A Flourishing Partnership: The Australian Lawyers’ Surfing Association (ALSA) and East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP)
Australian Lawyers’ Surfing Association (ALSA) began its partnership with East Bali Poverty Project in 2007 by sponsoring the building of our Bamboo Training and Development Centre. Over the years, Peter Strain and some of his surfing lawyers visited Ban Village on various occasions and became strong advocates for EBPP. After seeing the progress and growth made by the Ban Village community from the Bamboo centre contribution, he wanted to take the opportunity to be a part of the education programme when EBPP had their Crowdfunding in November-December 2015 seeking sponsors for 12 Jatituhu School elementary students.
ALSA started sponsoring Ni Ketut by agreeing to pay for her education as long as she needed it – a donation with no time limit that simply empowers Ni Ketut to continue learning. ALSA wanted to see how Ni Ketut has been doing and get to better understand how his donation is impacting her life, so Komang Kurniawan, EBPP Chairman & Team Leader, took Peter Strain and his son on a visit last week. Komang’s recap of the day:
“Time with Peter was great. Our first stop of the visit was Daya and after we went to Jatituhu where I introduced Peter to the junior and senior high school students, along with 10 younger students who just began their studies last week. Afterwards, he headed to the next class to meet Ni Ketut, his sponsored student. She was very excited when I told her that Peter was her sponsor. Ketut was so happy that she and her friends performed a Balinese Dance – which Peter was honoured to see.
Next, Ketut brought us over to meet her younger brother, Pujiana, who is in the same class as her. We walked to Ketut and Pujiana’s home to better understand their day-to-day life and where they lived. Ketut explained her daily chores to us: she wakes up early morning every morning to collect the grass for the cows, gather the firewood for cooking, clean the house and feed the pigs – all before heading to school!
After we saw their house and surroundings, we left for Darmaji. There we met some students practicing their music performances for Indonesian Independence Day on August 17th. Other students were busy creating works of art in a class led by teacher Yan De.
Our day came to a close and we headed back to the office and then to Denpasar. I had a great time with Peter and his son, and was very happy to bring them to meet Ketut and Pujiana.”
After seeing Ketut and Pujiana’s living conditions, Peter was inspired to do even more with his ALSA group. He offered to find a sponsor for Pujiana so that he can continue his education. Peter also wants to sponsor another girl who will be selected and announced shortly.
In addition to all of this wonderful generosity, ALSA have organised an Australian Lawyer Veronica Haccou from Nevin Lenne Gross in Australia to become the pen pal and female mentor to Ni Ketut. She wants to inspire and empower her to work hard. Veronica, who was born in Indonesia, hopes to visit Ni Ketut in the coming months.
Peter and Australian Lawyers’ Surfing Association – thank you for your kindness and generosity. It was wonderful hosting you in Ban Village and we look forward to continuing a strong partnership.