help Today

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Many charities and fundraising organisations rely upon compassionate expats to find new ways to raise support or volunteer their time. Underprivileged and disadvantaged people and animals can really use a helping hand and it’s a great way to give something back while enjoying your holiday on the island.

Here are 12 ways you can help Bali and the environment:

The Mount Agung Relief Group 

Mount Agung erupted on Saturday, November 25, 2017, sending ash 4,000 metres into the atmosphere. Evacuees are currently residing in temporary centres across the island, assisted by a coordinated community effort of several Bali-based organisations and individuals including Kopernik, IDEP Foundation, and Bumi Sehat. www.kopernik.info/agung

Yayasan Karang Lestari (Coral Protection Foundation)

This Bali-based non-profit organisation focuses on restoring damaged coral reef. Volunteers will be a part of a local diver team whose responsibilities are to monitor and keep the coral reefs healthy. More than sixty Biorock© coral nursery structures have been installed since June 2000, with a total length of 300 metres across two hectares. www.globalcoral.org

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

Melati and Isabel Wijsen founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags, an NGO driven by young people determined to get the population of Bali to say no to plastic bags. They obtained permission to start collecting signatures behind customs and immigration at Bali’s airport and eventually got over 100,000. Last year they organised Bali’s largest ever beach cleanup, which attracted 12,000 volunteers. www.byebyeplasticbags.org

Kupu-Kupu Foundation

Kupu-Kupu Foundation provides work opportunities for people with disabilities. They provide wheelchairs and other physical aids and adapt facilities for people with disabilities. They also transport disabled children to and from school. Kupu-Kupu also works to increase awareness in the local Balinese community about the challenges faced by people with disabilities. www.kupukupufoundation.org

Bali Pink Ribbon

Bali Pink Ribbon was founded by Gaye Warren, a British breast cancer survivor, who discovered that the information in Bali for breast cancer awareness was lacking. The Bali Walks, which started in 2009, have become the main fundraiser for the breast cancer awareness campaign and are being customised to accommodate local Balinese culture. www.balipinkribbon.com

The John Fawcett Foundation (Bali Eye)

The John Fawcett Foundation is a humanitarian programme that provides assistance to underprivileged families in need of medical care. So far, the foundation has provided prosthetic eyes and corrective surgery for hundreds of children in Bali and has performed free cataract surgeries on thousands of people from its mobile eye clinic. The John Fawcett Foundation welcomes overseas donations. www.johnfawcett.org

Yayasan Solemen Indonesia

Solemen focuses its efforts on helping the disadvantaged in Bali. This yayasan was formed in October 2010 to raise awareness and provide funds to support accredited agencies and projects on the island. Founder Robert Epstone declared his intention to be barefoot until Solemen had raised US$1 million “to be in solidarity with those who don’t have a choice to wear or not wear shoes.” www.solemen.org

Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak (YKPA)

This organisation provides homes for displaced children, and education to give them an opportunity to have a better future. YKPA also holds programmes to teach kids about AIDS and how to avoid sexual abuse, while also finding time to support young women who have suffered from abuse by giving them a home. At the moment, YKPA houses about 30 children and they are looking after another 20 children who are still on the streets. www.ykpa.org

Yayasan Senyum Bali (Smile Foundation)

Smile Foundation is one of the most prominent non-profit organisations in Asia that focuses on providing medical assistance for children afflicted with craniofacial disabilities, such as cleft lip and palate, tumours, traumas as well as rare syndromes. There is a charity shop in Ubud that accepts donations as well as volunteers. www.senyumbali.org

Bali Kids Foundation (Yayasan Anak Anak Bali)

Bali Kids Foundation was initially developed as a haven for orphans seeking medical attention. The centre, which was founded in 2005, aims to provide free medical care for local children and poor families. The mobile service also works with local orphanages and educates children about health, hygiene, and dealing with abused kids. www.balikids.org

Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA)

Founded in 2007, this non-profit organisation is dedicated to improving the lives of animals, with efforts to alleviate animal suffering and overpopulation through medical care and spaying/neutering. BAWA organises adoptions and street feeding programmes as well as vaccinating animals against rabies and other diseases. www.bawabali.com

Bali Sea Turtle Society (BSTS)

BSTS works with local communities and tourists all over the island to protect sea turtles by educating communities about the dangers of hunting turtles into extinction for illegal trade. Anyone can join hatchling releases for free and you can also donate by purchasing their documentary DVD, “A Journey Back to the Sea” for Rp100,000. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to BSTS’ conservation efforts. www.baliseaturtle.org

Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF)

FNPF was founded by Balinese ornithologist Dr. Bayu Wirayudha in 1997 and aims to protect wildlife, restore habitats and educate local communities through projects that preserve the forests in Mt. Batukaru as well as forests on the Nusa Penida Island. They are also working tirelessly to breed the critically endangered Bali Starling. www.fnpf.org

Bali Sharks (Serangan Shark Project)

Bali Sharks was founded by Hawaiian surfer Paul Friese in 2011 after learning about shark poaching in the Serangan area. He turned poachers into tour guides, giving the local community a source of income without destroying wildlife. Today, Bali Sharks offers kids an opportunity to swim with the sharks in a safe and controlled environment. www.balisharks.com

East Bali Poverty Project

The eastern region of Bali is characteristically drier than the rest of the island and has a lot more people living in poverty. The non-profit East Bali Poverty Project, founded in 1998,helps these communities through educational initiatives, sustainable agriculture, nutrition improvement and health awareness programmes. www.eastbalipovertyproject.org

 

Please help if you can!

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British-born Polly Christensen is a documentary film maker, features writer and environmentalist. She can be contacted at www.madefromstardust.com