Beyond the tourist bubble: Uncovering poverty in Bali

Often concealed by the island’s stunning beauty, many villages in Bali experience extreme poverty amidst the backdrop of beachfront resorts. Particularly rural communities in the northern regencies are facing hidden struggles. In these areas, poverty is sustained by a combination of factors fuelling the ever-widening wealth gap. To understand the complexities of poverty in Bali, it is crucial to look beyond the tourist bubble and explore the key elements to gain insight into the challenges faced by Balinese families.

Limited Access To Education

The lack of access to quality education is one of the key causes of poverty in Bali. A number of rural areas lack proper educational infrastructure, such as nearby schools, qualified teachers, and learning materials, restricting children from obtaining the essential skills and knowledge to be able to fulfil their potential.

Furthermore, financial constraints often prevent families from sending their children beyond middle school. Education expenses for school uniforms, textbooks, and transportation costs can be unaffordable for families living below the poverty line. As a result, children are deprived of the opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty through education.

Insufficient Health Services

Another major obstacle faced by rural villages in Bali is access to quality healthcare. The absence of proper healthcare facilities leaves residents vulnerable to various diseases and illnesses. The distance can often become a barrier, as the nearest hospitals or clinics may be located far away, making it difficult for community members to receive timely medical attention.

Moreover, healthcare services can be expensive, and many families struggle to afford even basic medical treatments. The lack of healthcare infrastructure and high costs make it challenging for individuals to maintain good health, impacting their ability to work and generate a steady income.

Inadequate Housing

Inadequate housing contributes further to poverty in Balinese villages. Many families have limited access to clean water and sanitation and live in buildings with weak structures, leaving residents vulnerable to natural disasters and at risk of losing their homes and possessions.

Poor housing conditions can negatively affect the overall well-being of community members. In addition, lack of proper sanitation facilities and overcrowded living spaces contribute to the spread of diseases and health issues, reinforcing the cycle of poverty within these communities.

Salaries Below A Living Wage

Formal employment opportunities are hard to find in traditional villages in Bali. As a result, residents often find themselves working in informal or low-paying jobs, earning salaries that fall below the minimum wage. This insufficient income makes it exceedingly difficult for individuals and families to escape the cycle of poverty as they struggle to meet their basic needs.

The Financial Burden Of Ceremonies

Balinese culture is rich with vibrant ceremonies and rituals. However, these ceremonies can place a heavy financial burden on families and cannot be overlooked as a critical factor contributing towards poverty in Bali. Traditional ceremonies often involve elaborate preparations, including purchasing offerings, organizing feasts, and covering various other expenses.

For families already struggling to make ends meet, the financial strain of these ceremonies may deepen their economic hardships. The pressure to conform to cultural expectations and societal norms can hinder their ability to save or invest in more essential needs, such as education, healthcare, or improving their living conditions.

Poverty in Bali is a complex issue determined by multiple factors. Addressing the challenges requires a versatile approach that improves education, access to healthcare, housing conditions, and income opportunities. Volunteer Programs Forever is committed to developing the potential of underprivileged communities in Bali with sustainable solutions. Together, we can create a brighter future and help break the cycle of poverty.