The Bunutan Care Projects

There are no old-age pensions or retirement homes in rural areas of Bali. The elderly are supported by their children, traditionally by the youngest son. Where this system fails, they are on their own.

Since the end of March Bali, like almost the whole world, has been in a state of emergency.

 

The vast majority of Balinese are poor even in good economic times. Only the fewest of them can accumulate reserves. And now they are left with absolutely nothing.

 

Until about the end of April, the small vegetable gardens, which almost every Balinese household has, will still yield crops, the last pumpkins, moringa leaves, papayas, spinach and some beans. But in the dry season nearly nothing grows in the bone-dry gardens of this region. Then, at the latest, many people here will definitely run out of food.

Until the end of 2017, there was no medical care in Lipah, where we live. In the event of illness, the patients had to either contact healers in the village, drive 30 km to one of the hospitals in the regional capital of Karangasem, Amlapura, or visit the Rumah Sehat clinic, which is 15 km from Lipah. These long distances are almost insurmountable obstacles for the people here, who do not own a car, since public transport is unkown in this part of Bali.

In Indonesia compulsory education is required until the age of 15 (junior high school). However, the implementation is not equally successful everywhere. Although elementary school is free for everyone, there is a charge for materials and school uniforms that are not insignificant to the poorer population. If the children are to attend secondary schools such as the Senior High School or study at the University of Denpasar, they often lack the means to do so.

The drinking water supply in the hills of Lipah is precarious. The existing facility was built about nine years ago with the support of Rotary. However, the harsh environmental conditions, lack of maintenance and the ravages of time have had a major impact on the plant. Furthermore, the population has almost doubled in this period. If the system is not renewed and extended, the women will soon have to fetch the water down in the village and carry it home in buckets on their heads for miles as in the old days.