Support our fundraising efforts to aid the people of Bali
Through the personal efforts of Robert and Jo*, we invite you to support the people of Bali during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Australians have enjoyed the beautiful island of Bali and their wonderful hospitality over the last fifty years. Our close proximity as neighbours has allowed us to be close friends and frequent visitors. Now there is an opportunity to repay them in a meaningful way.
Many of you have visited Bali at some stage and know the beauty of the island and the generosity of spirit of the Balinese people but sadly, due to COVID-19, Bali was closed to international tourism in March.
With little government support, a large proportion of the population have been impacted by the pandemic with massive job losses in tourism and hospitality, the mainstay of their economy. In 2019, Bali welcomed 6.3 million overseas visitors accounting for the majority of their economy.
Bali's warm climate, open-air lifestyle and strong village communities or banjars offered some protection against the virus however like the majority of the rest of the world it is becoming difficult to keep up with testing, tracking and tracing, due to the tricky nature of COVID (in particular asymptomatic cases).
It must be said that with the resources available the communities have done a good job of keeping numbers down, with mandatory mask wearing since the beginning of the pandemic and now the quarantining all positive cases in hotels. Regardless of the COVID virus, it is the economic impact that is affecting Bali the most.
Typically, most families have multiple members who have a reliable job in a local restaurant, hotel, shop, transport and in producing food for the millions of tourists who visit annually. However, without those millions of tourists, there are very few opportunities for the majority of Balinese. The village banjar heads, organise the village communities and are one means by which the Balinese receive support. The villages help each other, barter and share home grown produce but without the wages they once had, many can no longer afford other staples like rice, cooking oil, basic hygiene products and small luxuries like kopi Bali (coffee) or any additional unforeseen costs or emergencies.
Our daughter Hana and her husband Ketut have been supporting their team of 43 from the beginning of the pandemic, despite having to close their restaurant doors.
Hana explains more below:
From Hana And Ketut:
At the beginning of March, we closed both restaurants for more than two months in line with the global response to COVID-19. We quickly realised the situation would not improve however we needed to continue to provide for our staff, so we created a fresh fruit and vegetable grocery service which helped boost morale and kept some staff employed but not enough to provide a sustainable income.
It became apparent that due to the lack of financial support from the government it was imperative to re-open and try to salvage the business for our team so they could keep working to feed their families.
We re-opened Kyoka Japanese Kitchen and created a combined menu with the best dishes from both restaurants. We handed the reins of the business over to our team to manage as if it were their own with all the profits going directly to them.
Understandably it is quiet, only half our team are working part-time with priority given to those with dependents. Those who have not been working have until now been given an ‘emergency salary’ to cover basic monthly expenses.
The staff who are working part time are earning less than a third of their regular monthly wage. It has been even less this last month and with many not only supporting children but elderly family members and it is just not enough to survive on.
We have been supporting our team for the past six months and the situation is looking bleaker every day, we do not have the funds to continue to support them in the way we have so far. Because our team are ‘our family’ we will continue to fight for them and those in our community including drivers, musicians, villa staff and so on, who have also been impacted.
Major life events, births, deaths and serious illnesses (non COVID-19 related) continue during these times, the virus doesn’t discriminate, and we are doing our best to help support as many of our staff their families and the community as we can.
For those of you in a position to donate, no matter how big or small, it will make a big difference to many struggling families in Bali. We understand not everyone is in the position to help as this pandemic has impacted everyone around the world. However, if you can spare $5 or $50 it will all make a real difference!
To continue to support the Balinese community, we have been putting together food packages at a cost of RP 180 000 (approximately AU$ 17).
Costs: approx. AUD $17 - 20
- 10kgs of Balinese rice
- 20 eggs
- 5 packets of Tempe
- 1 litre of cooking oil
- 1 kg sugar
- 500g coffee
IBU SUSU & KYOKA JAPANESE KITCHEN FOOD PACKAGE FUND
You can donate directly through Paypal
Or for those in Australia via the Commonwealth Bank:
A/C Hana Lily Joyce & Ketut Aprinawan
A/C number: 1054 6512
Other ways to support Bali
While we hope you will happily donate to this very worthy cause we know that some of you may be interested in getting involved in other ways so we have a list of Yayasan’s or charities that we recommend.
Alternatively, you can donate to Francis and Adi's incredible Feed Bali initiative.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert and I have both loved Bali since our first visits there decades ago! Preparing to spend more time there with our two beautiful young granddaughters living in Ubud with their parents, Hana and Ketut. Our love of Bali, its people, their culture and the natural beauty of the island, has deepened and we are saddened that we have no idea when we’ll be back again.
Robert and I both spent time there independently and then together, before our first sortie to Japan in the late 70’s. Bali was our first love, we had a ‘honeymoon’ holiday there en route to Japan for the first time, travelling on to Thailand, en route to Japan, then to the Phillipines, Hong Kong, China and beyond.
In the late 1970 Robert flew to East Timor from Darwin and lived in Indonesia for a year. In Bali, he lived and worked with a wood carver in Tampaksering, north of Ubud and traveled through Java to Lake Toba in Sumatra, buying textiles, then back to Bali and on to Sumba and Lombok in the east.
In the mid 70’s I stopped over in Bali after I'd spent the previous few years teaching in Melbourne. I then travelled on through SE Asia country by country, but I was disappointed that nowhere quite matched up to Bali. I couldn't wait to return, not so much to my teaching job in Melbourne, than to eventually revisit Bali.
I was overcome by the genuine friendliness and beauty of the people, as well as the vibrant culture and daily spiritual practices. I’d never have guessed that Robert and I would meet, share our stories and then revisit together, let alone that this would lead to our daughters’ sojourn there decades later, after we had consolidating a business out of Japan still continuing today after 40 years. Hana, our second daughter, spent seven years in London working and studying at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London. In 2010 she won a research grant for her dissertation to study Balinese masks and performance in Ubud. After graduating in 2011 she moved to Bali to study Indonesian language sponsored by the Indonesian government.
Much to our surprise and delight, Hana met her Balinese husband Ketut and the rest is history. They spent time working in Melbourne together, Hana at Kazari and Ketut at Crown Casino and then at Lucy Lui in the Melbourne lanes, There he honed his cocktail making skills while they planned their future restaurants in Ubud and married in Melbourne.
They returned again to Bali to marry in the Hindu tradition, in a village ceremony complete with Pedanda or High Priest and many offerings made by the extended family and village community.
They opened Ibu Susu in 2017 on the ‘quiet’ end of Monkey Forest Rd, with a Melbourne style pan Asian menu. Ibu Susu was an immediate success after the bumpy start thanks to Mount Agung and Kyoka Japanese Kitchen in busy Jalan Dewi Sita followed in 2017 along with a second baby, Nina.
The early success of the restaurants was assured with great reviews on Tripadvisor despite the rumbling earthquakes and the first volcanic activity since the 70’s - was Mt Agung issuing a warning about what was to come?
So for the last few years we visited many times, dreaming and planning our retirement while we stayed in the beautifully kept garden villas at Ubud Bungalows, close to our favourite restaurants, live music, dance and other cultural events.
We found a small property for sale with a longer than average lease, in need of some work but over looking the coconut trees and tropical date palms, star fruit, papaya and jackfruits and with a view through to rice fields, all alive with activity from early in the morning, the best part of the day including the clock birds calling and insects trilling.
The family moved there from their rented accomodation on a noisy and dusty main road just as our second granddaughter was born. We’ve managed two short visits since! We flew out of Denpasar on Jan 31st not realising we wouldn’t be back for the foreseeable future!
We hoped by now that we would be playing with the children before breakfast, when Iluh would climb the stairs with a book and toys in hand, followed by Ginger the family dog. Later we splashed wildly in the pool, like all good grandparents, rediscovering our ‘inner child’ selves.
We miss the family, they miss us. We miss Bali and our Balinese friends, Ketut’s family in the village of Tulikup, neighbours and people with whom we pass the time of day - Bali is such a friendly place!
I write this as we are committed to supporting the survival and recovery of the restaurant team, extended family of drivers, suppliers, relatives and neighbours - and those who fall between the cracks. Hana and Ketut are doing everything they can to support the community in their sphere and beyond, until Bali and their restaurants get back on their feet.
I know many of you will be pleased to contribute to the fund too!
If you would like further information, please email: email@example.com