Bali fundraising brings hope to village children
SUNSHINE COAST mother-of-nine Cate Bolt has seen first-hand the financial pressures families endure.
No stories are as grim as Indonesian families living in rural villages in Bali.
For these rural villagers, being able to provide food and shelter for their family is a luxury and education is just a dream for most.
But Ms Bolt is brightening the future of villagers, one person at a time, by providing them with access to food, education, clothing and medical treatment.
Ringdikit is about a four-hour drive from Kuta and far enough away from the "corruption and politics" that Ms Bolt says plague other areas in Bali.
For five years the Beerwah woman has been running not-for-profit organisation, Foundation 18, which funds an orphanage for abandoned girls and is helping break the cycle of parents surrendering their children to orphanages out of desperation, because they can't feed them.
While Ms Bolt's humanitarian work primarily focuses on the children, the rest of the family also benefits from the help provided.
Ms Bolt began an education outreach program, which allows kids access to the essentials (food, clothing, medicine, education) without them having to leave the family home.
"If we identify a child that needs assistance to keep them in school we generally take the whole family into the project," the former journalist said.
"So if they have younger kids (not yet school aged) we provide for them as well."
Ms Bolt, who does not take a salary for her humanitarian work, has raised about $400,000, which has gone directly into Foundation 18's aid work.
She needs to raise $6600 for the extras associated with sending 89 children to school for the next year, which starts in July
"I've already covered the $17,000 in tuition fees for all the students. This money is for uniforms, school shoes, bags, books, pens etc," Ms Bolt said.
"The full breakdown of what is needed is on the GoFundMe page per child (see above)."
Ms Bolt said although Foundation 18 helped meet the financial needs of the village, there was something that money couldn't buy that she gave the villagers, and that was hope.
She said the villagers just wanted to know someone was in their corner during the hard times, fighting for them.
"Even in the few years that we've been established you can really see the difference in the village," Ms Bolt said.
"There are nowhere near as many children in the streets during school days, which is a good thing.
"There's a great sense of community there too.
"There's a sense of pride and a lot more hope."
Foundation 18 websites