A short overview of our history and ongoing efforts.

The start of our journey.

Our journey started in 2012 with the opening of the Forever Learning Centres in various underprivileged Balinese communities. While the centres focussed on offering English classes to children and teenagers given by international volunteers, they were also an excellent opportunity for the whole community to benefit from as they also created local employment and skill training.

more about our impact

The pandemic.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and the Learning Centres had to close, Volunteer Programs Forever continued to support the communities by offering immediate aid through homeschooling, holding health classes and providing food packages. As Covid-19 took longer than everyone anticipated, the organisation realised they had to provide sustainable solutions to the local communities to withstand the crisis. Hence, the Forever Label was born to create sustainable employment, offering local artists and craftsmen job opportunities to produce handmade items to provide for their families through these rough times. The accessories were successfully sold in Europe, and the profit allowed continued support throughout the pandemic with Volunteer Programs Forever.

Post pandemic.

When the borders opened again in May 2022, funding was scarce, and Volunteer Programs Forever took some time to reinvent itself. The organisation recognised that it needed to shift its priorities to help in a more sustainable way. Thanks to the gained expertise and strong connection with the local communities, Volunteer Programs Forever decided to focus more on skill training, inspiring the communities to work outside the tourist sector while still providing access to knowledge and education.
In addition, Volunteer Programs Forever now aims to initiate targeted fundraisers named Soul Projects, aspiring to implement immediate relief for a specific individual or family within the community to support overcoming a particular challenge.

To continue to provide sustainable job employment, the new brand Bali Touch evolved out of the Forever Label, offering a broader range of handcrafted products made by local artists and craftsmen to secure sustainable employment outside the tourism sector.

Our vision is to open our own Learning Centre to offer a broader education program, teach Balinese people skills to preserve their craftmenship or provide pre-employment training to increase their chances on the job market.

The impact of our Forever Learning Centres

Set up by donations, the first Forever Learning Centres opened in 2012 in seven Balinese communities, aimed to empower a sustainable future for an entire community.

Forever Learning Centers

Working closely with the authorities, Volunteer Programs Forever rented classrooms after regular school hours to offer English classes four times a week to underprivileged children and teenagers selected by the head of the village. In addition to the English classes, the centres also taught life skills, having established a method for eager learners to help develop long-term thinking by earning points that could be traded into new school uniforms, bags and school supplies.

Community impact

Setting up a Learning Centre significantly impacted the community as a whole. Aside from offering sustainable education, they created job opportunities for local drivers to provide free transport to the centres, encouraged women to set up a food stall on location and offered educational training to people who later became assistants in the centres or gained fundamental skills to secure long-term employment.

Intercultural exchange

The Learning Centers allowed 2000 international volunteers to be the backbone of the English classes and intense intercultural exchange. By learning and working with people from across the globe, Balinese children also gained soft skills such as different ways of communicating and non-verbal interactions, as well as an insight into other cultures. All essential qualities needed to find work in the tourism sector.

Inspire and empower

To increase the interest in professions outside the tourism sector, the Learning Centres offered educational programs for adults of the community, such as recycling projects, first aid courses by doctors and seminars held by volunteers trained in craftmanship.
Until the Learning Centres had to close their doors indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they granted 300 scholarships and 250 local employment positions.

Success stories, our foundation.

Opened to provide underprivileged children and teenagers better access to English classes, the Learning Centres were the stepping stone to a sustainable future for some students.

Due to the scholarships, some children could continue their education to secure full-time employment in higher positions.

As not everyone had the opportunity to become a student and partake in the classes, Volunteer Programs Forever ensured that older community members would also benefit from the set-up by creating job opportunities within or for the Learning Centres to provide a sustainable income for their families.

The deep intercultural exchange during English classes was an unforgetttable experience also for the international volunteers. Getting more and more involved with the Balinese people and learning about their culture and specific challenges inspired many volunteers to make a difference in their own communities once they returned home.

Find out what the participants have to say about their experience at the Learning Centres.

Testimonials of our students

Thanks to the assistance and funding of scholarships, some students of the Learning Centres could continue higher education to escape low-wage employment by becoming nurses, hotel managers, and teachers prepared to feed their own families.
Click here to read how the Learning Centres helped its students towards a sustainable future.

Testimonials of our Local Balinese Community

Volunteer Programs Forever also offered skill training to older community members who could not partake in the English classes and employed local staff at the Learning Centres. By providing job opportunities to drivers to transport the children from surrounding villages, allowing women to set up food stalls during breaks and making regular donations to the village temple, the Learning Centres significantly impacted the whole community.

Click here to learn about the impact Learning Centres had on community members

Testimonials of our International volunteers

Meeting people from around the world, learning more about different cultures and getting used to different accents was highly valuable for Balinese children not being able to travel. Whereas the English classes were an excellent preparation towards finding employment in the tourism sector, they allowed the international volunteers to gain deep insight into the Balinese culture and traditions. The cultural exchange inspired many to reconsider their careers or empower sustainable change in their home countries.

Click here to see how the Learning Centres inspired volunteers to continue giving back


Covid-19, adjusting to the challenge.

As almost 80% of the Balinese population is directly or indirectly dependent on the tourism sector and received only minor support from the government during the Covid-19 pandemic, proficient in change-making, Kimberley Vanderheyden decided to use the funds of Volunteer Forever Programs towards providing immediate relief to members of the communities by handing out food packages and offering health classes and homeschooling.

Known as an exclusive holiday destination, Bali is also famous for its incredible artwork. As the pandemic continued, she created the brand Forever Label to offer job opportunities to local artists, artisans and craftsmen in underprivileged Balinese communities to ensure a steady income outside the tourism sector. The Forever Label was a huge success selling various handmade products in Europe and helped recognise and preserve the traditional handicraft.

A lesson learned and how we move forward.

Despite all the achievements, Volunteer Programs Forever started to shift its focus in 2022, to move forward and allow the organisation to provide a broader spectrum of sustainable empowerment. While still focussing on education, Volunteer Programs Forever is now encouraging individuals to help raise funds to support targeted members of underprivileged communities to overcome specific challenges through so-called Soul Projects.

Due to the enormous success of the Forever Label, a new brand Bali Touch was created in 2023 to offer a wider variety of items and accessories whilst collaborating closely with Volunteer Programs Forever. While Soul Projects can act as a stepping stone to enable access to workshops and pre-employment training for future employees, Bali Touch is committed to structurally giving back to Volunteer Programs Forever, guaranteeing fair wages and sustainable job opportunities.

Future vision of the organisation.

Moving forward in our mission to empower underprivileged Balinese communities, our vision is to open a new Learning Centre offering pre-employment training for opportunities in and outside the tourism sector while also holding workshops to help the Balinese people to preserve their artisan skills to enable a steady income resilient towards the risk of epidemics and natural disasters..

Forever Learning Center

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Be part of the change and empower Balinese communities to build their own future.

Breaking the poverty cycle in Bali takes a global effort, time and funds. Please become part of our worldwide network by supporting sustainable change through a donation or get involved through one of our Soul Projects.

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