Fast forward to spring of 2005.
When Don and I first came to Bali we loved the land, the people, the colorful sights, and we made friends with one Balinese young man, by the name of Mad Widia and subsequently with his family.
On that first trip, Made took us into his home, dressed us in traditional clothing, took us to the Temple and offered us rice and vegetables to eat.
And Made took me to a seer, a man about 115 years old. After looking through into smoking incense through a hollow reed, he told me that we would be living in Bali someday. Ten years later, we found ourselves living in Bali, which he knew over 10 years prior.
On that first visit to Made’s home we were offered a meal of rice and vegetables and coconut curry. It was such a good meal which they themselves never got to eat but once a week. But they wanted to give their best to us, their guest. Later I found out that they helped other less fortunate Balinese people from their meager earnings as well.
A lawyer now, a poor Balinese student then, once was invited to stay at Made’s house for four months during his studies, as he did not have the funds himself at that time. Although they were poor and had little extra to give, they did extend what they could. Made’s family is very gracious, with a deep sense of ethics and a desire to help others, regardless of their status and means.
After a few years, we decided to help our Balinese friend Made go through training to be a Tour Guide, a training which took him one year. He now has a wife and three children, and he now can support his family with grace. He is still living in his family compound, his parents are gone and Made Widia has become the head of the family now.
A small effort on our part, about 1500 USD at that time, paid for a life time of solid income for Made. Give a man a net and he can learn to fish for himself.
Our now Manager at Shambala, Made Arsa had a similar good fortune. A Dutch family saw Made work as a teenager, carrying fruit in order to make some extra needed income for the family to be able to eat. They took him under his wings and paid his school fees and his fees for books and clothing as well as some change to buy food.
The children often end their education early, because the partents don't have any income to pay for the increasingly higher school fees. Yet it is educations that most will help bring about a slightly higher standard of living. Work in Bali, and low wages and the fact that one income often supports an extended family, makes it incredibly hard for one bread wining member of the family to send his children to school for any extended time period.
We would like to invite you to help families here in Bali/ You can make a donation in general or even better, dedicate yourself to one child. The cost is fairly low, about 200 Euro or 250 USD is all ut takes to make a huge difference.
We will make personally shure that you are in touch with that family if you have FB or Whatsapp, as most of Balinenese do hae access to those.. That way you will be receiving photos direcly from the family personally.
We have a waiting list of children and families that would be beyond imagination happy to receive your support and help.
Higher school education for the children is a way for the family to move out of the cycle of poverty. Often families are not able to pay the monthly school fees and are not able to provide for the books and the school uniform. All too often the children are forced to end school at too early of an age.
With your donation we will find good students from poor families, and will allow them to complete their education, or even go onto higher training.
On our blog www.Shambalablog.com we will update about children that need a sponsor.
Here is how you can help:
Donate here for the HELP SCHOOL CHILDREN by writing Ilona Selke at Shambala
- Please contact us to donate annually or bi-annually by writing us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will set you up with the connection with a family and their Cellphone number. And you can send us the money via BankTransfer or pay your family direclty.
- Many Balinese have smartphones, as it doubles up for having a computer, and they usually use LINE or WHATSAPP for their communications. So you can easily stay in touch with your SPONORED CHILD and FAMILY
Live by Example “A CLEAN BONDALEM” or “BONDALEM BERSIH”
We are working on the Trash Clean Up project in two stages.
Until not too long ago, everything in Bali was organic. Everything was wrapped in either banana leaves, or other natural products, which could be tossed into the garden, given to the pigs to eat, or otherwise be thrown into the catch-all Rivers, which took all organic trash out to sea without long range threats to the environment.
With the advent of plastic, and the globalization of western products, and the lack of funding for local trash service, we now find that Balinese are still throwing the leftovers, their trash, which is now largely consisting of plastic products, on the ground, or burning it, which not only burden the environment, but also threatens their health.
Up to this day, Balinese are throwing their trash into the river. During the rainy season the trash is swept into the ocean, threatening to suffocate the coral reefs.
We do have sporadic trash pick-up in Bondalem,in the village that surrounds Shambala Oceanside Retreat, which has about 3000 inhabitants. When we moved to Bondalem in 2005 we were facing a bit of trash everywhere. The pick up fees are about 2 Dollars per month, which is too much for many villagers here in Bondalem, in a village where 80% of the villagers are unemployed.
So we started out to set an example. by cleaning our beach and all the walk ways surrounding Shambala. Once our neighboring fishermen, their children, and our many employees would get used to a clean environment, they too may be more inclined to keep Bali beautiful.
Back when we were young we too had to be told not to litter, and there are still many signs along all US highways, that remind everyone that littering will be fined. We too are throwing our garbage into the sea, as is still done in New York, where daily shiploads of garbage are being unloaded into the ocean.
Two of our neighbors and us donate money to have the river cleaned monthly. It is about a length of 150 meters/yards, which we have hand cleaned manually.
Next, we cleaned the street that leads to Shambala, a longer road that goes from the ocean to the Bazaar. And we had our windy walk way to Shambala cleaned daily.
All our staff worked on cleaning the entire beach in front of Shambala. Allof its trash is gone now, and it will set an example of beauty and serenity to the children who come and play and all the Balinese who walk by. However, until there is regular trash service that the villagers can affort to pay, we will need to hand clean the road and beach around Shambala.
We have had the great fortune to receive a lerger sum of money from the SWISS LIONS CLUB to pay for books and teachers to teach at Grammer-schools teach about separating trash, using organic material with an earth producing composter, paying for the extra curicular training, to teach children about recycling.
The teachers are very eager to help and they do use these books, which teach not to throw trash into the river or street, and instead shows the power for recycling. It is written in three languages: Balinese, Indonesian and English. However, we need trashcans at the schools, so that there is a way to separate organic trash, in order that children are able to follow through with what they learn in their books.