Today, I had the chance to visit Bali Kids and to learn more about their programs. I met Pak Komang, The General Manager, as well as Mr. Brenton Whittaker, the Project Manager. For those of you who don’t really know a lot about Bali Kids yet, let me tell you their story.
Brent, the Project Manager, was in Bali and tried to help orphanages. But he discovered that many orphanages were only scams, set up to gain money from the tourists and the government, where they have such a difficult system that it makes the helps from others difficult to be monitored. Brent also saw that the medical treatment for the children was not good. The orphans seemed like the victims of these orphanages. So he decided that he wanted to provide medical treatment and education for poor kids, where he can control and monitor the development of the children himself. In 2005 Bali Kids was founded and they received a permit as an orphanage in 2006.
Bali Kids now has 17 children that are under 18 years old living in the house and they give them full medical services as well as take care of their education. Some of the children are HIV positive and Bali Kids take a full care of them as well as giving them ARV meds so they can live a happy, healthy, normal life. Besides taking care of the children, giving them medical treatment and paying attention to their education at school, Bali Kids also gives the children education about how to lead a healthy life. This health education program contains general health issues and information about HIV/AIDS. They even provide the children with booklet about HIV/AIDS (which is now being made together with Designers against AIDS (DAA), where I attend the workshops). According to Brent, having a proper health education is important, as is having education about sexual health.
As you know, sex education is still considered taboo in many parts of Indonesia. Meanwhile, sexual intercourse as a way of spreading the HIV virus is happening everywhere, but young people have only little or no informations about both safe sex education and HIV/AIDS. Therefore, Brents think that what DAA is doing with ‘Asia Against AIDS: Back To Zero‘ is great. Young people don’t get this kind of information from their parents, their school, or their friends. So, having a social media platform is a very good way to reach out to the younger generations. Especially in Indonesia, where these subjects are taboo and the use of social media among young people in Indonesia is high. As Brent said “Well, it’s hard to change the mindset of the old generations, but you can change the young generations for their next generations. Because they’re the kids of the future.”
Check or website for the latest update www.indonesiaagainstaids.com