Kadek, a trained guide on an idGuides community trail in Sebudi. (Photo Courtesy of idGuides)

Hikers to Go on Expedition to Save Bali’s Vulnerable Communities

MARCH 17, 2021

Jakarta. A group of hikers will walk across Bali next month to raise funds for the island’s vulnerable communities, the program organizer and volunteer group Bali Covid-19 Relief Expedition, or BaliCore, announced.

On April 2-11, hikers will embark on a fundraising expedition which spans from Tanah Lot in the southwest to Candidasa in East Bali. BaliCore first initiated the program to save the rural communities of the tourism-reliant island, as Covid-19 has put a halt to international travels. 

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) revealed foreign tourist visits plummeted by around 82 percent from 6.27 million foreign tourists in 2019 to 1.06 million in 2020. This deals a fatal blow to Bali's communities, considering 80 percent of the local economy relies on tourism. 

"The BaliCore team hatched this expedition to raise funds and awareness, by recounting heartbreaking stories that many who love this island have not heard: the conditions under which Bali’s most vulnerable and impoverished communities struggle with food and social welfare insecurities," BaliCore team wrote in a recent official statement.

In this program, BaliCore works alongside Jakarta-based expedition specialist idGuides and local NGOs, namely Solemen Indonesia, Scholars of Sustenance, Kopernik, Social Impakt, and Bali Animal Welfare Association. 

Both idGuides alongside the local communities are still working on the complete route. So far, the walking route passes through Kerambitan, Penebel, Buahan, Penglipuran, Tegallalang, Undisan, Besakih, Sebudi, Sibeten and Tenganan. 

As hikers venture the rocky islands, they will tell the stories of the rural communities in a series of social media documentaries titled “People of Bali”. Funds raised from the expedition will help the island develop sustainable farming efforts and social initiatives. The funds will also boost the food and essential supply for the remote communities, as well as to care for the local stray dogs.

BaliCore estimated $20 can help provide clean drinking water to a family for 3 years.

“While $30 feeds a family for 2 weeks or helps deliver food and medicine to dogs around the island,” BaliCore said.

They will also distribute a portion of the money from GoFundMe campaign among community groups who are in need yet are untouched by the five partner NGOs.

For more information on how to contribute, sponsors and patrons can contact balicore2021@gmail.com or follow @balicore2021 on Instagram and Facebook.