EBPP Students, Communities and Staff Annual Celebration
of Indonesian Independence day on 17th August 2015
By David Booth MBE, Founder, Trustee & CEO
EBPP staff and students’ Celebration of the 70th Indonesian Independence Day on 17th August 2015 was the best ever! We’ve held the event annually since 2002 in the dry Daya riverbed which starts at about 7am with all of our students enjoying a healthy breakfast of honey sandwiches, hot fortified milk, multivitamins, apples and oranges (fruit donated by Bali Dynasty Resort every year).
After breakfast, all our 250+ children from our 6 schools joined hands in a huge warm-up circle, happily dancing around until they are called to form lines in their respective schools to prepare for the formal flag hoisting ceremony, which starts with the rousing Indonesian national Anthem. This year was a FIRST, as normally the flag is affixed to the top of a bamboo pole BUT this year our amazing team set a steel pipe into the sandy riverbed and, after a couple of practices, professionally hoisted the flag up the pole whilst all saluted with eyes proudly focussed on our national Flag, the symbol of Indonesia’s Independence Declaration by President Soekarno on 17th August 1945.
At 8.30am, the fun started, with hilarious sporting competitions all run down the 100 metre track on the sandy river bed. The most amazing was the stilt race where I expected all to fall flat on their faces BUT to my surprise, they cleverly put the ‘steps’ facing them and their bare feet gripping, so stilts became one with their legs!!! Sprints, sack race and girls tug-of-war had the local audience in uproar, and howls of laughter filled the air.
The stage events opened with the Balinese welcome dance performed with grace and near perfection by our Bunga School girls. It was quite moving for me seeing their 1,000% improvement on the previous year thanks to the local Balinese dance teachers’ excellence over the last year. The drama and music performances were stunning, all of our students giving their hearts and voices like true international professionals. One of our UK guests was really amazed and told me that our students were as good as the children at the private school attended by her 12 year old daughter in London!! Now, that’s a true complement to our local Balinese teachers, who are all from our village!
In keeping with each year’s events, many amazing artworks from our students and staff was displayed in adjoining bamboo tents, many being purchased by our invited guests. Here I should mention that I Wayan Lias, one of our 2011 high school graduates from our Cegi School, completed his 4 year Fine Arts degree last month and immediately joined EBPP staff to share the amazing talents he learned and developed during his degree course. One of the ‘booths’ was dedicated to Wayan’s beautiful canvasses and we hope to exhibit many of his works in the near future, which is testament to the high motivation and drive of these previously illiterate children from impoverished and illiterate parents.
We proudly thank Bali Dynasty Resort for sponsoring Wayan Lias’ university education.
The day’s events sadly finished at 12.45pm when the children and staff all had a healthy ‘nasi bungkus’ lunch, followed by presentation of their winners certificates and their respective trophies. Before our children and their parents headed back to their respective remote hamlets, all of our children were presented with their complete hygiene kits comprising soap, towel, toothbrush and toothpaste – donated annually by Bali Dynasty Resort, who have supported EBPP children’s education since April 2000
Finally, the mega task of cleaning up the dry riverbed back to its pristine state, dismantling the stage and surrounding bamboo structures, and closing for the day at 4.30pm.
A wonderful and inspiring day was enjoyed by all.
Please share this wonderful day with your friends.
For more information on any of East Bali Poverty Project activities or if you would like to support us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit our homepage at www.eastbalipovertyproject.org