Friday, September 2, 2016

Changing lives for the better tomorrow

Many people with disabilities in Bali become marginalised by society and struggle to obtain treatment. Extreme poverty has meant many people never receive the care they need. In Remote areas, many children and adults have never seen a doctor, despite suffering serious ailments. Solemen are here to help these people.

Established in 2010, Solemen became a formalised non-profit organisation or ‘Yayasan’ (Yayasan Solemen Indonesia). Through the outreach work, they are helping turn lives around for those who have disabilities and disadvantages by providing medical care, therapy, treatment, sponsorships and ongoing support for people that are in dire need of help. Their main focus is on ensuring holistic care for individuals and their families.

Carrying a mission to reach out and change the lives of as many disadvantaged people as possible within Bali and the surrounding areas, Solemen run a programme to help needed families to earn a living and gain greater nutritional value in their diets. They provide regular care and support to these families by giving them the sustained care that they need. From small beginnings, the charity has now become a driving force for changing lives of those most in need in Bali.

Solemen is completely self-funded with the income stream is mainly from donations of individual donors and corporates in Bali, which a majority of them are hotels and restaurants. They have a strong finance and fundraising team that focuses on such areas. Their team consists of people from different nationalities, mostly with a medical background, from nurses to volunteer doctors and physiotherapists, all bringing their own special skills sets to support the organisation.

In 2015, the Bali Governor, Mangku Pastika, selected Solemen as his preferred charity in Bali and announced that he would act as Solemen’s Guardian. Getting support by Bali’s key person and having Tamara Bleszynski as their ambassador, Solemen hope that they will finally break the cycle of poverty in Bali.

One of the main challenges they face is gaining the trust of the families and the communities they are trying to help. Many people are afraid of hospitals and often do not have the necessary paperwork to access free care. Being blessed to have full support of the local government, hopefully would be the solution to overcome this situation.

One of the plans they have is to expand their Outreach Programme by dividing the current team into the areas in Bali – North, Central and South. Each team will have the responsibility of helping individuals and families in each area. This particular programme will give them the ability to help more people, whilst maintaining their unique way of providing holistic care for each and every person.

Currently Solemen have one outreach car as transport to access people in need, deliver donations and provide transport when needed for those who need to travel for medical care. The car is a great asset to Solemen’s current team. With the programme envisaged to grow larger, two new modified ‘ambulances’ will be required to support each new area.

When considering poverty in the developing world, the scale of poverty is immense. In Bali many children and adults have life-threatening or life-compromising medical conditions. Very few of those with the most severe conditions have access to healthcare or the means for basic living conditions. While poverty is indeed extreme and widespread, we sometimes forget how powerful our pocket change can become when pooled together. When giving to an effective charity like Solemen, the size of your donation directly correlates with the number of people you are able to help.

Yayasan Solemen Indonesia
Paradise Property Building 3rd floor,
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, Siligita, South Kuta