The coronavirus has hit local residents in Bali hard. Bali Care Foundation would like to inform you about the current situation around Corona and the consequences it has for the local population. In this article a local family consisting of Putu and his wife Kadek together with their two children tell their story. They tell how they experience Corona and how they deal with it until today.
Written by Dirk Monsieurs and Kees Hermus
Putu has been working as a cleaner in a guesthouse in Seminyak since 2010. His salary as a cleaner is the largest source of income for the family. His wife Kadek makes all kinds of tasty snacks and sells them in the tourist area of Bali. She runs a food cart in the region of Canggu and Seminyak. The combined income is just enough to provide the family with food such as rice, oil and vegetables. They are not left with much money for other things. They often cannot even afford the school fees (books, uniform, etc.) for the children. The children often help their mother with making snacks to try to get extra income.
The family’s situation was already very difficult but changed drastically when the coronavirus broke out in March/April 2020. The coronavirus caused almost all tourists to leave Bali and fly back to their country of origin. The guesthouse where Putu worked is normally full of guests but everything changed when the coronavirus broke out. A month after the tourists left, the owner of the guesthouse told Putu that he could no longer pay because there were no more guests. This was therefore the beginning of a very difficult time. In April 2020, Putu received his last salary.
Putu was without a job and with the outflow of tourists, Kadek with the sale of her tasty snacks also did not have many customers anymore. The problems were piling up. The impact of the coronavirus meant that the family had virtually no income. How to continue? How can the children continue to go to school? How can they be provided with basic needs such as food and a roof over their heads?
Many inhabitants of Bali are in the same situation as Putu and his wife Kadek. Local communities (banjars) try to help the inhabitants. Together with different foundations they try to support families who need it the most. However, at the time of posting this blog, more than a year has passed and the problems keep piling up. Bali is still officially closed for tourists. This ensures that many residents still have no income. About 85% of the residents work in the tourism industry. Many of them still do not have jobs today. Residents like Putu and Kadek are hit very hard by this. Putu and Kadek finally made the choice to go back to their home village where the rest of the family lives. Here they try to survive with the whole family. They live from their own vegetable gardens and try to provide the family with food.
The lives of Putu, Kadek and their children and many other families depend on help from family and banjars. They find support from each other but desperately need help. It is expected that the coronavirus will remain among us for some time and will therefore have a great impact on the daily lives of the local people. With the donations received in the past year Bali Care Foundation has been able to help many families with food packages among other things. We want to continue to provide the necessary help but for this we need your help!
Do you want to mean something? You can! Make a donation via www.balicarefoundation.com/en/donate/ or become a monthly donor and help with the fight against poverty in Bali. On behalf of the people: thank you!