Bali Street Mums Project
Such is the love of Australians for Bali, there is over one million Australian visitors to the holiday island every year. If you have ever visited Bali and enjoyed some time on the tropical island, many of you would have come across mothers with their children on the streets in Kuta and Denpasar begging and asking for money or food.
Being a family owned and operated company with a combined strong Indonesian and Australian heritage this has touched our heart deeply, it’s a no brainer for Jungle Gardens to support this truly worthy project where we can.
Bali Steet Mums Project has been doing some amazing work in Bali providing desperately needed resources including shelter, clothing, education, basic health care and food to impoverished woman and children of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Balinese Women and Children in particular face extreme challenges to survival. High unemployment and little education, infant mortality and malnutrition. Add to this the danger of trafficking and forced prostitution. Unsanitary conditions in substandard housing, lack of running water, prevalent sewage.
Despite Bail’s tourism focused reputation as an island paradise, the beauty of its beaches and blissful waters hide the tragic poverty of its people. Roughly 25 million people in Indonesia live below the poverty line. A further 20 percent teeter on the brink, with income just marginally above poverty. In rural Bali the desperation is amplified. Its villages face poverty rates above 35 percent.
Since its origins in a one room shack, Bali Street Mums has empowered over 400 women and children of Denpasar with desperately needed resources. Their programs focus on empowerment through education, housing, skill development, and nutrition.
The Tragic Cycle
For generations mothers have taken their children to the streets of Kuta and Denpasar to beg. It’s due to the fact that their villages up in the mountains of Batur and Agung have no water, no schools, no hospitals and no income. For 12 hours a day, children beg for pennies, alone — leaving them vulnerable to sex trafficking.
Bali Street Mums Project helps mums and children in six ways:
Rescuing Abused Children
Hundreds of international sex traffickers arrive in Bali each month, with the aim of assaulting vulnerable children on the streets.
Diandra, our Social Worker and Child Psychologist, works with police to rescue and rehabilitate abused children, and convict the offenders.
Providing Safe, Comfortable Housing
Many of the mums and kids live in small huts with mud floors and no sanitation in dangerous slums. We move the mums and kids into clean, safe, comfortable housing — away from the crosshairs of sex traffickers.
Feeding the Hungry
Most children living in the slums in Bali, get to eat only one bowl of rice per day, resulting in malnutrition and illness. We provide a full protein breakfast, fruit, milk and vitamin C supplements to 35 street kids per day.
Medical Aid and Counseling
After years of begging on the streets, many children are malnourished and have suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse. We provide as much medical aid and counselling as they need.
Educating the Kids
Children who are begging up to 12 hours a day on the hot streets of Kuta do not get to go to school. Once we rescue the kids from the streets we enrol them in school, providing uniforms, books and school fees.
Many of them have been begging for 8-10 years, don’t have birth certificates, and don’t know the meaning of the word “play.” When we tell them to have fun, they start sweeping — because simple work is their version of “fun,” compared to hard labor. Our social worker, Diandra, helps fix all that so they can learn to be children again.
Empowering the Mums
It is important the mothers earn an income so that they do not take their children back to the streets to beg. We teach the mothers handicrafts, which are then sold through various shops and markets providing the mums with an income.