Schooling for Bali’s beggers.
First, school on the beach
When the kids ‘boss’ isnt around, ask any of the many kids working the streets, “what do you want?”, and they will answer “we want school…we want to read.”
In 2007, YKPA Director Putu next asked, “where do you want to learn?”, and they said “we feel safe on the beach” (because the police cant catch them there), so Putu, with her own limited income, started school on a tarp every Saturday afternoon with volunteer teachers.
“Informal schooling keeps changing and growing .”
The children came, and continued to come every week, and they began to read, and do math.. These children are serious about learning. They know they dont know what other ‘normal’ children know.
Then onto another beach
Forced off the beach, we moved to another beach. Despite many kids coming to class (or because of it), we were forced off that site one year later.
Next into the slum
We thought it best to bring school to the poor areas where the children live. We set up a tarp on the ground between buildings, and many kids came to classes, but this proved unworkable when the rain turned the ground to mud.
Now in our orphanage home
As the ophanage-home children became more able to fit into the surrounding city schools, we had more space in the mornings. We started bringing the street kids to the home, and this continues now for two years. The kids can come in the mornings as it is ‘down time’ for begging, but after school, they must beg on into the night.
The change now, is that we employ Balinese teachers, both full and part-time. These children are quickly learning and performing quite well. See class schedule below.
…and this year, a new class site in a Kuta store-front
After years of wanting to do this, we have now opened another school site in the back area of Kuta, where many street kids live. Currently we have about 22 students taught by 2 part–time Balinese teachers.