Behind the tourist dollar

Twice a day, Wayan and his son Gede head up a hill with a load of greens hacked from the surrounding area, to tempt the palates of their hungry goats, who are giving back to the family in more ways than one.

The goats will eventually be sold to provide income for medicine, school fees, cooking oil and household items. In the meantime, they’re providing (literally) heaps of manure that can be sold off to the local coffee farmer.

High in the mountains north of Denpasar, Indonesia, Wayan and his wife Puta are part of a community left behind by the tourist dollar. They’re landless small farmers, cut out of the tourist industry and literally struggling to survive. If you’ve ever visited Bali, you’ll know how important you are to the local economy. But for local people without the means to work in hospitality or its associated industries, life in Bali is increasingly difficult.

UnitingWorld, the international community development arm of the Uniting Church in Australia, partner with the Bali Christian Church – who represent less than 1% of the population. In a Muslim country, the island of Bali’s majority Hindu population are already on the edge. Doubly isolated, Bali’s Christians are still determined to be God’s people wherever and whenever they’re needed.

Teams from our partner, Maha Bhoga Marga Foundation, travel to more than twenty remote communities, all of them Hindu, to listen and learn, all with the aim of helping people flourish. Toilets are built, and children brush their teeth for the first time, learn how to wash their hands and avoid disease. Doctors visit to provide basic health care, teach about protection from communicable disease and care for mothers and newborns. Small businesses are seeded, with women cooking cassava to package and sell locally. And of course, the goats. Breeding projects are providing much  needed income for these families, literally changing lives.

It’s not really the goats who change the lives; it’s the people.

Right now, UnitingWorld is teaming up not just with its partners overseas, but adding your gift to Australian Government Funding to make up to six times the impact toward ending poverty. That’s  because in recognition of their accredited poverty alleviation projects, Aus Aid makes funding available that UnitingWorld can use to massively extend their work. UnitingWorld committed to raising $1 for every $5 they receive from Aus Aid.

If you’re interested in making the most of this opportunity, please make your tax deductible donation online at unitingworld.org.au together  or give UnitingWorld a call on 02 8267 4267.

Cath Taylor

Top image: UnitingWorld, the international community development arm of the Uniting Church in Australia, partners with the Bali Christian Church to provide much needed income for families, such as father of three, Wayan, and his son, Gede, pictured feeding the family goats.

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