East Bali Poverty Project

Review for Publicity / Fundraising Purposes

The major successes of the EBPP provide an example of how great a change can be achieved by a handful of dedicated people. They demonstrate the creation and continuance of a sustainable, measurable and most importantly repeatable model for disadvantaged communities around the world. The work of founder and chairman David Booth MBE and his enthusiastic and highly motivated team has transformed the lives of over 2100 families in the 19 hamlets of this forgotten corner of East Bali.

In 1998 the EBPP polled these families asking what they identified as a priority. Children’s health and education was the unanimous response because this was seen as a way to create a long-term improvement in their situation.

Hungry, sick children don’t have the motivation to learn and permanent, sustainable change was required to achieve appropriate healthcare and sufficient nourishment. The supply of clean drinking water was made a priority and traditional crops were supplemented with vegetables selected to provide a balanced diet.

Integrated education programmes lead the way, with a curriculum tailored to teach hygiene, organic cultivation and nutrition as well as traditional Indonesian subjects. With a grant from Thames Water in the U.K. and the expertise of French national Clare Quillet they have created a system of pipes and reservoirs to bring clean drinking water from mountain springs to over 700 families in thirteen of the more remote hamlets to people who have never had it before. This enables the teaching of hygiene and the importance of cleanliness and bathing. Teaching that clean hands arrest the spread of food-borne diseases and making sure all the children are clean when they attend school.

Food security is paramount and the villagers have implemented EBPP programs involving vetiver grass, worms and cow manure to transform the arid slopes of volcanic sand into lush gardens producing over 20 varieties of vegetable. This has been achieved by the villagers, led by their children who were taught organic husbandry techniques in school.

Villagers are leant the seed, organic compost, vetiver grass, worm casts and worms and pay back the original amount plus 15% within a year. They are able to see swift results from the programmes, which encourages them to further develop their land. On the 19th of March 2004 a crop of delicious lettuce harvested from both the children’s school garden and the parent’s community garden was packaged and sold to the Bali Dynasty Resort!

Lack of access to the outside world meant that the villagers hadn’t benefited from 20th Century scientific and medical advances and were deprived of even the basic requirements for a healthy existence. Cassava, one of their traditionally staple crops, disrupts the absorption of iodine by the body. This, added to a lack of environmental iodine had produced a society with endemic abnormal brain development.

The results speak for themselves. A dramatic reduction in infant mortality, clean fresh water, 100% success for classes graduating primary school, the transformation of volcanic sand into gardens. Endemic impetigo, lice and worms have been eradicated from the school children, mountain goats have been introduced and are breeding.

No handouts are given – loans are made of the basic materials to be repaid with interest.
No promises are made – the EBPP commit to doing the best they can.

The EBPP approach is working! Everyone has benefited and seeing the improvement in daily life, they are motivated to expand and develop upon this success. The villagers are learning by doing and finding a new energy in their lives. The philosophy is simple:

By 2012 the EBPP plan is to have 100% food security for all 19 hamlets in the ‘village’. David’s plans have already exceeded his original forecasts in 1998 and would have been far beyond today’s success level had funding not been negatively impacted by the Oct 2002 Bali Bomb tragedy.

You can help! All donations, no matter how large or small will directly help David and his team to help these villagers. All funds go directly into the project and are fully documented and available for inspection in their Denpasar office.