Bulletin 30 January 2017

Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset

District 3420 / No. 79571

Meeting every Monday at 5:30 PM at Maya Ubud Resort, Ubud

“What is essential is invisible to the eye” Gene Wilder

 Bulletin January 30, 2017


Pres. Bruce

Pres. Bruce

President Bruce opened the meeting by thanking everyone for coming.  Tonight we had the largest attendance since our club was formed in 2008.  37 people attended tonight’s meetings.  Many came because of our great speaker, Daniel Elber.  Many others came to find out about our club with the idea of joining us in our endeavour to help the local Balinese that are so much in need.

Chatting with the Speaker

Bruce passed the microphone around the room so our many guests could introduce themselves.  He also commented about AnneMarie, our Honorary member about why this was so special and why she so deserved the honor.  Anne Marie is such a great textile artist and has been helping our club for years!  He also had the Bishops stand and let everyone know what an incredible job they are doing in the Karangasem area – starting a free medical clinic that, among other things, is sending medical teams out to many villages that have never had medical visits previously.  They are now starting a free school for people in the area to teach them English and computer skills so they can find jobs in the area instead of leaving their families and traveling to Denpasar.  Both the Bishops and AnneMarie received a loud and deserved standing ovation.

New member Dora receives her pin!

Dora – newest member

His next honored duty was to induct our newest member, Dora. Dora is one of the founding members of the Ubud Rotaract Club and is one of their past Presidents.  We look forward to her input into the things our club is doing!

Next we did a flag exchange from Kim who is from Sweden.

Before Bruce introduced our speaker today, he spent a few minutes explaining to our guests what our club focuses on and a few of the incredible projects we are currently involved in.

Our speaker was introduced by Bruce saying: Our great speaker is Daniel Elber. the former Swiss banker who swapped his corporate life for one eradicating poverty in Bali. In Bali he encountered women begging with

Flag Exchange with a Swedish club

their children on the streets of Ubud and the South of Bali and started to ask questions. He could not understand why people in this community-oriented culture had to beg. He ended up in Muntigunung, an incredibly dry area in the north of Bali and experienced a part of the island he would never have believed existed before. It was desert-like without direct access to water and with people living in dire poverty: unregistered, malnourished and illiterate.  He brought water and pride and a real purpose in life to these people!


Daniel Elber

Daniel Elber and the villagers doing crafts

And incredible AND credible speaker who had all 37 of us on the edge of our seats.  I’ll try and relate the high points here:

As the introduction says, when Mr. Elber visited Bali, he noticed so many beggars, mothers with one or two small children or babies, begging in Ubud and in the south of Bali.  He discovered that they came from an impoverished are in North Bali.  The village was named Muntigunung.  An incredibly dry area in the north of Bali and he said he experienced a part of the island he would never have believed existed before. It was desert-like without direct access to water and with people living in dire poverty: unregistered, malnourished and illiterate.

So what did he do?  Did he collect some money and send it to them?  NO!  He created a team of folks to go to the area and see what could be done.

After this examination was completed, they decided that the main problem in the area was lack of water.  At that time women walked 3-5 hours a day to collect water.  The amount was about 10 liters per day per person.  The UN recommends 25 liters per day per person.  So their solution was to find a way for them to collect this amount of water in a sustainable way.  No pipes, no pumps, etc.  Number one, with major help of the villagers themselves, they dug pits and installed collection facilities that would hold the 25 liters per person per day to get them through the 11 dry months.  Next they created a cement pad with a large roof that collected all the rain water and sent it to the reservoirs.  The beauty of this solution is that it not only gave them the water they needed throughout the year, but also created a roofed meeting area for the village.  In this meeting area, the mothers and their children had a place to meet and do crafts that could bring in funds to the village.  Also, since the mothers and children stayed in their village, doctors could come and meet the entire village, and even teachers could come!  AMAZING.

Next they added the goal of creating a way for 1 person in each family to earn 1 million rupiah per month (about US$100).  This is an ongoing endeavour and is working well.  The villagers do things like cashew processing, rosella processing, even crafting beautiful hammocks, and more.  And these were done all without machinery.

Also, since the villagers knew the routes from their village over the mountains and down to Ubud and other areas, they started having the women do trekking tours.  The trekking tours from Songan to Muntigunung were initiated as one part of the income generating activities of the overall programme. Many of the women from Muntigunung were walking over the mountains in order to go begging in the south of Bali. This gave him the idea to train and employ them as trekking guides to bring tourists over their former ‘begging path’ to their villages, showing them how they live, how they organize their water supply together with his team, and what kind of products they produce in Muntigunung.

They also set a goal or reducing infant mortality that was currently almost 10% in 5% or less.  Plus, create a way for children to receive an adequate education.

Their next priority was to improve hygiene by motivating the population to build toilets and training the women about safer births, breastfeeding and nutrition.

And the forth pillar of his work is village development, where they organize workshops to develop the skills of the villagers to approach their government concerning registration, the needed infrastructure, and to implement the understanding that sending children to school is beneficial.

More here: http://indonesiaexpat.biz/meet-the-expats/meet-the-expat-daniel-elber/


After Allan sold over 1.5M raffle tickets, the most ever collected during a club meeting raffle, the raffle was won by Ray Bishop and the prize was one of our Rotary Cookbooks.

The meeting was called promptly at 7PM.  Daniel agreed to stay late to answer any questions.

Next Meetings:

Board meeting – 6 Feb at Kakiang Garden Café on Jl. Andong.   Everyone is invited as we will be discussing the actual funding of already approved projects.

Regular meeting – 13 Feb. at Kakiang Garden Café on Jl. Andong


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