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Change Makers

Welcome to our #UWRF23 Change Makers blog series! This series will feature monthly articles highlighting the works of the most prominent social activists in Bali, focusing on those who have the ingenuity to come up with creative solutions to the island’s most complex and pressing social problems.

This series is a documentation of our monthly talk show program, Change Makers: A Night of Inspiring Conversation, organised by the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

We believe that intellectual endeavours like reading and writing should also be followed by concrete actions. We can all be agents of change to protect Bali’s environment, its social fabric, and culture. Read our articles and join our talk show programs to find out how you can do your bit!

Making a Positive Change Through Education. Sunday, 11 June, 6:30-8PM at Indus Restaurant.

Meet Rucina Ballinger, a cultural icon and pioneer of education in Bali, who has dedicated her life to the non-profit sector and the people of Les village. As one of the Co-Founders of the Amisewaka-Desa Les Community Center—an educational institution in Les village, Buleleng—her goal is to close the education gap by providing quality, inclusive tuition to less fortunate youth in North Bali.

Due to the concentration of tourism schools and vocational centres in the southern region of Bali, those living in remote northern areas lack access to tertiary education. The Amisewaka-Desa Les Community Center is determined to bring about positive change and empower underprivileged Senior School graduates with limited opportunities. They do so by equipping them with hospitality, computer, English, organic farming, and entrepreneurial skills, thus helping improve their welfare and create a better life. Their approach to education, set in an architecturally designed building, combines traditional and modern methods, paving the way for a new generation of leaders.

Join us on Sunday, 11 June, at Indus to listen to Rucina’s inspirational story.

Bali’s Battle Against Plastic – Change Makers Protecting Water Resources

On Thursday, 11 May we organised our second Change Maker event, discussing Bali’s water resources protection. It featured Gary Benchegib, the co-founder of Sungai Watch, which organises river cleanups around Bali, and Rili Djohani, the founder and director of Coral Triangle Centre (CTC), an organisation dedicating itself to protecting marine ecosystems in Bali and beyond. The speakers helped the audience understand the complexity of water ecosystem protection and plastic waste management.

If you’re curious to understand more about the how to protect our water resources and what our Change Makers series are about, read our latest blog article by clicking the link below:

Niluh Djelantik’s Tireless Fight to Promote Ethical Tourism in Bali

On Thursday, 13 April, we had our first Change Maker event, featuring a very special guest—Niluh Djelantik. She is Bali’s fearless changemaker who single-handedly fights to call out problematic foreigners and promote ethical tourism in Bali. The full house event attended by Bali’s local and foreign long-term residents was an intimate and stimulating conversation, and they showed genuine concern for this island’s future. Niluh herself seemed to also be moved by the discussion’s ambience, and she posted an Instagram reel with a caption saying: “Happy to be around the foreign nationals who sincerely love Bali”.

If you’re curious to read about her tips on how to promote ethical tourism in Bali, read our latest blog article by clicking the link below: