Bali. The sun, surf and cheap holidays is the Bali we all know. However, Bali has a darker side. The often-overlooked aspect of Bali is the overwhelming poverty in the country. Around 5.5% of the population are in the unemployment bracket and those that do earn, pull an average wage per month of around $180. Hardly a substantial living or enough to make ends meet when looking after a family. Due to the extreme hardships that families endure, children often join 68-80% of the population partaking in labour work or hospitality and tourism. This creates devastating impacts on schooling and education (despite a legislated 9-year compulsory education mandate), housing, and opportunity for younger generations to flourish.
These children are pushed away from home and education falling into the wrong crowds and cultures, and end up away from home for days on end. These life choices also end up pushing them away permanently, and into homelessness. Traffic collisions also cut many lives short in Bali, with an estimated 3,000 deaths occurring every year on the roads alone. With such large distances often needing to be travelled by scooter to work, there are high fatality rates, that leave children with no answers as to why their mother or father do not return home after a day’s work. HIV is also a concern, with HIV infection rates jumping 81% from 2006 leaving more children parentless. With only a portion of the factors taken into account, this leaves the following statistics:
Currently there are an estimated 25,000 orphaned or homeless children in Bali, and a shocking 40,000 to 70,000 children subject to child sex trafficking. This is where Manasseh International hopes to step in!
Currently we are conducting a scoping study with Hope Children’s Home in Bali. The orphanage, currently housing 60 children, have been asked to vacate their current tenancy. They have been able to secure another 12 months on the current lease but will be forced out of the home at the end of the period. The scoping study is currently investigating the option of securing a 100-year lease on land and exploring the idea of building a structure that can sustain the harsh climates with adequate security and safety for 60 children.