According to the Jakarta Post the COVID-19 “pandemic is ravaging the economy as the government expects 4 million people to fall below the poverty line this year, making for a total of 28 million poor in the nation, or around 10.6 percent of the population.” Already before the pandemic, poverty was on the rise in Bali. In the villages, with no surprise, the rate at which the number of poor was rising was higher as that of Bali’s urban areas. In remote village – and “remote” in Bali means an hour or two away from the glittering 5-star hotels – the residents are very poor and most villages lack education, access to clean water and even electricity. Many children must often walk for kilometers to go to school. The area of east Bali called Ban Village, where EBPP works and established education and health services, is one of those areas counting approximately 3,500 indigenous families (17,000 people) from different cultural-traditional backgrounds speaking 19 different dialects. The area is dispersed across an often inaccessible volcanic terrain and largely cut off from the rest of the island, with villagers trying to survive in their arid homeland. There are no good statistics on the 19 sub-villages until today. The vast majority of the population are subsistence farmers of cassava and corn or cattle farmers, with very few involved in paid employment (those mainly with the local government). In 2000, in collaboration with UNICEF Indonesia, EBPP conducted an assessment revealing that infant mortality averaged 30%, and 85% of children had goitre and were estimated to be malnourished. EBPP data from 2015 showed a 0% child mortality rate in the Ban village area, certainly a result of their work. However, stunting as a result of malnutrition remained a problem in these villages according to WHO growth charts. Adding to an already dire situation, in 2017, Mount Agung erupted, which resulted in the evacuation of many villagers impacting negatively their lives. As one result, from the EBPP project participants a number of girls dropped out of school and moved to Denpasar to start earning for their families. In August 2018, another three earthquakes destroyed many homes and buildings in 12 of the 19 communities of the Ban village worsening the situation for the population once more.
From its establishment in 1998, the mission of EBPP has been on sustainable poverty alleviation in response to the request by the population of six mountain hamlets with limited access to health or education services. EBPP runs 6 schools in 6 villages for young people and supports a rural population with information on health, nutrition, water and sanitation, as well as the construction of infrastructure. It has initiated 27 Posyandu (mother and infant monthly health posts) and ensured that infants receive all immunizations, as well as vitamin supplements and nutritious porridge. EBPP has always prioritized working with children and youth as agents of change to give them the tools to educate their parents and communities. Children and young people’s participation is part of the programme model. As a result, integrated and collaborative village-based development projects for young people and their communities were strengthened over the years and built around the philosophy of “helping people to help themselves”. All programmes are designed as models that are implemented by local people who transfer knowledge and skills directly to their communities.
Mpower’s 2nd Girls Fund award to East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) will be our first multi-year Girls Fund (GF) grant to our partner. The programme has identified issues that the girls and young women want to focus on, which have a gendered impact on their lives such as sexual harassment and the root causes of Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM). Over the grant span of 24 months, the programme aims to increase young people’s (especially girls and young women’s) awareness, and capacity around the selected issues, empower girls to present their knowledge and perspectives to boys, young men and parents, and eventually utilise this allyship to advocate within the local community. Each of these aims add to the incremental reach and impact of the initiative. The first 12 months will be the final year of the formal partnership between EBPP and PhotoVoices International (PVI), where the participants will be taught to use photography as a tool to amplify and advocate for social issues. The programme will work with and for 36 girls and young women and 29 boys and young men aged 12-19; 12 parents (50% female), and reach the wider community through face-to-face and social media engagement.
Primary Location: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Funded Since: 2015
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