My connection to Bali was formed over 25 years ago when I first travelled there with a group of University friends and completely fell in love with the island and its beautiful people and culture. 10 years on my sister Eran (photographed below) and I had Palas well established with manufacturing based in Java and Bali, these incredibly skilled artisans are the lifeblood of our brand and we wanted to 'give back'. On every work trip to Bali Eran and I would set aside a full day to travel to 2 or 3 Orphanages (and the dump, where whole destitute families actually lived) to assist. We, along with our local friend Yayuk, would fill our van with all of the items each orphanage or family would need which ranged from fresh fruit to sanitary products and also payment for school fees. We did this for several years but always felt we could do more.
In 2007 when Eran died suddenly from a brain aneurysm I knew her funeral would be filled with over 1000 people and I wanted to channel any expense on flowers to donations to a Bali Orphanage. In that crazy week I was introduced to Brenton Whittaker, an Adelaide man living in Bali who had just established 'Bali Kids'. We had never met in Bali or Adelaide but as timing would have it here we were, me in complete shock and Brenton ready to meet! I asked if we could channel any donations to Bali Kids in Eran's honour and we worked out the logistics. The total amount donated from Eran's funeral (and after) was so significant that Brenton said it would make the 'Bali Medical Clinic' arm of Bali Kids a reality and would I agree to have the clinic named in her honour: 'Eran Svigos Clinic'. I was so thrilled (in tears) and knew Eran and my family would be incredibly honoured.
Bali Kids is so very close to my heart, Palas continues to support the clinic and I have a beautiful sponsor child there too. Many of you know about Bali Kids and visit when in Bali of which I am so grateful – thank you. If you are going to Bali Kids please check their website for visiting times and a list of what they need, donations through their payment gateway are really the best option but if you want to take physical items please refer to that list as it is updated regularly as their needs change.
We can all contribute in a small way and it makes such a huge difference to these unfunded charities who are doing incredible work on a physical, emotional and educational level. A percentage of our profits at Palas goes to Bali Kids directly each year, primarily to fund the full time wage of one of the nurses at the clinic. As part of our Palas Family we hope you have the opportunity to connect with Bali Kids too.
Brenton Whittaker | Humanitarian supporter >
Brent received an Order of Australia in 2008 and has been working for disadvantaged children since 1993. He is the Project Coordinator and Co-Founder of Bali Kids and was a former board member of The Australian Cambodia Foundation.
The aim of Bali Kids to provide Health Education and medical/dental treatment to Bali's disadvantaged children. Especially those living in Bali's remote areas.
Our Mobile Outreach services include a medical doctor, medical nurse, dentist and a dental nurse. Children are given a health education class and provided a book to take home on the topic. Education topics include Girls Health, HIV, Sex Education, Child Abuse, Bullying, Environment & Health to name a few. This is followed by a Q&A session and then any children who are unwell can approach our doctor or dentist for free treatment.
FACEBOOK POST (AUGUST 2019)
"Thanks to the Australian Aid program and Global Development Group, our team have been educating and treating children in the remote villages of Songan and Tigawasa. Dental, Girls Health and Environment are the current education programs. Mental Health will follow later in the year. I think these images explain all the great work our team do and consider it can take them over 6 hours travelling in a day to reach these kids! Photos taken by our GM Komang!"
Any children who cannot be treated out in the field can be accommodated at the Eran Svigos Clinic and returned to their village once they are well again. Bali Kids organises hospital visits and laboratory tests plus much more!
Bali Kids remains the only non-government centre to provide outreach and residential care for children affected by HIV. Bali Kids also has programs in place to assist pregnant women who are HIV+.
The preventative work and education performed by Bali Kids is key in helping Bali's poor children to a good future. Without good health you cannot be educated. In late 2019 we will introduce a new Mental Health education program to be followed in late 2020 with a new Diabetes education program.
Over 100,000 poor Balinese children have received free Medical or Dental treatment from Bali Kids.