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Why We Go

This trip, so far, has been nothing short of inspiring. It is so easy to fall in love with Indonesia and the people of Bali. I love the local-unspoken rules of the road (even though it is a bit scary at times). I love the language and the way the locals respond when you make such a small effort to communicate with them.

I adore BaliLife. The kids are ridiculously cute and they are so clicked-on. They are smart and fun, down-to-earth and just lovely. Albeit cheeky and posers!

There are currently 20 kids residing in the home, but with a building a project underway which will allow them to add an additional 40 kids. We were able to spend some time there today. They have nearly completed stage 2 (due to be finished in September). There are three stages left to complete. All of this dependant upon outside funding. You can read more about their building info here.

They have also cultivated ways of self-sufficiency. They have a fish farm, so they have a constant source of meat. They also use the fish excrement for fertilising seedlings which they plant in their garden, ensuring a year round crop of organically grown vegetables and fruit. Not to mention their own chickens. Read more here.

I wish I could fully describe in words the way these kids are loved. Where they come from and what they have experienced is beyond comprehension by the Western mind. It is easy for us to disassociate and put it down to “that’s just their culture and way of life.” But it’s not. And we shouldn’t be OK with that reasoning. They don’t want to be living this way!

BaliLife is catalysing change in a new generation of Indonesians. They are rescuing kids as young as three off the street from a life of prostitution and starvation, and bringing them into a loving home with food, clothing and education. Opening doors for them that would otherwise not be open to them. Aiding them in getting real jobs and reversing the cycle of poverty. Giving them hope, dignity and purpose.

Why do we go? Because every child needs a home.

home |hōm| (noun)

1) the place where one lives, esp. as a member of a family or household 

2) a place where something flourishes

Photos Day 2

This is only a quick post! Here are some of my favorite photos from our second day (maybe a couple from day 1) in Bali.

Enjoy!    -Amber

Morning Team Time

Church with the BaliLife kids

Mother of the House

This darling is the spunkiest little thing ever! She has stolen my heart.

We spent Day 2 at a water park with the BaliLife kids! Crazy fun!!!

Here we are

I’m writing this sitting on the balcony of my villa (sans coffee unfortunately, I’ll need to remedy that shortly!) It’s morning in Indonesia and it’s just started raining. The sound of the birds together with the rainfall adds a certain calmness to the mood.

We arrived in Bali yesterday morning. Way in the morning! Luckily we had the day off to collect our senses and were able to roam the local scene, brushing up on our indonesian and buying cans of coffee soda.

(The rains beginning to pick up…I wonder if that will become problematic?)

The food here is fantastic. I’ve always been a fan of most foreign food and Indo has yet to let me down. The people are, of course, very friendly and the fact that we have brought our 4-month old son has been an endless source of excitement and joy to the locals. Every store we walk into turns into parade of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ over the little blonde-haired, blue-eyed wonder that is my son!

(The rain has disappeared now and given way to the sun. Could start to get humid.)

Today, the real purpose of our trip unfolds. Our team (there’s 20 of us) is splitting up and half is heading to Global Church, a local church serving the people this side of Bali. The rest of us are hooking up with BaliLife, the orphanage we’ve spoken about in earlier posts.

We’ll continue to posts updates as we go. Amber is taking photos left, right and center so we’ll try to get some uploaded when we can.

Thanks for tracking with us on our journey!

Why BaliLife?

It’s easy to look at the terrible things that happen in the world and feel completely overwhelmed; extreme poverty, AIDS, human trafficking, drugs, abuse…the list goes on and on. It’s almost so overwhelming that any attempt to stop it would be a fool’s errand.

Except there people who are trying to stop it. There are individuals, families and organisations large and small who have made it their mandate to fight against the wrongs of the world. As much as they are able, and as far as their influence will extend, they have decided that evil will not prevail while they have energy to stop it.

The BaliLife Foundation is one such organisation; the proverbial ‘David’ to the injustice of ‘Goliath’. While they are still only small, they have drawn a line in the sand and opened the doors of their home to be the family that so many children need. Brad and Siska (BaliLife Founders) and their team have become the loving parents for many kids, providing more than simply a bed and a meal, but access to education, job training and, possibly more important than anything else, an oasis from the darkness and an identity to live for.

They work tireless 24-7, 365. For 2 weeks, we will join them.

We can’t always do much, but we can do this.

.

(follow our journey on twitter: @bcrab & @iambersee (#ADPBali)

Guest Post: Em

The following is a guest post written by a member of our Bali Team, Emily D.

I’ve been to Bali a total of two times.

The first time was last year, where God whispered His heart for the Island to me. It stuck. I wanted to know more. I went back in January this year to do some language study and prepare for my next short trip there. And then my world. Just. Shifted.

In Bali, I have had the terrifying experience of flying down precariously built roads on a motorbike with only the ability to squeal in my drivers ear as a way to avoid coming in contact with a trucks side bumper. I’ve had a monkey decide it is his right to eat my packet of chips, by ninja jumping me and fishing around inside my bag for it himself. I’ve also been caught out in ‘the rain’ which let loose equivalent to twenty swimming pools worth of water on my head and then returned to its former sunny 35 degree glory before I even realised what had happened. But my most profound experience was in Ubud’s volcano district, seeing a hardened shop-keeper transform before my eyes with only one word of life spoken to her. Just one.

It’s so simple.
God’s love is. So. Simple.

I believe in the power of words. I believe in God’s love. I am returning to Bali to combine the two. I want to restore value and worth where its been stolen. Speak life where only death has been heard and bring love where it has never been released. I’ll be completing my twelve month counselling practicum with BaliLife and spending my time getting to know the kids, teaching English, learning more Bahasa and experiencing the culture that makes Bali what it is. It’s just a privilege to get to do life with God’s family in Bali.

God’s given me a choice and I’ve chosen.

Lunch

Bali Team Lunch

Had lunch with our Bali team today. Authentic Indonesian food. I’ve never been to Indo before, but I don’t think I’ll have a problem with the cuisine.

I also love this team. A great bunch of people. Ready to change the world. I’m going to enjoy spending a few weeks travelling with them. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve joined a trip like this. It’s all beginning to come back.

In my opinion, adventures like this are made or broken by the people you’re travelling with. The wrong people (or the right people with the wrong attitudes) can make an otherwise wonderful trip terrible. But the right people, committed, caring and fun-loving people can make the most miserable journey seem like a day in Disneyland.

This team is the latter. We haven’t even left yet, but they are already chatting, joking and caring for each other like they’ve been together for years. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m a journo in all this (I’ve been forgetting to take photos). Such has been the culture created by this team. After the first lunch, it felt like family.

How to help

BaliLife Banner

People have been asking what we are doing and how to support so, at the risk of sounding self-absorbed and upfront, here goes…

(PS, before launching into this, if you’re not aware of what we are doing, read this post, or at least this one.)

 

This whole trip is to do two things: raise awareness and raise cash for The BaliLife Foundation (It’s a great organisation! So great, in fact, that we are flying over to give them some hands-on help!).

Helping with either of those things would be awesome!

 

To make it easy, we have created (and will continue to create) lots of ways to get involved:

1. Pre order our BaliLife Coffee-Table Book which will be produced on our return. This excellent photobooks will add the finishing touches to any coffee table or library with all the proceeds going directly back to the charity. Cost is $95+shipping via PayPal.

2. Donate! Simple, easy, effective! You may not get a sweet PhotoBook, but you will get that warm, fuzzy feeling from giving to a noble cause!

3. Sponsor us! This looks a lot like donating but it’s in increments of $500 and will earn you a free PhotoBook PLUS your name (or company name, hint, hint!) in our book!

4. Follow our journey, share us with your friends and get involved. We are just a small photography biz. We know some people, but not many. We would love it if you could help us reach those we can’t do on our own. Follow us on twitter (@iambersee & @bcrab) and RT our Bali posts. Find our Facebook Page and share our news. Write a guest post on our BaliLifeSupport blog.

5. Anything else! Have an idea you think would would be great? Let’s hear it! If you are able to create it, design it, build it, or post it yourself out of love for us, that would be legendary!!

 

We really appreciate everyone getting on board and helping us with this great cause!

Thanks again. B&A

Because Every Child Needs A Home!

This following is an excerpt from www.balilife.org

In 2005, we met a 9 year old boy living on the streets of Kuta, begging for money. The boy asked if he could come and live with us, to get away from the streets and start going back to school. 

At the time we were pregnant with our first baby, living in a small house felt it was unwise to take the boy in.

We met with him again and heartbreakingly had to explain that we couldn’t help. However, this left us with a deep desire to find a way in which they could help, not just this boy, but all the street children of Bali, Indonesia.

Street kids

We returned to Australia and shared at our home Church our desire to set up a children’s home in Bali. A visiting businessman just passing through was challenged by what was said, wrote a cheque for AU$17,000, and BaliLife was born!

A suitable property was found and the first two children, two boys aged 8 and 5, arrived in November 2006. The BaliLife family has grown steadily over the years. The home now houses 21 children from a variety of backgrounds and places in Indonesia, and four Indonesian staff.

The home has been developed to be as self sustaining as possible and in 2008 we set up our own farmland and chicken coup where our goal is to provide and egg every day for each child. Our efforts and successes in this have been a great example to the local community around the home, particularly as the area we live in is very dry and arid.

We have recognised the need to provide the practical skills to the children in our care that will allow them to gain good jobs when the time comes to leave. This has led to the development of a training workshop programme where the children learn English, IT, agriculture, cooking, music, art, dance and sport.

By the start of 2010 we had 20 children with a single bed remaining. Despite our efforts, we had been unable to find the one boy we had met 5 years ago who had started all of this.

In March of that year, we were approached by a Balinese lady who had found a child on the streets in a bad condition. She had nursed him back to health and now needed to find a permanent place for him to stay. We were glad to give him our last bed. The more we have spent time with this boy the more we are convinced that this is the same boy that Brad met briefly in 2005, the one who inspired the birth of the children’s home. It seems almost too good to be true, but it is such a fitting way to close the first chapter of BaliLife…

-Brad and Siska (BaliLife Founders)

Bali Street Kids

This June, Amber Dawn Photography is traveling to Indonesia to support the work of the BaliLife Foundation, a little-known charity organisation dedicated to helping those unable to help themselves – orphans.

The BaliLife Foundation was formed in 2006 with one mission; to provide care and love for the orphaned, abandoned and rejected children of Bali.

By 2010, with only meagre support, BaliLife managed to create a home for 20 children with a sustainable farm that not only earns a small income, but teaches the children vital life skills. By 2012, BaliLife aims to triple the number of children in it’s care, as well as build a new community centre and training workshops.

This will only be possible if more help is provided.

 

The purpose of our trip is to raise awareness, and hopefully funds, to support the BaliLife Foundation and help them realise their goal. We will spend time with the social workers and the children, we will follow them, interview them, document what their life is like and post it here.

On our return, we will produce a limited number of high-quality coffee-table books to sell as a fundraiser with proceeds going directly to the orphanage. Please help us to spread the word.

 

If you can give financially, please do so.

If you can write a guest blog post here on BaliLifeSupport, we would love it.

If you can repost, retweet and share our message, we will be forever grateful!

 

Because Every Child Needs A Home!