Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset – A Profile
There are over 46,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide. These clubs are organized into roughly 535 Rotary Districts worldwide. There are two Rotary Districts in Indonesia, Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset [RCBUS] is in the Eastern District, Rotary District 3420 with approximately 20 other Rotary Clubs.
Are all Rotary Clubs the same? The answer is a definite no. All Rotary Clubs are based on service and fundraising to be able to provide those services, but similarities stop there. In District 3420, some clubs’ memberships are comprised of only Indonesians, some are comprised on only expats, and a few are comprised of both Indonesians and expats. Some clubs have mainly female members: others have more males than females. Some clubs are comprised of retirees while others include those still employed. Each club is free to choose the projects that it supports.
RCBUS currently has 15 members who consider themselves “people of action” who “serve to change live.” We are considered a mid-sized club. Seven of our members are native Indonesians. Eight members are expats from Australia, Germany, or the United States. In fact, 4 of those members are currently abroad in either Australia or the United States, unable to return to Bali. Of those 4, those who choose to, participate in our meeting via Zoom. Nine of our members are female: 6 are male. Six of our members are fully retired or part-time consultants. Every other member is working full-time. Five of those working are business owners. Our 15 members have combined experience in education, finance, hospitality, health services, marketing, medicine, not for profit management, property management, and retail.
RCBUS also supports a Rotaract Club. Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18 to 30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service. Rotaract members decide how to organize and run their clubs, manage their own funds, and plan and carry out activities and service projects. Rotary club sponsors offer guidance and support. RCBUS’ Rotaract club has 7 members. Some are students and some are professionals. Four of RCBUS’ current members were Rotaract members before they joined our club.
So what unites such a diverse group of people? When I asked the membership that question, the answers were very consistent. All of the answers I received were some variation of, “I like giving back to the community with other like-minded, socially responsible people of all ages and backgrounds!” One of our members went so far as to say, “Doing a social [giving back to the community] thing’s is my life satisfaction.”
How does RCBUS give back to the community? And exactly what is the RCBUS community? The community that RCBUS serves reaches far beyond the confines of Ubud. Not only do we have projects in Ubud, but we also have projects in Karangasem Regency and East Kalimantan. We are currently considering supporting a project in West Lombok. We partner with local NGOs such as the John Fawcett Foundation. We also partner with other Rotary Clubs worldwide. They include Rotary Club E-Cologne in Germany, Rotary Clubs Tucson Sunrise and New Tampa Noon in the United States, and Rotary Clubs Alfredton and Seaford in Australia.
Projects in the immediate Ubud area include Sewing for Living, book and school supply distribution, and food distribution to those in need. RCBUS’ Sewing for Living teaches local women to sew using sewing machines and crochet. Balinese women have always had multiple jobs: take care children and family, doing all the housework, providing help to the community, and assisting at temple and cultural events, among other duties. It is important for women to make their own money, not only for their self-esteem, but to enable each of them to support her entire family. Sewing For Living teaches marketable skills that women can use from their homes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of these women are the sole providers for their families. Rotaracts manage the distribution of books and school supplies. Food distribution is based on need.
RCBUS has completed 15 water projects over several years enabling people in remote regions of Eastern Bali to have access to clean water. We are currently working on installing water catchment tanks in Seraya Village in Karangasem Regency to enable families there to have access to clean water. We are evaluating a possible project in West Lombok that would give families access to clean water there.
The Long Sam Program, formerly called The WEHEA Project, rescues and releases orangutans and other endangered animals, restores the forest, and supports economic development in the area of the Sam River, a tributary of the Kelai River in East Kalimantan.
How does RCBUS support these projects financially? We hold fundraisers, ask for donations from individuals and partner clubs, and write grant proposals. Our most successful fundraiser of late was our inaugural Bogies for Bali charity golf tournament held at Handara Golf & Resort Bali. The second annual Bogies for Bali Gold Tournament will take place on 10 September 2022, at Handara. Our projects also collaborate with each other. For instance, the Sewing for Living women crochet toy orangutans. When the toys are sold, half of the money goes directly to the woman who created it. The other half goes to support the Animal Rescue Center on the Kelai River in East Kalimantan. The yarn to make the orangutan toys is donated by individuals and Rotary Clubs in Australia and the United States.
Members of RCBUS are friendly people of action. If you are considering joining RCBUS and would like to attend a meeting to see what we are all about, please contact Marion Hook at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We meet every 2nd Monday and every last Monday of the month at Wedja Restaurant in Mas. If you would like to join this dynamic group of people from four different continents who love Bali and work to help the people who live here, information to do so can be found at http://rotarybaliubudsunset.org/how-to-become-an-rcbus-member/