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Making the Balinese at Home on their Own Island

Students from Bali International School Join Habitat for Humanity in Creating Homes for Needy Balinese.

(10/3/2009) One of the aims of the Global Citizenship Program at Bali International School is to challenge students to participate in new activities that bring benefit to both the general community and provide a personally broadening experience to the students themselves. The BIS Habitat Project is a glowing example of these principles at work.

Members of the Bali International School Habitat Group recently completed a house building project in northwest Bali. The group, formed in 2009, has as its ongoing mission the aim of supporting Habitat for Humanity goals of providing quality, affordable housing to low-income families. To this end, the group raised nearly Rp. 10 million (US$1,000) by holding raffles, evening gathering, donations, and cookie and doughnut sales.

With funds raised, 11 students, grades 11 and 12, joined two of their teachers in a hands-on home-building project. Joining Habitat for Humanity Indonesia and with support the Bali-based charity Dinari, the group undertook two projects in the village of Melaya, located between Negara and Gilimanuk in west Bali.

Kawangi Forsyth, Natasha Berting, Kelly Bencheghib, Josh Collins, Eugene Bioleau and Darwin Smith joined efforts to work on the home of I Komang Dendra, a village blacksmith, and his wife Ni Made Rini, a farmer. The couple, who share their home with a large group of children and grandchildren, joined the construction effort to replace their crumbling wooded structure with a brick house. Three month's work have resulted in the construction of foundations and structural pillars. An additional four months will see the home completed and the Balinese family moved into their new house.

Also in the same village, the project has help a local laborer, I Komang Sidiya Yasa, and his family add a septic system to their small house built with the help of Habitat for Humanity.

Shiori Harada, Nakita Haritos, Alizee Barth, Pico Muenzesheimer, Cosmo Cochrane, Nyima Casellini, and Tamara Czaban packed brick, cut rebar, bent constructed supports, mixed concrete and dug earth creating a 1.7 meter deep hole for a concrete septic system.

The BIS Habitat team is interested in building more homes for Balinese residents and is seeking contributions from the community to achieve that goal.