At the end of July, Greg, our Street Centre manager resigned from her position and became Bali Life Public Relations. This left the Street Centre in need of a new leader. Piter and Lyna approached me early July and asked if I would be interested in the role. I took some days to pray and discuss with close friends. I still had (have – even now) some doubts in myself, but I accepted their offer. Now I am no longer teaching street children to read. At least not full time. By God’s leading, I am now coordinator for the Street Centre. I pray that I can be a good leader for the kids and encourage them to strive for their best.
Previously the Street Centre managing role consisted of coordinating the school classes and also the women’s workshop. We share a building and work together to help the women and children from the streets and slum areas. Since August, we have split this role. Now we have two women coordinating the women’s workshop: Ibu Claudia and our new staff, Ibu Netty. I am so grateful to have this amazing team to work with in Bali Life Street Centre.
Street Centre Classes
Whilst the mums are working alongside Ibu Claudia and Ibu Netty, the children in Street Centre have a safe, loving place to learn and grow. We now have three classes in our centre.
Defri, who also assists in admin duties, teaches our first class. This is the class for kids ready to go to formal school. They study for a year in bridging school, join the national tests, and go into formal education after graduation. This year we have five students in Defri’s class who hope to enter formal education next July. We pray that God provides sponsors for them and motivation in their hearts to continue in this opportunity.
Our middle class is full of kids of various ages still learning to read. Some are older than 10 years old. Others are as young as 5 years old. We have a new teacher starting in September for this class, which I previously taught. I am so excited to see when students grow in their abilities in this class. We had success with one student who did not even know all the alphabet last year. He struggled with reading and writing, but he persisted and this year has joined the class with Defri, hoping to go to middle-school, grade 7, next year.
Our final class is for young children under five years old. These children join us while their mums are in the workshop. We are developing the preschool program for them. We want to include age appropriate activities to help them develop their cognitive, social, creative and physical skills, such as puzzles, drawing, story time and group games. I am so grateful for my experience in Family Link Centre to develop my skills for children in this age group. In addition to running the centre, I will coordinate with short-term volunteers and interns to create the activities each day for this group.
In addition to the kids that come each day to learn with us from the mornings, we have the kids who graduated from bridging school in June that join us in the afternoons. These kids have been enrolled in a local middle school nearby the centre and several afternoons each week they join Bali Life to check-in with us. We make sure that all is ok, help with homework if needed, and they can join our activities with the other kids in this time as well. All the kids are very happy and excited to be in formal education and making more friends their age. We still have two teenagers waiting for sponsorship through their formal education. If you are interested in sponsoring a child through formal education, or even through bridging school, please let us know. Contact Lyna or myself to find out more.
Since July we have had four amazing maintenance teams come and join our centre, renewing and cleaning various areas. We always appreciate when teams can come in and help with these areas, keeping our centre looking fresh and new, encouraging our children to look after their centre.
First Hope Valley team from Adelaide came in July. They brought craft and dance activities for our kids and also painted the walls in our classrooms, outer walls and veranda and the main indoor area. The centre looked amazing after their hard work.
A team from Merdeka Outreach – consisting of 8 people from around the world – America, Europe and Indonesia – came and did a whole lot of cleaning. They helped clean out all the overgrown bushes in the front yard, organise bottles and the shed in the women’s workshop, and organise donated clothes for our storeroom. They also taught our children, played games and taught the kids about toothbrushing hygiene.
A missions team from Georgia, America, were in Bali working alongside another church when they heard about Bali Life. So they came and visited one day and hung out with our kids and heard all about our centre. The team then joined us in our street ministry to reach the kids on the street. You can read more about the amazing work that God did through them in my last post. God is amazing how he brought this team spontaneously into our centre and then could show his love to the kids and mums on the streets, but also encouraged me and the rest of the team in the Street Centre.
Canggu Community School
A group of 12th graders from Canggu Community School donated their time and energy as part of their school social CAS – Creativity, Action, Service week. These teenagers brought fresh energy to our kids teaching and playing with them. They painted our library, organised our children’s library books, and also managed to give one wall in our office a fresh coat of paint. During the week I brought some of the students to visit a slum area where some of the families in our centre live. The students reached out to kids in the area who don’t come to the centre but are still in need. They played some games and taught the kids dental hygiene. Each child received a gift – a stationary pack and each family received a hygiene pack consisting of soap, toothbrushes, etc. This is possible because of generous people bringing donations to the Street Centre.
At the end of their week, CCS CAS students brought the kids from our bridging school class to Bedugul Tree Tops where the kids had the amazing opportunity to join in and be challenged by the high-ropes climbing course.
Our centre now looks fresh thanks to all the amazing maintenance teams that came and helped out in practical ways. Thank you!!