What is this?
The Bali C19 Solidarity group was formed in March 2020 in response to the COVID19 crisis.
We are a group of more than 2000 concerned individuals from around the world, including local Balinese and Indonesian members, coming from many different backgrounds.
We have put in place teams to discuss, coordinate, and organize activities to support local communities during the COVID19 crisis, and we need your help.
Find out what initiatives you can get involved with to support Bali during this unprecedented crisis below.
Our community in action
The solidarity directory
We're connecting all the Bali organisations together in one place. With the Bali Solidarity Directory, you'll be able to see and find contact information for a range of organisations setup to support people in need and motivations against COVID-19.
Read our blog
I chose to stay
Perhaps I am part of the problem, maybe we all are. Nevertheless, staying is what spoke true to me. I have been here since early March, refusing repatriation flights, explaining to loved ones that I felt safer here... read more
Keep your distance!
It’s clear enough, amid all the confusion over how to survive the Covid-19 virus, that physical distancing works. The virus, typically transmitted via droplets, can be stopped by creating a barrier to... read more
Bali's changing tides
I saw a post a post this morning on conditions within Bali re the Covid-19. We did then, as we do now, and isolated. Five weeks ago. Our business isolated, our village isolated, our district isolated, as many others still do... read more
It began with Nyepi
Nyepi. It was a good time to start. We had all spent 24 hours of quietude in our darkened houses. The Governor then suggested we should take another day. The road outside my house dutifully obliged... read more
The COVID-19 Expat
Being newly expat and living in a foreign country during a time where the whole world has turned to complete chaos and tragedy is an extremely unsettling and scary time... read more
The primary focus of the Billboard Initiative is to support the education of the community and village on health and sanitation to fight COVID 19 and to break the chain of virus transmission from the community level. We are supporting the communities with information that is easy-to-digest, culturally fit, accessible that could be downloaded and printed into billboard by any village in Bali.
The billboard initiative will support more villages to educate community members to have a healthy life and boost the immunity in a positive solidarity.
We need support with fundraising - Can you help? Get involved
The primary focus of the Face Protective Wear Initiative is to support the healthcare community and village leaders of Bali. Our goals are to provide alternative, protective supplies for these communities and to aid the economy by employing local seamstresses.
We are organizing the fabrication of washable, reusable, cotton coverings for the nose and mouth. These protectors will be lined and include a pocket for a filter which can be removed and/or replaced. The design also includes strings for tying to provide comfort when wearing for long periods of time. A group of people from the textiles industry with access to sewing machines are hiring local seamstresses to fabricate these items.
These face protectors will be donated to both the healthcare community as well as the village leaders for distribution.
We need to raise awareness and funds, can you help? Get involved
Masks for All
The primary focus of the #Masks4AllBali Initiative is to inspire everyone living on the island of Bali to wear a mask when out in public. Our goals are to provide education, distribute pattern resources, and make connections with local leaders and seamstresses to find ways to provide masks for free for everyone living in Bali. We hope to inspire all factories, Banjars, households and individuals to make masks for all.
We are in collaboration with concerned local doctors and believe that this initiative, along with prevention methods such as social distancing, hand washing and temporary self-isolation, will help flatten the curve for Bali. We then want to inspire other islands and Indonesia as a whole to follow our lead.
Are you able to get masks made or help spread the word on social media? Get involved
Full Body Protection
The primary focus of the Full Body Protective Wear Initiative is to support the healthcare community. Our goals are to provide alternative, protective supplies for the local healthcare community and to aid the economy by employing local seamstresses.
We are organizing the fabrication of full body protection from spunbond fabric. A group of people from the textiles industry with access to sewing machines are hiring local seamstresses to fabricate these body protectors.
The body protectors will be donated to the healthcare community for distribution.
We need your help to raise awareness and funds, can you lend a hand? Get involved
Members of Bali C19 Solidarity are collaborating with #Printforlove and 3D Printer owners to support healthcare community all around Indonesia. They are producing 3D printed parts to support health workers with personal protective equipment, emergency medical parts in short supply and virus spread mitigation devices.
In partnership with doctors and government agency #printforlove are supporting the “Easy Covid Mask” initiative started by Isinnova and are now developing a prototype using a full face snorkelling gear (EasyBreath Decathlon) to transform into an emergency respiratory mask for the treatment of COVID-19.
The mission is to create a community of 3D printers all around Indonesia available to produce all equipments necessary to help people to win the battle again COVID-19. A call to identify 3D printer and/or EasyBreath gear owners all around Indonesia has been made. Please contact us if you want to join our group of volunteers.
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With your generous donation, we'll be able to flatten the curve in Bali!
Use these handy QR codes to donate money to BaliSolidarity just by using your GOJEK or OVO app!
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Donate and get a free t-shirt!
To say thanks for your support, we're giving out free Bali C-19 t-shirts to our community. We'll deliver it to you in Bali (only).
Thank you for supporting us!
Your donation will benefit our initatives in supporting local communities in Bali.
Very soon, someone will reach out to you about your free t-shirt!
If you don't hear from us soon, please reach out to us at email@example.com
Masks for All Bali Initiative
#FlattenTheCurve for Bali during the COVID19 crisis
Inspire everyone living on the island of Bali to wear a mask when out in public.
100% wearing of masks AND 100% of banjar participation
100% participation of face mask-wearing when out of the house while observing social/physical distancing global guidelines
As part of this initiative, we are providing education, distributing pattern resources, and making connections with local leaders and seamstresses to find ways to provide masks for everyone living in Bali.
We are in collaboration with concerned local doctors and believe that this initiative, along with prevention methods such as l distancing, hand washing, and temporary self-isolation, will help #FlattenTheCurve for Bali.
We also hope to inspire other islands, and Indonesia as a whole, to follow our lead.
How can you help?
Donate 100% cotton or rayon fabric. Email us for details. Recommended types of cotton are: Prima #2, viole, poplin or jersey.
Donate financially through Bali C19 Solidarity so we can purchase fabric, including a unique opportunity to purchase a fabric lot of 1000 meters at well-below wholesale price!
Help us buy these supplies!
The Bali COVID-19 Directory
We are proud to present this directory of partners and other charitable organisations helping to change curve in Bali during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did we miss someone? Let us know
Solemen is a Bali-based charity providing direct support and funding for the disadvantaged and ‘diffabled’ (differently abled) in Bali.
Solemen’s Outreach Programme cares for over 2000 people throughout Bali. Before the Coronavirus pandemic Solemen Indonesia’s Outreach Programmes were being supported with donations from private corporate donations as well as by partnering with small businesses and social organizations in Bali and Australia. However, due to the severe impact of the present pandemic on their partners’ revenues, Solemen’s funding has nosedived by 75%.
They have started an online fundraising campaign to raise funds to continue providing food parcels to those most in need in Bali, who undoubtedly need it more than ever during these difficult times.
Schools are closed now, but BASAbali is bringing out the books of the adventures of Luh Ayu Manik Mas to the kids.Luh Ayu is Bali's only community-created superhero.
Luh Ayu engages the public in dialogue about environmental and social issues and then local writers and artists turn these conversations into comic books.
The books are written in Balinese, translated into Indonesian and English.
The book donations go to Ikan Kecil as part as their care packages, to the Bali Children’s Project and Books for Bali for direct and fast distribution to local communities.
Adopt a family is a community-based initiative set up to provide food to the most vulnerable and impoverished members of the Balinese community.
On a weekly schedule they distribute food packages to Balinese families affected by Covid 19 pandemic. They give out two-week lasting groceries Packages worth 500k IDR. For the package they are buying locally produced fresh food from balinese farmers and dry products from two small shops at the traditional pasar of Renon.
They aim to provide food for 250 families over the next months.
Project Nasi is a online fundraising campaign that raises money in order to supply the bare essentials to Balinese. The packs will be then distributed to local banjars, which are giving them out to the members.
Project Nasi is currently offering their survival packs to around 60 families per day from Linglings in Petitenget, and Sinaloa in Legian.
David Biner established the fundraiser program "The people must makan". With the donations he purchases & distributes food supplies to local communities.
He has teamed up with BaliLife Foundation amongst other influential residents in our community to locate individuals and families that are struggling during this economic crisis.
During the Corona-crisis we distribute food-packages to families in Denpasar and Karangasem, who have a relation with our Yayasan (deaf children, Cleft-lip children or scholarship for special education.
We give online classes in sign language and distribute waterfilters. Parents with new-born babies with a problem can get baby-milk.
A Food Rescue Non-profit - In Bali since 2016 rescuing tons of excess foods from hotels every day, now organising alternative foods for the needy. SOS currently works with 60+ hotels, suppliers, commercial outlets, retailers in collecting surplus food and distributing to those in need.
SOS is currently feeding 13 Orphanages and 4 other foundations with frequent trips to the villages in the Northeast of Bali. SOS has adapted to CO-VID 19 with various new programs including the Community Fridges in which you can donate food at various retailers across the island w/o having to go far.
SOS has Cooler Trucks, Customized Cooler motorbikes and 9 Full Time Paid Drivers combined with food safety and transport profesionals to handle all food.
The mask society engages unemployed seamstresses who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to make masks so they can earn enough money to buy food and medicine.
The masks are made from 100% Cotton, with 2 layers and a unique filter pocket system which allows you to add your own filter and change it daily.
For every sale made, they donate free masks and food to the Balinese community.
I chose to stay
Written by Mai Trebuil
Perhaps I am part of the problem, maybe we all are. Nevertheless, staying is what spoke true to me. I have been here since early March, refusing repatriation flights, explaining to loved ones that I felt safer here, despite a healthcare system that could be very rapidly overwhelmed and rising petty crime. I decided not to fly because I didn’t want to risk catching or spreading the virus further. I decided to stay because I also felt of use here, a feeling Bali C-19 has only intensified.
I chose to stay but not to isolate, you may tell me I am part of the problem. I chose to support local businesses and learned to resist the anxiety-filled urge to hoard. I did stock up on a few cans, rice and noodles - a stock that has remained largely untouched. Why? Because I get take-away from the warungs in my neighborhood, buy fresh produce from local shops rather than the big supermarkets and exchange a few words and learn to smile bigger behind my mask. To tell you the truth, in these times of isolation I have never lived more locally and been more open to the community that I have been grateful to call home for the past months.
Staying in Bali, Canggu to be precise, in a local family-run homestay has enabled me to better understand the community dynamics and the systems that hold this island together and admittedly make it so special. It has truly been a crash course in Balinese culture. Understanding how banjars function, the psychological impact of cancelled celebrations around Nyepi, down to taking the time to learn a language far removed from my own. Let me be clear, Covid-19 is in no way a blessing, a gift to go inwards or any other soul-searching suggestion others might have to alleviate the distress caused by this situation. Remaining in Bali during this time is accepting that I am a guest in a country that has chosen not to throw foreigners out, a win-win situation in these turbulent times.
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I chose to stay and to accept local ways, as frustrating as it may sometimes feel and trust in them. Decisions may differ from, or completely go against, those of our home countries, but there is a method to what we perceive as madness. Those who have lived here long enough might agree. This island has been through natural disasters, eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and even terrorism. It has been through enough for those who have called it home for generations to have adapted in their way of life - like gotong royong - perhaps better suited to face these eventualities than our insurances, plan Bs and savings. That said, it doesn’t make this an easier time for the Balinese, or us as a matter of fact.
Bali is struggling in plain sight
In conversations that trail off - extended silences, women going door-to-door at villas or homestays to look for work, men idly sitting outside their homes and empty stores. Economic hardship is just as threatening and contagious as this virus here. We can keep an eye on the numbers of infected, deaths, recovered or people under observation, or not. All the same, we all have the ability to observe what is happening right under our nose. I cannot keep my mind off this woman who came to my homestay looking for work. When in a shaky voice she confessed she did not have any petrol left in her scooter and I gave her some money to fill up her tank, the equivalent to my daily lunch, she broke down in tears. I didn’t feel like I could do or say more, I felt helpless. But seeing all of the food package delivery efforts and mask production efforts on Bali C-19 Facebook group reminds us how impactful turning our attention to solutions rather than problems can be. In the face of trauma there are solutions and we are a part of them - just as much as some may think we are part of the problem.
Leave the madness, find the method
The people who are sharing with us the air we fill our lungs with, the nutritious food we fuel up on, the ocean we usually surf and the rice fields we are given to admire are looking for ways to survive financially. Helping with what we have and in any way we can is common sense at this point. As hospitality or tourism has come to a near halt, workers have started side businesses, delivering fresh fruit and vegetables from their village, sewing masks and various stands have popped up along the roads in the morning to sell homemade goods. Through situations I have experienced these past few weeks it became clear to me that our willingness to walk side by side with the Balinese isn’t a one way street. We benefit from our actions in many ways - community, connection, a sense of place, all crucial to our mental health. There is no one perfect solution, but we can strive to keep the conversation going - move away from the madness to focus on the method.
Bali's changing tides
Written by Craig Glenister
I saw a post a post this morning on conditions within Bali re the Covid-19.
We did then, as we do now, and isolated. Five weeks ago. Our business isolated, our village isolated, our district isolated, as many others still do.
They did not complain that the government had not told them what to do, they did not complain that there were no directives (other than from the adat and later the Governor ), they did not complain that shops were shut, they did not complain that the businesses they worked for had shut and cut off their money supply, they did not complain that there were not enough hospital beds..instead they acted as one. Because that is what they have been doing for thousands of years.
Yes it will come, yes people will die, yes there will be hardship..but that is part and parcel of life..they accept that.
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I have lived here for 9 years, and have commented on how much I have learned from living with the Balinese. Through this difficult time I am seeing another of the layers that exist within a Balinese village, and that is humbleness whilst caring for others.
I thought I understood what it meant to be humble, and perhaps I did, but I did not live it. They are, and it brings tears to my eyes.
I ponder “How could I have spent the majority of my life and not seen this. What a waste!”
Just this morning, our staff came to us and said “Do not worry about paying us. We know you can’t get to the banks. We will be fine, and we will look after you. You are part of our village.”
They are far more concerned about my, and Ibu’s, health, than they are of their own. The lived in respect they hold in their hearts and mind for the elderly is not seen in the West. Much of their daily lives holds elements that have long ceased to exist in the West: faith of a kind that imbues every waking moment, spirituality that exists in everything, not just the living, community of a kind that once existed hundreds of years ago in the West, calmness, laughter, love, no public aggression at all, connection to Nature, acceptance, respect. I could continue, but you get the picture.
We accept that we may get the virus at some time, we accept that we are of an age that is dangerous, but honestly, and in all humbleness, there is no other place that we would rather be.
It began with Nyepi
Written by Keith Loveard
Nyepi. It was a good time to start. We had all spent 24 hours of quietude in our darkened houses. The Governor then suggested we should take another day. The road outside my house dutifully obliged, with a minimum of traffic compared to the usual rush-hour buzz of people off to work. And then, slowly but surely, the Bali administration extended the lockdown that wasn’t a lockdown until we all knew we had to stay home.
After two weeks of self-isolation I needed to go to the doctor for my regular monthly checkup. Much to my surprise, the local hospital was very quiet. Social distancing had been applied so you didn’t have to sit right next to another patient; all the doctors and nurses were fully masked. “It’s not too bad in Bali,” my doctor told me. “It’s Jakarta that’s the problem.”
It is difficult to find details of the impact of the covid-19 virus in Bali. Reports from a few days ago state that there have been only 10 cases, with two fatalities. It is likely that the numbers of both categories are higher, though not dramatically. Local knowledge says there have been cases, including deaths, mainly from cruise ship crew who have returned home carrying the infection.
But the situation is nowhere near as bad as it could be, nor as bad as many have predicted. There are two main supporting factors: the banjar system and Indonesia’s long-held tradition of self-help, or gotong royong.
The banjars came into operation very quickly after the governor’s decision to maintain the partial lockdown that followed Nyepi. CNN Indonesia reported that Bali’s thousands of villages had all been circulated with an instruction to ‘discipline’ residents so that they conducted social and physical distancing.
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With the banjars continuing to represent an active force in Balinese life, and with the pecalang security guards always ready to turn out at a moment’s notice, the mechanism to make the instruction happen was available across the island.
Some complained that the discipline was too tight as over-eager pecalang flexed their muscles but on the whole the order from the regional government achieved its intended goal of vastly restricting physical mixing. There were breaches, as to be expected, but in most areas people observed the new rules.
The other aspect that has helped is the spirit of gotong royong. Everyone is aware that the economic impact of the lockdown could be worse than the disease itself. While Bali could, in theory, have faced hundreds of deaths if the virus had taken hold, the economic damage of shutting down the tourism industry and commerce in general is a more severe long-term impact.
The island’s dependence on tourism for as much as 80 percent of its income meant that thousands of workers were sent home without pay as hotels and restaurants and their suppliers suddenly saw their business shrivel and die.
While the lockdown lasts, people in Bali who do have financial resources need to put their hands in their pockets. Care will be needed to make sure that they are giving money to organizations that will use their donations effectively to reach those in need.
The risks of not giving are potentially higher than the actual cost of a weekly donation. Widespread hunger on the island would inevitably create security concerns, as able-bodied young men and more than a few women look at illegal means to feed themselves. This includes potential violent robberies and the increased use of scams. A failure to help your community will mean that no-one will be keen to help you if you do get robbed or tricked.
Again, the role of the banjars is important. They will be aware if significant proportions of their village populations are in need. They may need to consider the creation of soup kitchens and other means of helping. If they can act to provide a lifeline, they will play a critical role in maintaining the social cohesion that has been, up until now, a hallmark of Balinese society.
The message is clear: if you can help, you should do so, in whatever way possible and the banjars are the logical vehicles.
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Keep your distance!
Written by Keith Loveard
It’s clear enough, amid all the confusion over how to survive the Covid-19 virus, that physical distancing works. The virus, typically transmitted via droplets, can be stopped by creating a barrier to infection by those droplets, whether by washing them away with soap and water or alcohol-based solutions or by simply staying far enough away that they can’t ‘jump’ through space to claim a new victim.
That should be simple then: simply stay away from each other. It should be no surprise that places like New York, where people are pressed together in the subway, on trains and at street corners while waiting for the lights, should be dangerous places to be, where the virus can jump the small distances between people with ease.
While Bali is relatively densely populated, it is nowhere near the density level of New York or even Jakarta. Across the island the average is around 750 people per square kilometer, a figure that doesn’t allow for differences in density from place to place.
Obviously walking along the Kuta seafront exposes you to a greater level of risk (in normal times) than trekking through the forest somewhere like Plaga. Even allowing for localized peaks in density, Bali remains wide open compared to the estimated 14,464 people per square kilometer in Jakarta, where Covid-19 infections have been far higher.
But even though Bali has been blessed – as far as we can tell - with only a limited number of infections so far, it remains important to apply the lessons we have learned to our social interactions so that we don’t let our guard down and let the infection in. We have to keep our physical distance from each other.
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That’s the hard part. One day last week I was taking my dogs for a walk on a narrow path that runs behind my house and through the fields. There are few choices on places to take such walks, so I’m a known quantity on this path and in the surrounding village. And on this occasion, a villager comes riding past on his motorbike as I pull the dogs to the side so he can pass.
He stops. ‘Where’s the big dog,’ he asks. ‘This is her,’ I reply, pointing to our first rescue, a long-legged Bali dog. ‘She’s very skinny,’ he responds. I recount the saga of diagnosing and then treating a case of blood parasites that saw us take our Blossom across half the island to find a vet who could treat her. This conversation is conducted at well under a meter and my village acquaintance seems to have no sense that this is wrong, that we are breaching the new rule of physical distancing. It is inappropriate for me to start lecturing a person I might run into once every six months.
Relatively close proximity is, after all, is how humans communicate, at a distance of about three-quarters of a meter from each other. Any closer and you are invading the other person’s personal space, any further away and you are being ‘distant,’ as in frigid.
Other encounters bring a reminder that none of us are naturally perfect at this physical distancing. Across the road I meet Pak Made at his wife’s warung, and shake his hand. It’s an automatic and natural response to meeting him for the first time for a few weeks. On parting, I wave my elbow at him. ‘Oh yes, we’re not supposed to be shaking hands,’ he says with a smile.
A trip to the supermarket produces other observations about human behavior. The government has just declared that everyone must wear a mask outside. Yet not everyone shopping in the supermarket is doing so, and there is no-one to remind them that they need to put on a mask, nor is it clear where we could buy one. Stopping to buy a sandwich in a bar along the Sanur main street, my wife and I feel ‘odd man out’ because we’re the only people out of a dozen or so seeking a little normality who do have masks. I pull mine down to my chin, where it has purely symbolic value.
The lesson appears to be that it takes a lot to overcome ingrained social behavior and adopt new habits. That’s why the Bali C-19 Solidarity billboard program is so important: all of us need to be reminded as often as possible that this is a real and present danger. The threat will pass, but for the time being, we need to keep our distance from each other. Your support for this program will help keep us all healthy.