Meet Eka. Eka is one of the students at Volunteer Programs Bali. Eka is originally from East Bali but lives in Ubud area with her parents. Eka comes from a farmer’s family and moved from East Bali to live closer to Ubud on land that her parents were able to borrow. Eka’s family is very poor. Eka started working from a very young age to provide for her family. Eka goes to regular school but outside school hours she has to work to make some money. Eka cleans the neighbors house sometimes for a small fee, or she helps her parents in the ricefields. Eka is very motivated to learn English so she can work in tourism when she is older. Eka hopes to speak English well enough to have a job so she can make enough money to take care of her parents.
Stories like Eka’s are not uncommon in Bali. Even though Bali is one of the most popular tourist destination in the world, many of the Balinese are still living in extreme poverty. In the remote areas of, for example, East Bali, the residents are very poor and most villages lack education, access to clean water and even electricity. Many children must walk for kilometers to go to school. Due to the lack of jobs and opportunities, men from the villages must also leave to find jobs in the tourism sector, leaving their wives and children. However, not all men are able to do so as not everyone has the English skills to work in the tourism sector.
At Volunteer Programs Bali, we strongly believe that every child in Bali may grow and learn in a safe environment, that they can use their talents to provide for their families.When we first heard about Eka’s situation we immediately decided that we wanted to help her and her family. We just didn’t know how yet. Eka is a very enthusiastic student and really eager to learn. However, unfortunately her family’s financial situation didn’t allow her to focus 100% on her study as she has to work outside school hours.That is where VP Bali jumped in. How could we help Eka financially, and also support her in her dream to learn English? Yes, indeed, we offered her a job.
Since last month, Eka works at the program of VP Bali as a school helper. This means she helps preparing the classes, the class material and she helps cleaning up after the classes have finished. She also helps by doing the offerings daily in the school. In this way, Eka could make the extra money that she otherwise would have made by cleaning or working in the ricefields, and at the same time she could join the classes of VP Bali.Besides that, by helping preparing everyday, she picks up a lot of extra English vocabulary and she learns a lot from planning and organizing.
Eka is very grateful for this opportunity and takes her job very seriously. We see her grow everyday and we are very happy that we could make this happen!