It is North of the Central mountainous regions of Bali Island in Indonesia, away from the tropical playgrounds and tourist areas of Denpasar, Kuta Beach and the 5 star hotels of Nusa Dua and the world famous artistic community of Ubud….nestled in among the ancient, traditional Balinese Hindu people that we know and love….that we have made our home. Michaels Home. Where Children are Loved.
With centuries of the Balinese Hindu religious ceremonies and traditions guiding them, these extremely polite, calm and emotionally controlled people are an enigma to Western Cultures.
Imagine living in a society where:
Emotional behavior is seen as a character weakness.
Those who use rude, controversial or confronting speech are not respected.
Behavior that would offend, embarrass or cause another discomfort is purposefully avoided.
It’s no wonder why the world’s major Cruise Lines consider the Balinese their #1 choice when searching for their service employees.
The Balinese Culture by tradition is also a family centered culture. Multi generations of immediate family and relatives will all live together in the same family home that is handed down through the eldest son. Generally, no family member other than the eldest son receives the family inheritance. The children are raised ….knowing that when they are adults they will provide for their aged parents. Parents therefore will nurture and by Western standards spoil their children … who will eventually become the parents social security.
The Balinese Hindu religion also functions on a Cast System basis. A child born into a High Cast family remains high cast as well as all the heirs. Marriages are performed between couples of the same class level. The Balinese Hindu’s know which Caste a person is by his/her name and the distinct language of the caste levels.
A Balinese Hindu living in a remote village is most likely from a poor low Caste family. The village elders have had no formal school education and most do not even know their age. They have passed on the only way of life that they have known. Many of these village children’s providers or parents work in rice fields, vegetable gardens, and as clove or coffee pickers. Most often these workers are paid off with the products they are harvesting and are unable to barter their good for cash to pay for school fees, uniforms, shoes and school supplies for their children. It’s the children of these families that are the primary focus of AHFC’s Educational Support and Village Classes Programs.
Our intention is to put an end to this cycle of poverty and limitation by assisting in the children’s educational development and/or providing them with the opportunity to receive useful vocational skills training and become productive and self reliant members of their community.