CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
By now, you have probably noticed all the posts we are doing for An Evening on the Green – Bali’s only collaborative charity event representing five groups this year, all that are striving for better conditions in Bali. But who are these groups and what can an event like An Evening on the Green do for them?
BIWA, Bali International Womens Association, are a group of women than span multiple nationalities with the common goal of friendship and supporting those who need assistance. Their goal is to contribute to social welfare in the community, offering education and an improvement in the lives of marginalised people all over Bali. In particular, they spend time with children and women, encouraging education and skilled training, to help break the cycle of poverty. BIWA supports many programs across Bali so having them on board this year at An Evening on the Green, means that the funds raised will go directly into the education and assistance programs they facilitate with the help of groups.
Rumah Sehat is an amazing team of people who take education and medical care to those in the most remote areas of Bali. I’ve been fortunate to spend time with them and the difference they make to the lives they touch, is immeasurable. These are people who don’t have money for the right medical care, or they don’t have access to education, or they are living in camps. Recently Rumah Sehat went to the Mt Agung evacuation camps to offer medical check ups to all and in particular to check on the elderly and babies as they can be more fragile and need extra care. Through fundraising in the past, they have been able to get much needed equipment to their clinic in Karangasem, and they have been able to put donated computers in schools to help the kids learn and gain a higher education. Now they need help to build a clinic. Currently the clinic they work from is small and it only just copes with the amount of work they do. They need bigger facilities with better technology to treat their patients plus offer more in the way of health education and good lifestyles practices. By joining us at An Evening on the Green, you are giving money to the fabulous team at Rumah Sehat to build their new and improved clinic.
Solemen Indonesia provide support and care to the disadvantaged and diffabled of Bali. That’s not a typo by the way, it’s a Solemen term for differently abled – those who need assistance in day to day activities. They have outreach programs that provide services to the poor, the disadvantaged, the homeless, the marginalised and the diffabled of Bali. Their aim is to alleviate the suffering and misery of extreme poverty, bringing solutions to those who are otherwise hidden in our communities and therefore have no access to proper medical care. They operate on a very, very small budget but with the help of the team made up of volunteer doctors, nurses, welfare workers, nutritionists and people with very big hearts, they are making a difference in the lives of those in Bali who need it most. You’ll get to meet some of this amazing team at An Evening on the Green – ask them their stories, hear the heartbreak turn to positive outcomes, and know that the money we raise at the festival will go back to helping more of the Solebuddies in their care. Every hidden community without a voice needs dedicated people like Solemen.
I’m always fascinated when people say that Bali has a huge rubbish problem. Bali has a rubbish disposal problem, every country has a rubbish problem. I never really saw rubbish on the street in Australia, we have council clean ups and rubbish days where all our waste is collected in colourful bins and taken away, presumably recycled or somehow dealt with so the unsightly mess is hidden. Now that might sound sarcastic but just because you don’t see rubbish, doesn’t mean you don’t have a rubbish problem. In Bali, the worlds rubbish problem is far more visible. When I first got to Bali, I paid for all the right recycling bins. I would proudly separate everything and would make sure the right bins went out on the right day. Until one day I saw the rubbish truck just dump all my separated waste into the one big truck. Recycling is not easy in Indonesia, it comes at a cost – in fact rubbish disposal of any kind comes at a cost. And until recycling is monetised or somehow incentivised for all people, rubbish will continue to be an issue in any country, not just Bali.
This is where people like the team from Trash Hero Sanur are making a huge difference. They hold workshops and education sessions, and regularly do community clean ups. In fact so far, they have held 99 clean ups involving 2044 Trash Heroes who have collected 9874kg of trash! If you want to join them, head to Genius Café on Pantai Mertasari in Sanur at 5pm every Monday and you can participate in their beach clean up. They have created sustainable projects including offering reusable water bottles that can be sold at businesses, provided the business offers a water refill station. These water bottles will be available at An Evening on the Green and you can meet with the awesome Trash Hero Sanur team. Funds raised at the festival will allow them to: make more Trash Hero t-shirts; order more reusable water bottles and reduce plastic bottles; further develop sustainable projects and research waste management solutions that can be used by Trash Heroes everywhere.
If you follow us on FB or IG, you’ll know that we are slightly dog obsessed. I’ve always loved animals but my true obsession didn’t really start until I got to Bali and saw the Bali dog. Genetically they are very different from any other dog, it’s been said they are the oldest dog in the animal kingdom, and they resemble a mix of other native dogs but not quite enough to say where they really came from. This might sound odd but I actually don’t think we should ever ‘own’ a Bali dog, it would be like having a dingo as a pet and personally I think owning wild animals goes against nature. BUT as populations and cities expanded, we encroached on their territory so now we need to do what’s best for them and that means taking them into our homes, caring for them and giving them the best vet care we can. I currently have a Bali street dog and a Kintamani living in my house. I would never say I ‘own’ them because quite frankly they own me. They are loyal, devoted, aloof, smart but wilful – ever tried to tell a Bali dog he/she can’t do something?! Good luck!
In Australia we vaccinate our pets, we sterilise them and in fact we get fines if we don’t sterilise and register them with our local councils. In Australia, I’d never heard of a dog having distemper…here distemper kills so many dogs it has become a common place diagnosis. A simple vaccine prevents it. Parvo, kennel cough, blood poisoning from ticks are all things that can be prevented with the right medical care; and the word that strikes fear in communities everywhere, rabies. Rabies comes in two forms; paralytic rabies and furious rabies. Rabies is preventable, not curable. So how can you help? By joining us at An Evening on the Green, the money raised is going toward BARC. Bali Dog Adoption Rehabilitation Centre (BARC) aims to relieve the starvation, suffering, abuse and neglect of Bali’s dogs and a huge part of that is by having vaccination and sterilisation programs in place for all the dogs in their care.
A lot of our promotion for An Evening on the Green is about the fun, the music, the dancing, and all the amazing prizes you could win. The festival is all that and then some! The important message of the night is about community – participating within your community and offering support and assistance to those doing valuable work for the disadvantaged and for our environment.
If you are a business who wants to participate by donating an item to raise funds, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to join us on the night and need tickets, you can contact me, or Aroma Spa Retreat (https://www.facebook.com/Aromasparetreat/) or any of the charities above. Just remember, there are no door sales as last year we sold out so all tickets will be pre-sale only.
See you at An Evening on the Green, Hatten Winery, Sanur on April 28!