Bali community support during 2020 - the year of the pandemic

The year 2020 has been a year we will remember. When we started in January we had no idea that everything would change. We first heard about the coronavirus coming from China and we did not realize that it would affect us in the way it did. Our program operated as usual, until we received more warnings that COVID-19 has arrived in Indonesia as well. On Monday 16th March we received a letter from the government that all schools in Indonesia had to close, and not long after that, the international borders closed down too.

Since our school closed in March we have been working very hard to find solutions on how to support our local community. All the kids that joined our program on a daily basis have been home and their families have been struggling as well as most of the Balinese are out of a job due the fact there has been no tourism whatsoever since late March.

Our priority is always to support communities and to find solutions that work on a long term, and not only quick fixes. However, due to the crisis we have experienced here in Bali, we also realized that the community really needed that ‘quick fix’ at that time.
For many Balinese, no job means no income and that literally means no food. Unfortunately most Balinese have no back up plan or savings and there is no financial government support.

Food packages

We saw a lot of families struggling and panicking about how to feed themselves and their children. Volunteer Programs Forever stepped in and over the past months we have been handing out food packages to the families of our students and community members.
These packages included rice, eggs, noodles and oil, which are the main necessities for an average Balinese family.
With each package a family could eat for about a week.

Homeschooling

Besides daily needs we have also been handing out homeschooling and hygiene packages. We created homeschooling packages for our students so they can keep learning in a fun and creative way and in a safe and healthy environment. 

The homeschooling packages included some educational materials such as crayons, colored pencils etc. as well as educational worksheets about the coronavirus. Through these worksheets the students could also learn about the coronavirus and the importance of hygiene to stop the spread of the virus. 

When we handed out these packages, we were not only focusing on the kids but also on their families. It is our vision and mission to support a community as a whole. The hygiene packages were distributed to the families of our students and also included hand soap, hand sanitizer, face masks, drinking bottles and towels.
Hygiene is very important, especially now, so with these packages we also wanted to support them with hygiene supplies.

All of this has only been possible thanks to the donations we have received and we are so very grateful for that!
If you are also interested in donating towards one of our programs, click here.

The past months we have also been focusing on finding long term solutions for the Balinese community.
Read our blog post about our future plans
here.