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More than a decade on, families in Indonesia still live with the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. We opened three new Villages to care for children orphaned by the disaster. Today, we help families in eight locations provide a safe, stable upbringing for their children, and care for children with no-one else. … more about our charity work in Indonesia

Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Bali, Indonesia

Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Bali, Indonesia

A child sponsorship report from Bali in Indonesia. Written in 2011.

Dear Friends

As you will know, the SOS Children’s Village Bali has youth facilities for both girls and boys in Denpasar. There we take care of about sixty young people altogether. However, the number of students actually living there is just about thirty, as some study at schools far away or have to do a work practice outside Denpasar. Now, for those present at both SOS Youth Communities – in addition to the specific projects at their respective Community –, joint activities are arranged from time to time. Remember, these boys and girls were spending their childhood together at the SOS Village! 

Starting last October, they had a series of group dynamic sessions about the topics of the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. The motivator guiding them was a Singaporean working for a UNICEF project in Bali. In his spare time, he generously helped our youth (and took an active part in our Mothers’ on¬going training). In the framework of these sessions, there were field trips. 

The first one took place at Christmas time, when they went to a little Mexican restaurant in Ubud, where they had a nice meal. Moreover, the proprietor shared his struggle – from growing up in poverty until succeeding in having a popular eatery of his own –, encouraging them to keep striving for their own goals. Afterwards, the girls and boys continued their trip to an international foundation taking care of physically handicapped youths, in order to foster social awareness. By interacting with them, they could make acquaintance, bring joy and deepen their understanding of people with special needs. The person in charge told them that they were the first Balinese visiting. Three months later, our Singaporean friend invited the girls and boys to visit a shelter in the mountains of Kintamani, where they could witness handicapped youths being trained in and master various skills. They even were served food these trainees had prepared. Soon, trainees and visitors were involved in some activities together. These experiences made a lasting impression on our young people. 

Yet, there are more common activities involving the members of the two SOS Youth Communities, like rehearsing gamelan orchestra and traditional dances. Furthermore, these teens and twens generally visit their families at the SOS Village once a month for a weekend and for holidays. As you will imagine, their mothers as well as their younger brothers and sisters are always happy seeing them again. However, our youth decided that they also wanted to contribute to the SOS Village community with each visit. So there is usually some project carried out: Either they help with a Village programme or they take the initiative to arrange something themselves. For instance, during the holiday season at the end of last year, they staged a dance drama together on the subject of the Ramayana epic, which everyone enjoyed. 

Speaking of dance: As you will know, most Balinese girls (and a number of boys) watch and practise dancing from early childhood on. Some months ago, twenty of our Village children were invited to present a dance at the international conference of a European company supporting SOS Children’s Villages. The event was held at a Nusa Dua resort hotel. The children enjoyed the luxurious surroundings and the sumptuous food... but naturally felt anxious. As soon as they started to dance, though, they overcame their stage fright, just focusing on the dance, oblivious to the fact that a thousand people from forty countries were watching. As expected, everything went well. Their dance’s graceful movements made a deep impression. The audience cheered passionately and the kids were happy.

Finally, young children and grown ones, mothers and staff of SOS Bali say “thank you” and send warm greetings to their Friends, wherever they may be!

Yours sincerely