How Bali Street Mums Project came to be
A personal message from the founder, Kim Farr.
I moved to Bali with my son six years ago. I like most people believed Bali was paradise for everyone. However I saw children begging at the traffic lights of Sunset road late at night, on the streets of Kuta selling bracelets. Beautiful children dusty, hot, malnourished and exhausted. I learnt that these children were prey to abuse and International pedophiles, that their mothers sent them to the streets to beg just at the generations before them, and that they come from extreme impoverished villages up in the mountains of Bali.
I began to volunteer at a refuge in centre for street kids in Denpasar and saw that until their mothers could earn an income, these children would be taken back to the streets at night to beg. So I set up a mothers group at the refuge where I would work with them to make crafts, hand sewn dolls (as they were afraid of sewing machines), jewelry and drinking glasses cut from recycled bottles.
The refuge was shut down and the mothers and children were displaced. I started to work with them in the slums in a little hut. It is from these slums where the street mums and I started the Bali Street Mums Project, empowering impoverished mothers. At the same time I started to organise schooling for the children, finding sponsors to help pay for their schooling.
Many of the children had been begging for 8 to 10 years of their lives and could not go to a government school as they had no early education nor birth certificates. I worked with Diandra, the social worker, who entered them into a special bridging school. Diandra also worked hard to make a birth certificate for each child, because without one, on paper, they wouldn’t exist.
Each day we had more children coming to us for help. Many had been abused and raped. We decided to find a house that we could turn into a safe home and refuge for these children. And to this day, we are looking for outside support to help these children.