This month (January) Suzanne and I are back in Ubud, some of you are already here and see the progress for yourself, others of you are coming however you are all very much part of this amazing success story.
The College looks fantastic and will be finished by end of month. Induction of students starts beginning of February, and the actual courses commence on Monday, 12th February. We have gone from 20 for first semester to 50 with two teachers due to demand being so great. Isn't that exciting? We have finally received the registration through so we are a "bona fide" Indonesian education centre.
We had the opportunity to attached a forth floor for an unplanned library and special meeting room for the English classes so they could use a projector for tuition all of which had to be built in at this stage and the opportunity was too good to miss. This has added extra cost so for a while it going to be a real financial juggle, specially as we now have to get more computers for the extra students - but it will be fine - the synchronicites surrounding the College are continuing.
Yesterday, I met a man on a walk - talk about Spirit engineering things for us! Nothing subtle anymore - it's blatant or maybe its just that I see clearly now - this American is an architect and lighting design wizard as I discovered. He asked me out of the blue if I knew of a college where he could offer his housekeeper computer and English classes! Now he is working on providing a fantastic (inexpensive) lighting for the various class and lecture rooms, expertise which normally is only affordable to resort developments.
Thank you so much for your support to date and anything that you can do to help us get some funding towards the next $15,000 to cover extra computers and meet remaining building costs would be so much appreciated.
We have some urgent needs prior to opening, perhaps you and some friends could help with....
The College shopping list:
To be ready and operational by 12th Feb for first intake of students. We are still desperate for some specific items......
- TV for the library and English studies - $350
- Assorted text books for the computer classes - $250
- Four large whiteboards for the classrooms - $150
- total 10 more computers at $650 each
- 3 small CD players at $75 each
- 30 stacking chairs at $20 each
- Sound system - $850
- ...and fifty thousand little things that amount to about $10,000 If anyone you know would like to be a great giver and nominate any one or more of these items we would be thrilled beyond belief.
Donations can be made through the Bali Outreach donation facility (discussed in further detail below) - you can visit donations online by clicking this link:
This next piece is designed for you to show or link to friends who might also pass it on thus expanding the awareness regarding the "real" situation in Bali . . .
“We (the Australian and US Governments) advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the very high threat of terrorist attack.”
Yes, they are still at it!
Just after the last Bali bombing in late 2005 we were in Bali to witness the economic distress caused through the US and Australian governments actively communicating the potential danger and risks of vacationing in Bali. These warnings still persist today, renewed again just before this Christmas and the Australian school holidays. This has and continues to support fear and wreck havoc on the local economy. Once again, the hotels are empty, shops have days with no sales, staff are dismissed and morale is at an all time low.
Young people who we have come to know very well have opened their hearts to us, sharing their personal difficulties of a life disrupted through no cause of their own. Ill-equipped to deal with this drastic collapse in their economy and having all opportunity in tourism and related industries withdrawn they feel they have no future and hold no hope.
Last year Suz and I came upon the simple idea of offering a few young Balinese people the chance to expand their horizons through being taught how to use the computer, to access the Net and communicate with the world via email. These kids amazed us, we have been rewarded and inspired by their natural ability and enthusiasm.
After sponsoring just five lessons for these few we realised that with more effort on our part we could move a mountain of desperation in the young people of this small island nation and re-ignite the flame of enthusiasm and rekindle personal opportunity and self esteem.
Returning to Bali again in August and attending the Palpable Forgiveness Retreat, I asked Holy Spirit to show me “My Purpose”. Needless to say I was surprised when within hours I was being offered an opportunity to expand the assistance we had started to something more substantial, more permanent and much more enterprising. If I had any doubts they were washed aside in the amazing synchronistic flow of events; the unfurling of immediate local encouragement, financial support and endless opportunities to create something that could be expanded to other areas – to create a model educational assistance programme.
So began the concept of Bali Outreach, a fully sponsored enterprise – a servantship project under the auspices of Jayem’s Heartfelt Bali. Now, this month just four months since conception we open the doors to Campuhan College in Ubud with the capacity to take 260 students per year learning language and computer skills. From this small start we intend to build a model that can be repeated in other countries where education is the greatest gift to sustaining a better life. The full story so far, is told on the www.balioutreach.com website.
In just these few months from our own limited resources combined with those other like caring people who too have seen and felt Bali’s distress, we have generated to date over US$60,000 which has birthed Bali Outreach, almost completed and equipped the new Campuhan College at Toko's, sponsored 145 children into primary and middle schooling, financially supported local artists, tradespeople and disadvantaged families and are in the throes of making many more dreams come true.
Now, we are asking the Spiritual Community though you, to join with us and support Bali - specifically asking you to send this email on to your own data base of friends with a personal message of endorsement for the Bali Outreach program asking for a small personal financial contribution to support our venture and make it grow.
I am completely willing to answer any questions and to accept any thoughts or ideas that you may like to offer and share. I only know that my job is to ensure that what we have been given to do will continue and grow. So I open this up to you, my friends and colleagues who I do know also share my compassion and who are willing to embrace every opportunity to make a difference in the world.So, please say, “Yes”. Bali deserves better. Join with us in making the Bali Outreach vision a very real opportunity for a very deserving and humble people who are waiting for love to show the way.
Thank you so much,
Raj & Suz.