May 29, 2020

THE STRUGGLE OF A TEACHER IN THE MIDDLE OF COVID-19 VIRUS

Our teachers preparing exams materials until night
Our teachers preparing exams materials until night

Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck around the world, most students couldn’t study well because their schools were closed. On 16th March Indonesia’scentral government also announcedtemporary closure of all schools and students must learn from home. For teachers who care about their students, teaching is very difficult in this situation!

To overcome this difficulty, EBPP teachers initiated a distance learning system, dividing their tasks between two groups. The first group is assigned to prepare the respective modules whilethe seconddelivers the subject matter to each student's home. Getting to most students’ homes is quite difficult because they can only be accessed via often steep and winding mountainous footpaths. Even so, the teachers are never discouraged crossing broken roads every day so their students can study at home. They are assisted in distributing materials for elementary schools by our local tutors from each school, who also coordinate with the parents to assist by monitoring their children.

For middle and high school students, EBPP teachers have designed an online learning system through WhatsApp groups, sending all subjects online. The difficulties with this system are: not all students have a smartphone and (b) difficult in all locations to find good signal without going outside. To ensure all had phones and equal opportunities to study, EBPP allocated a GlobalGiving $1,000 “hardshipgrant” to buy 16 cell phones, and loaned them to these students so that they could study effectively from home.

To avoid Covid-19 virustransmission, EBPP’s provided each student with complete hygiene/sanitation kits plus masks and all teachers urged students to always maintain good hygiene and health.

We also knew that during the strict lockdown many may go hungry as their families have no income; to assist them,  EBPP distributed nutritious food packages to all students and their families in May; AND we plan to providefood packagesevery month during the COVID -19 lockdown – if we have available funds.

Boredom: To relieve boredom while stuck at home, our art teacher distributes drawing and painting materials so students can use their free time to paint at home, channelling their creativity to paper and canvas through colour media and pencils.

Semester exams: In mid-May, all studentstook their final semester exams with a difference!As these could not be done by WhatsApp messages, our dedicated teachers prepared photographed AND photocopied every test and distributed to each student's home! In thefollowingdays, all teachers were full on checking/markingall students’tests papers.

Good luck EBPP teachers, stay safe and healthy;hopefully the Covid-19 virus will soon pass and life will return to normal.

We’re grateful to all donors who’ve helped us feed and support our students till now – but your urgent assistance is needed to enable us to provide food packages for June, July and until the COVID-19 lockdown ends.

Although rain, teacher still visiting students
Although rain, teacher still visiting students
Distributing lessons materials to student's home
Distributing lessons materials to student's home
Distributing lessons materials to student's home
Distributing lessons materials to student's home
Our teachers preparing exams materials
Our teachers preparing exams materials
Teacher preparing lessons materials from home
Teacher preparing lessons materials from home
Teachers meeting at our office
Teachers meeting at our office
Students taking exam at home supervised by teacher
Students taking exam at home supervised by teacher
Handing over of smartphone for study from home
Handing over of smartphone for study from home
Explaining to student how to use smartphone
Explaining to student how to use smartphone
Art drawing lessons during study from home
Art drawing lessons during study from home
Distributing staple  food for our students
Distributing staple food for our students
Mar 5, 2020

Exciting Bamboo Toys, Hands-on Skills Training and Third Wheelchair Handover

East Bali Bamboo Craft Toys Box Flyer
East Bali Bamboo Craft Toys Box Flyer

We’ve had a great start to 2020 and in this report I’ll update you on all these initiatives and developments, including the creation of a set of unique bamboo children’s toys, the start of bamboo hands-on skills training courses for Ban village youth and the handover of our third bamboo wheelchair for a severely disabled boy

New Craft Product: Bamboo Children’s Toys

These toys were the brainchild of our German International Culture and Business Studies intern, Laura A, whose main role with us during her 3 months internship was to assist in marketing and communications for our Bamboo Social Enterprise to identify new products and markets. She saw great potential in the German craft market and some fine-tuned research found small toy animal sets – but machine madefrom wood, and all by commercial toy companies. Our bamboo products comprise 15 different species of fish – all that can be found in the oceans north of our village, and have a unique story behind them which is told on the simple flyer we created to accompany the toy boxes, shown here. Laura is now back in Germany marketing the toys and we are excitedly waiting to receive the first orders!

Bamboo Hands-on Skills Training for Local Village Youth

We launched our bamboo social enterprise with thegoals to not only create beautiful products hand-crafted from sustainable locally grown and harvested bamboo, but also to create employment and improve the livelihoods of rural youth in our East Bali mountain village by giving bamboo craft training in various type of bamboo craftsto local youth, especially EBPP high school graduates who could train local people in their respective communities and be ready to receive bamboo craft orders, that would be facilitated by East Bali Poverty Project (EBPPP). 

In late 2019, we were contacted by a newly established charitable Trust in Singapore that was keen to support our mission of helping local people to help themselves and finally in January 2020, we received a one-year grant that enables us to recruit and train a total of 12 motivated local youth, in groups of 3each group from a different Ban village community, that will have intensive bamboo craft skills training for 3 full months each group, to give them expertise in developing many types of handicraft – all of which have different skills and tools, as well as bamboo bike frames. After completion, they’ll return to their communities and train others in their community, who will effectively start learning from the 3 trainees within a month of their course starting. 

The grant also included hiring a local marketing consultancy company to create a comprehensive marketing strategy with the target to get the right customers of our products to increase the selling volume so we can give bamboo craft orders to the youth/community groups that we have trained.

We will update the progress of this great project, which started on 10th February, in our next report.

Handover of Third made-to-measure Bamboo Wheelchair

There is a tragic tale to this boy, Ardi’s, disability because he was the first born of triplets with normal births and starting to talk until at 15 months old, suffered extraordinarily high fever followed by severe seizures which, when under control left him effectively paralysed. The other 2 children are healthy 4 year olds! As with our earlier wheelchair, our dedicated bamboo artisans took all of Ardi’s measurements and built the wheelchair with the flexibility to make adjustments as his body grew. Ms Twone, who together with her husband Brad and their company Bali Beach Wheels find sponsors for the wheelchairs, joined us to personallyhandover this hand-crafted wheelchair on Wednesday 26th February and directly talk with Ardi’s parents to understand the additional supports he would need to ensure he could be as comfortable as possible and enjoy a significantly improved quality of life.

For any further information and enquiries for bamboo bikes, sponsoring wheelchairs or bamboo toys, please email me on david.booth@eastbalipovertyproject.org

East Bali Bamboo Craft_Toys Box Flyer (p2)
East Bali Bamboo Craft_Toys Box Flyer (p2)
Briefing the first youth group
Briefing the first youth group
Signing the MOU
Signing the MOU
Training using the tool
Training using the tool
Creating the toys
Creating the toys
Preparing the wheelchair
Preparing the wheelchair
Exicing father receiving wheelchair for his son
Exicing father receiving wheelchair for his son
Feb 18, 2020

EBPP's Pengalusan and Jatituhu Students Welcoming the Second Semester of Academic Year 2019-2020

December is always a busy month for all our students but last year, apart from preparing for their end of semester tests, a group of our Pengalusan and Jatituhu junior and senior high school students and staff were invited by Bali-based Shanti Foundation to join their annual “Loving, Sharing, Giving” anniversary event at Four on Drupadi Hotel on December 15th, where EBPP Volcano Band, comprised of 5 Pengalusan high school students, performed their well-known songs entitled “Stop Harassment” and “Bully”. Their performance was exceptional and the audience was spellbound by their songs! 

On 19th and 20th December, all students received their school reports detailing their progress during the first semester. When the 2nd semester started in the 1st week of January, our teachers gave a priority to 9th grade junior high (four from Pengalusan and two Jatituhu) and 12th grade senior high students (four Pengalusan and two from Jatituhu), who will take the national computer-based exams this April. All are currently getting practice in answering challenging tests given by our teachers. Hopefully, by regular practice they’ll be confident and ready for the national exams in April!

This month, the 4th annual PORSENIJAR (Student Art and Sport Event) event was held on February 12th in Ban Village office park, with about 100 participants from all 13 elementary schools in Ban village. 3 elementary students from EBPP Pengalusan School participated in the running and chess categories, but unfortunately none of them won!!. Although they were very disappointed, we are still very proud that they did their best – and they are ALL winners!! Congratulations!

School days are always busy but very fullfilling, both in academic and non-academic subjects, especially Art lessons - and some Jatituhu and Pengalusan students have shown great talent in creative art. Last month our students’ topic was to create fun stories through pictures. The purpose of the activity is to hone the ability of students to compile a story and illustrate it through painting. Students are very motivated to work on their art and produce good results of beautiful masterpieces! Their beautiful paintings are displayed in each class as an inspiration and decoration of their classroom.

In 2020 EMpower clases, we welcomed new students from first and second grade junior high school from all 6 EBPP Schools. This term, they will start learning sexual and reproductive health and rights, focusing on puberty and physical and emotional change during puberty. For returning students, they will have in-depth understanding about puberty, facts and myths of pregnancy, the risks of early children marriage, HIV/AIDS, and gender and sex education. The activities are packed in a fun quiz review where the students compete to give the best answer for the class topics.
In Balinese Dance classes, the students started learning and practicing; Gopala (fishing dance) and Wirayuda (war dance) for male students; while female students studied Pendet (a welcome dance), Belibis (swan dance), Cendrawasih (bird dance), and Panyembrahma (a welcome dance). By learning dance, the students will be able to develop important Balinese traditional skills, which they can apply in various events held by EBPP and/or in their respective hamlets.

Their great progress can continue thanks to the essential local people and funding/sponsorship support from our donors through GlobalGiving campaigns and dedicated monthly recurring donors that enables EBPP dedicated teachers and support staff to continue delivering tailored education as well as vocational training and emotional support in EBPP schools. Thank You!!

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