One of our local helpers Indra had some trouble at home. His father fell ill for over a month and in all that time he couldn’t work. Contrary to most Western countries, in Bali there is no health insurance for everyone. Because he couldn’t work, he couldn’t earn any money. As a result, he struggled to provide for his family. When VP Bali heard about this we decided to help Indra’s family by bringing basic food supplements such as rice, eggs and meat. These kind of provisions may seem as very small and basic deeds to us, however here in Indonesia, simple supplies as these are already a luxury. Additionally, we also gave money to his father to help with their hospital bills. This way Indra’s family was provided for until his father could get back to work again.
VP Bali tries to help in any way we can. Being part of the community is very important to us. This story about Indra is one of the many examples about the things we do in the local communities. Situations like these are happening a lot in Bali. Sadly a lot of families already struggle to make ends meet without anybody in the family being sick, this and other similar stories do not include the additional (financial) struggle of school expenses for their children.
Generally, the wages in Indonesia are very low. A farmers income is a good example of this. It all depends on how much the farmer has, and if it’s his own land or if he works for someone else.
We took the income of the father of one of our local staff members, Komang as an example: The land was owned by Komang’s grandfather. Together with his brother, Komang’s father worked on their father’s land to provide food and income for their families. When Komang’s grandfather passed away, the land was sold. Komang’s father and her uncle continued working on the land. The land is 28 Are which would usually result in a profit of 4 million rupiah every 4 months for selling the rice. Half of this was going to the owner of the land and the other half was split between the two brothers. The income would be 250.000 IDR a month for the farmer. This is 16,78 euro’s a month. Now if they are lucky they can supplement this income by selling bananas and other extra fruits, vegetables and leaves. They will then end up with an income of 500.000 IDR (€ 33,55) per month. This amount of money is the main provision for an entire family for one month. From this monthly income, school costs will have to be deducted as well.
Even though technically elementary schools are free here in Indonesia, school supplies such as uniforms, materials such as pens, books, papers, exams, etc. are not free of charge. Generally the minimum school costs for one child come down to 150,000 IDR per month. With an unstable income of roughly 500,000 IDR or less, schools become a high expense for the average family of 5 in Bali. Often families have to choose which children to put through school and can only afford to up until a certain age.
You can see how it would be difficult for a lot of parents to put their children through school. As soon as the children are old enough they have to work to supplement their family’s income. This makes it very hard for VP Bali to get their children to come to the English classes. Therefore VP Bali tries to help in any way we can. By offering scholarships, paying for books and other materials, creating jobs for locals and provide many other similar activities and opportunities. This way we hope to gradually get the community to accept us and allow more children to come and follow our classes. Because they live a hard life at home with long days and a lot of work, it’s also important for us to make the learning experience fun and creative. This way, the kids can have fun and be a kid for a while, whilst also learning English. This will give the children a chance for a better future.
We are very happy with the progresses that we are making so far and will keep going to get even more children into our classes. Thanks to your help, this is possible.
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