Pilot Project: VP Bali

The Forever Learning Center in Bali

Our journey started in 2013 with the launch of our pilot project in Bali; Volunteer Programs Bali. This project initially focused on helping the people of Bali learn English through a network of international volunteers running English classes in the local schools. These English classes not only provided the opportunity for the Balinese people to escape poverty but also encouraged them to inspire others and contribute to their own communities across the island.

Covid-19 hit Bali in March 2020 and all of the progress that had been made came to an abrupt halt. Tourism stopped, the influx of international volunteers stopped and with that the income of many people in Bali who are so dependent on tourism stopped.
However, there is a will and energy across Volunteer Programs Bali to find a new way forward, to find a way to allow the local communities to thrive and reach their fullest potential and thus the Forever Learning Center was born.


Finding solutions to the depence of the Balinese community on tourism

Bali is hit very hard by the corona crisis. 80% of the population depends directly or indirectly on the tourism industry to earn their income. When, like now, the tourism sector has been affected, there is no longer enough income for the local communities to meet their basic needs. A deep economic and social crisis is unavoidable. That is why VP Forever aims to provide a structural counterbalance by creating jobs outside the tourism sector and provide the communities with the skills needed in today’s labor market. The Forever Learning Center VP Bali offers all this.

“80% of the Balinese are depending on tourism. More than just trying to find a simple solution we want to build long term solutions for this dependence. We do this by building the first Forever Learning Center.”
— Kimberley Vanderheyden, Founder

Bali hit hard by corona

Responding to the local needs

The original educational project in Bali, VP Bali, had to close the doors once the consequences of the coronavirus became clear. This also dried up the project’s cash flow. A solution for both the situation of the Balinese in times of corona and for Volunteer Programs Forever was much needed.
That is how The Forever Learning Centers were born. These learning centers connect the vision and mission of Volunteer Programs Forever with the current needs of the local communities: sow today to reap beautiful harvests tomorrow.
And the first Forever Learning Center in the world will be built in Bali.

Young adults train for a job through lessons and internships, while children can attend English classes.

More than just creating jobs

VP Bali will become a Forever Learning Center and 20% of the time will be dedicated to education in English. Most of the activities are focused on job creation: in a structural manner and in the long term. By teaching the local population the necessary knowledge and skills, the communities will be much better equipped in the future against knockouts from the vital tourism sector. By doing this, the income of the Balinese is less under pressure, and it is much more likely that they can continue to meet their basic needs.

In addition, The Forever Learning Center VP Bali will also be a place where people gather, where they share skills, attend workshops and attend events. (Young) adults train for a job through lessons and internships, while children can attend English classes. Inspiration and empowerment are at the heart of our Learning Centers. The Forever Learning Center VP Bali does not only create jobs but also offers a safety net and perspective for a secure future.

What activities does The Forever Learning Center organize?

The education center

The center offers 6 classrooms where English classes will be given daily to Balinese children. The classrooms offer a spacious, learning-friendly atmosphere with many opportunities for creative learning, sports and games. Each classroom is equipped with tables and chairs but also offers place to play and roam on the terrace outside. Creativity and inspiration flows through the classrooms and daily they are filled with happy kids.

The marketplace, shop and community space

The shop of the center only sells local products and fully supports local entrepreneurs from the area. In addition, merchandise from VP Forever will be sold, where 100% of the profits will go to the center. The marketplace offers space for local entrepreneurs and vendors to sell their products during events. The major events atriums host monthly events that are open to the entire community.

The library and workshop area

The library is accessible to the entire community and supports the workshops and classes within the project. Reading moments are organized for the children on a regular basis. There are several workshop rooms where young people can follow workshops and lessons on a daily basis. There is an online education portal where young people can follow workshops given by volunteers from all around the world.

Training center

The training center includes a professional kitchen. This kitchen provides a framework for cooking classes and workshops and also includes a communal dining area. In addition, the kitchen also cooks with fruit and vegetables from the local partners with whom the center works. Practical classes, vocational training and skills training are given in the training center.

A place for children with a disability

The Forever Learning center VP Bali also provides a space specifically equipped for children with disabilities where they can learn and develop. This program is still under development and will be fully implemented once the center is operating for one year.

How can you help?

Very simple: by donating or signing up as a volunteer at VP Bali. Donate through the donate button below, on the website of Volunteer Programs Forever or by contacting the foundation. Would you also like to actively contribute as a volunteer? This can be done on location in the Forever Learning Center in Bali, but also remotely.

Are you a copywriter, social media specialist, blogger or do you have other skills that you want to offer to the foundation? Your help is more than welcome! Also professions that are less likely to be associated with volunteering, such as chefs or beauticians. Learn more about our Forever Community >

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