Bali’s Community Responses to COVID-19
In a time where it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we have been inspired at seeing the many community responses to Covid-19 in Bali, aimed at helping the people out of work and to help the communities to contain the virus. Both locals and expats have banded together to share their skills and their time in effort to see Bali and its people come out the other side of this pandemic.
As the medical situation around COVID-19 is unfolding in Bali at this time, the community impact has been felt hard. All due to the temporary shutdown of many resorts, shops, restaurants and other businesses. This means that there are thousands upon thousands of Balinese who now find themselves without their monthly salaries or means of making money. On top of this the community is also scared about how long this will go on and of course for the virus itself. The government has encouraged everyone to stay home where possible. Beaches are closed, the wearing of masks in public is strongly recommended, as is social distancing.
In this blog we share three initiatives that are helping Balinese in need. Scroll down to read more and to find out how you can help too.
Bali C19 Solidarity Group
This was a Facebook group formed by local expat Stephen Leonard to gather a group of people working together in solidarity to support one another and the broader society in Bali during the COVID-19 crisis, through proactive initiatives on the ground.
This group has grown to over 2000 locals and expats who are now working on several different initiatives, each of which have their own task force:
MASKS & FULL BODY PROTECTION WEAR – Donations of fabric and supplies are being sourced to produce thousands of protective face coverings to distribute for free throughout the Island. There is also sewing full body protection wear to be donated to the local healthcare community and to aid the economy by employing the local seamstresses to produce these.
COMMUNITY BILLBOARDS – The printing and erecting of street side billboards to educate to support and educate the community and villages on health and sanitation to fight COVID-19 and to break the chain of the virus transmitting at a community level.
3D PRINTING – Members of the group are collaborating with #printforlove and 3D printer owners to produce 3D printed parts to support health workers with personal protective equipment, emergency medical parts in short supply and virus spread mitigation devices. In partnership with the government and doctors they are supporting also the development of a prototype that transforms full face snorkelling gear into emergency respiratory masks.
SUPPORTING OTHER INITATIVES – This group is also providing a platform for many other groups to promote their initiatives to help the disadvantaged to receive care and food packages during this time, you can ready about some of these below.
Bali Buddies spent time with the different task force groups this week here in Bali to give an inside look at the initiatives in action!
How can you help?
The Bali C19 Solidarity Group now has a website (of course built from members of the group sharing their skills!). The website outlines the many different initiatives the group are working and provides an option to “Join the Movement” if you are interested in volunteering your skills, knowledge or time and of course to donate funds.
Care packages and providing food
There are also many other initiatives being supported by the group or by the local Indonesian and Expat community that are providing food to the disadvantaged.
FEED A FAMILY PROGRAM by Tresna Bali Cooking School
The team at Tresna Bali Cooking school have swung into action with their “Feed a Family” program. Their program takes donations of 400,000 IDR (approx. $40 AUD) to provide a two week food package for a family of four. They work hard daily to ensure they are buying supplies from the smaller local suppliers to support them also and they add herbs, spices and greens from their own gardens at the cooking school. The care packages are distributed right throughout the Island and the team do a great job at continually updating their social platforms to show you the process right from packing the goods, through to distribution. Full details can be found on their page and donations can be made via PayPal.
LET’S HELP BALI (COVID-19) by Australian Bali Expats Amanda Rialdi & Ellie Gee
Both Amanda and Ellie are Aussie expats in Bali with Indonesian partners. Amongst this crisis and seeing so many of their local friends and family out of work, they both felt the need to do something to help. The ladies have set up the LET’S HELP BALI (COVID-19) Facebook group and are arranging both hot meal deliveries and care packages. If you have Balinese friends you wish to support directly you can buy different priced care packages to be delivered directly to them. If you just want to support those in need in general, you can donate as little as $1.50 AUD to provide someone with a hot meal. All money goes directly to the initiative which is providing drivers (who would normally be driving tourists around) with a job, supporting the smaller Warung owners who are preparing the meals and sourcing the goods for the packages, and of course feeding those out of work. All updates are shared across their Facebook group so you can see where your money is going or see your local friends receiving their packages. Donation details can be found in the group and can be made to both Australian or Indonesian bank accounts.
This charity has been helping the disadvantaged in Bali for the past decade. We have supported their many and vast initiatives throughout the past years and can vouch for the amazing work they do. In. response to the COVID-19 crisis they are also preparing two-week care packages at 400,000 IDR (approx. $40 AUD) to distribute to families in need. Donations can be in the form of non-perishable items dropped to their office of via cash or bank transfer to their Indonesian account. Full details can be found on their Facebook page. All food is distributed to those under their care all over Bali which represents over 500 identified families in need. They are also producing hand sanitisers and selling these across the Island with all proceeds going directly towards the care packages.
In a time of such uncertainty and a lot of bad news, it is truly heartening to see individuals and businesses come together in communities to work for the greater good of all and to support each other. It’s a hard time for many and cash contributions may not be possible for many at this point…..but we all have different skills and different connections that can help in different ways. Most of us also have a lot of extra time at the moment, it’s costs nothing to share these initiatives, even if only to spread some positivity across our newsfeeds.
We are looking forward to Bali coming out the other side of this pandemic and we here at Bali Buddies are committing to supporting the Island of Bali throughout what is surely it’s toughest challenge yet!