An estimated 202,000 people are experiencing poverty in Bali, and as COVID-19 continues to take its toll, that number is only expected to rise. With limited funding going to local governments, many people struggle to access the housing, electricity, water and other basic services they need. But for the most vulnerable groups, including women and people with disabilities, their voices often go unheard in village decision-making processes, further compounding the challenges they face.
That’s why UnitingWorld is working with Maha Bhoga Marga Foundation (MBM) to build the confidence and skills of vulnerable groups to participate in village governance and advocate for their rights.
By equipping vulnerable people to monitor the funds allocated to their village through the Village Development Program, and investing in vocational training, health services and grassroots advocacy, this project has seen greater representation of women, people with disabilities and poor families in targeted villages and increased distribution of local government budgets towards their specific needs.
Across 29 villages, at least 13,300 people now benefit from this work. Kadek is one of them. With the support of MBM and UnitingWorld, Kadek advocated on behalf of a group of poor families to receive goats and pig cages so they could earn a living. Doubling his income through the program, Kadek has now bought a home for his family and is ready to send his two children to college.
“Before joining in a group, I never attended or being invited in any village meetings,” Kadek said. “Now, I am invited as a group leader. My confidence is growing since I also received some training from MBM and I often lead group meetings.”
Photo caption: UnitingWorld partner MBM hosts monthly group meetings for community members who are often overlooked, providing training and technical assistance to help them participate in village governance.
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, we’re making a huge difference together; lifting families out of poverty and helping people improve their lives.