Happiness at a Bali Orphanage

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46 deaf, mute and/or disabled children. Two small, single-family homes. One set of parents.

This is the sad reality of a Balinese orphanage about 30 minutes away from NOVICA’s Bali office. 25 boys and 21 girls cram into 4 small rooms. There are not enough beds for them all… some sleep on a blanket on the floor, others share a bed with three other children. When it rains, buckets are placed on the bunk beds and the kids sleep on the ground. The situation can best be described as dire… yet, as we see time and time again, the kids remain positive and even hopeful.

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This privately-funded orphanage was the recipient of NOVICA’s Happiness Project… and wow, did they need it. All of NOVICA’s Bali office workers joined in to give the kids a fun field trip, and the two homes a much needed make-over. Artisans BuanaPutu Gede DarmawanHenry Anthony SannyWayan GandungKenariPeduli BaliNyoman RenaAgus SuryantoMayda, Dewa de Wardana, and Zayd Makarim all pitched in too.

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First, the kids were bused after school to a nearby park to see monkeys in the wild. They had never been there before, and the monkeys didn’t disappoint.

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Next, the kids went to a local art museum, also for the first time. Some of the children especially like to draw and paint, and so this was an eye-opening experience for them.

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While the kids were off having fun, NOVICA’s crew got to work. The roof and ceiling were repaired and racks were added to create more space throughout the homes. A small laundry room with open drainage got a make over, a sewing machine was set up, and the walls were repainted. Old, ripped bedding was recycled and new sheets, blankets, pillows were put on the beds. Furniture was re-arranged to create more space and photographs of all the children and all the certificates that they received were framed and hung on the walls. It was a race to the finish!

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When the kids got back, they were amazed and surprised at the make-over! They had another surprise coming to them as well: pounds of clothes and painting supplies.

While the kids remain in tight quarters, the space is spruced up and the kids have better conditions to live, especially during the upcoming rainy season. We were surprised at how happy the kids were despite their circumstances. We plan to follow up with them periodically- the joy they have is infectious!

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The girls performing a traditional Balinese dance for us!

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