We now know that the economic impact of coronavirus is different in each and every place. Despite a low number of coronavirus cases in Bali, many areas have locked down borders meaning the tourism industry has taken a huge financial hit globally. For a place like Bali, where more than 80% of its 4 million residents are reliant on the tourism industry, travel bans this blow have left the economy crashing.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to massive job losses and reductions in income across Bali. Research from Kopernik found that 81% of the 77 household respondents have experienced a negative impact on their income as a result of COVID-19, of whom 44% have either permanently or temporarily lost their jobs. Overall, respondents have experienced a 61% decrease in their income. The rapid assessment found that COVID-19 is having a bigger impact on women, informal sector workers, and non-Balinese residents of Bali.
Support by the government, and non-governmental initiatives (including companies and individuals), has been wide-ranging. However, the data shows that the support provided has been uneven, leaving some people behind, including informal sector workers, non-Balinese Indonesians, as well as certain geographic locations where support has not yet been reached.
So how can you support Bali? If you care about Bali’s condition, there are a lot of ways to contribute.
1. Donate to organizations on the front line
Terra Water Indonesia
By bringing the mission of giving access to clean drinking water for Indonesian families by producing and distributing natural water filters that can purify non-potable water, Terra Water Filter has become the right solution for the families in need in the middle of the pandemic.
A lot of Balinese families still do not apply the water sanitation and hygiene practice. In Desa Songan, Bali, 80% of the families don’t even boil their drinking water that comes from the rainwater stored in an unfeasible rainwater reservoir. This is for sure affect their health in the short or long term. With Terra Water Filter, they can easily turn the rainwater, tap water, or well water into potable water, which can increase their health.
For those families who buy mineral water regularly, with Terra Water Filter, they don’t have to buy water anymore so that they can make some savings. An average Indonesian family can save up to 7,4 million Rupiahs per 2 years when they stop buying gallon water.
Donate to Terra Water Indonesia here.
Ragam Foundation has been helping with the food waste issue in Bali by collecting surplus food from hotels, resorts, restaurants, and suppliers. This food is donated (after being checked) to those in need. Uncooked food donations are made into nutritious meals at Food Rescue Kitchen in Canggu and then will be distributed to many different locations in Bali where people are starving because of insufficient income.
There are many ways in which you can support this initiative: (1) You donate foodstuffs to be prepared in their Food Rescue Kitchens (individuals and businesses); you can volunteer in the Food Rescue Kitchens (prep work and packaging); you can Cook and make batched meals to be donated (individuals and businesses), and of course you can support financially too.
Donate to Ragam Foundation here.
IDEP Foundation is a medium-scale non-profit organization based in Bali, Indonesia that works with communities, local farmers, and schools in developing more sustainable uses of natural resources. IDEP's focus is on Sustainable Development through Permaculture, Disaster Management, Environmental and Disaster Risk Reduction Education, Seed Preservation.
Now, since the pandemic hit Bali, they created a Covid-19 emergency response by conducting public awareness-raising about the virus, distribute daily basic needs to families in need, and medical equipment.
Donate to IDEP Foundation here.
As the locals struggle to take care of their immediate family, elders and the disabled are starting to be left alone. These are the same people who struggled through the issues that came with the volcanic eruptions and are now faced with difficult conditions again (covid-19).
Specifically to the villages of Abang, Trunyan and Songan Kerja Bakti team plan trips and give essential foods to the family’s (especially elders) that are in dire need of help. They distribute packages filled with eggs, rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, and more.
Donate to Kerja Bakti here.
These are only examples of a few organizations we know, you can find many others you like!
2. Start your own fundraising
If you or someone close to you knows of a Balinese family, business, or community in need, it’s easy to start your own crowdfunding campaign to help gather donations. You can use your own social media or using many crowdfunding platforms available out there.
A great example comes from one of our friends, Sin Van Renen, a Dutch who has spent his 10 years living in Bali. Bali has come to its worst condition since he moved and it breaks his heart to see how Balinese struggle to live the day by day, worrying that their savage is running out soon.
Realizing it, Sin gathered his families and connections to raise funds to donate 100 Basic Terra Water Filters to 100 Balinese families in need. Because he realized that Surprisingly, it reached 125 donations! So far we have distributed 91 water filters to 2 locations; Desa Seririt in Singaraja and Tanjung Benoa. Most of the recipients are those who are impacted by the pandemic, they are so happy to received Terra Water Filters because they feel so familiar with the technology. We will do more distributions to Tabanan area with the support of Ragam Foundation.
What Sin has done is so magical, seeing how many people donate and how many people came from different communities wanted to contribute to the distribution was a very beautiful moment we will never forget. If Sin can do it, you can make a difference too!
3. Support Balinese artisans and producers
While you can’t travel to Bali, you can buy a lot of good quality Balinese-made products such as furniture, homeware, art, fashion, coffee, until tasty snack or food. Bali has it all! Not only you will be reminded of Bali vibes, but you will also allow Balinese to diversify their economy to other sectors instead of relying too much on tourism. Also, don’t forget to support products that are having good value and impact on society and the environment!
Helping others is not only good for them and a good thing to do, but it also makes us happier and healthier too. Giving also connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. And it's not all about money - we can also give our time, ideas and energy. Hope this article could inspire you on how you can give back to Bali and feed your soul with positivity!