Here’s a look at my experience sponsoring and changing the lives of three children in Bali, through Rotary’s Bali School Kids program.
Today I wanted to share a different kind of Bali story. If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know I have a total soft spot for Bali. It was my first overseas destination at the ripe old age of 16. Since then, I’ve been back a total of seven times. Although there are many reasons why I continue to return to Bali – the food, people and atmosphere just to name a few – I also love going to visit my sponsor child. Here’s a look at the program my family and I are a part of, plus some really cute photos of really happy kids.
HOW TO SPONSOR A CHILD IN BALI
BALI SCHOOL KIDS
Bali School Kids is a joint program run by the Rotary Clubs of Swan Valley and Ellenbrook in Western Australia, as well as the Rotary Club of Bali-Denpasar. It was built to help children in rural Bali villages receive a primary school education. Since 1999, Bali School Kids’ Bali-Sembung Project (the village where we sponsor children) has helped 2000 children attend primary school.
We first learned about the program through my grandma, who read about it when she lived in Perth. Over the last 10 years, I’ve sponsored Mia, Gede and Dino (the latter being my current sponsor child in Bali). The reason I’ve sponsored three children to date is that the Bali School Kids program prioritises giving children a primary school education. The parents of the sponsored children are low income earners and without our sponsorship most of the children would not be able to attend school. Fortunately, on subsequent visits I’ve heard that my previous sponsor kids have both gone on to high school.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SPONSOR A CHILD IN BALI?
It costs $130 per year to sponsor a child. It’s honestly such a small fee to pay to give someone a chance to go to school. Here’s detailed information on what your contribution covers. But for $130 a child gets multiple required uniforms, a pair of shoes and school supplies. Any remaining money goes towards additional school resources.
WHY CHOOSE THIS PROGRAM TO SPONSOR A CHILD IN BALI?
The hands down best part about this program is being able to visit our sponsor children every time we visit Bali. In most instances, we also get to meet their parents as well. It’s so rewarding seeing exactly where your money is going. For my mum, her biggest joy is seeing how much the children enjoy school and how beautifully presented they all are. We’ve been fortunate to visit all of our sponsor children in Bali. You can organise visits through the Rotary clubs, but on my 27th birthday my mum and I were fortunate to visit on a Distribution Day. Some of the girls did a traditional Balinese dance and the kids all received their school shoes.
You can take your sponsor child a gift, but the program requests not bringing any lollies or big items. For my first sponsor child, I gave her an Australian-themed notebook, shirt and pencil set. My second sponsor child, Gede was such a cute kid with a big personality. I gave him a small Lego set and he was SO excited. It turns out he knew exactly what Lego was. As my mum and I are both sponsoring boys this time, we went down the Lego route again.
In the past, we’ve also bought whiteboard markers for the teachers. Another popular item people bring is sports equipment for everyone to use. A recent initiative the program has begun as well is $35 packs that are given to the family. It includes a big bag of rice and other food and toiletry supplies. The families are always so thankful.
Thanks for letting me share this experience with you! This post was really just an excuse to share all of my favourite Bali photos though 😉 What a cool bunch of happy kids. Every time I go to the school you can’t wipe the smile off my face.
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