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Expat Choice has contributors all over the globe. Today we focus on Bali. Our members and readers in Bali are working tirelessly to generate funds to purchase necessary supplies to feed the starving Balinese. 

As Covid-19 hushed the world, on 31 March 2020 Indonesia implemented travel restrictions and safety regulations to help stop the virus’ spread. The aftermath being nothing short of devastating. In Canggu Bali, a couple of expats sat on their scooters, strapped with surfboards and stared at the gate of a closed beach.

Rather than wallow in disappointment from being denied waves, they felt these pandemic precautions would lead to a much bigger crisis for their beloved community. Without tourism, most locals would be out of work and without means to feed their families.

A conversation grew within days to create Bali Aid, a grassroots effort to give back to the people of Bali. “Many of us choose to call Bali home, not just because of its lush tropical atmosphere rather the beauty of the people who have nourished our souls.” Kylie Butler co-founder Bali Aid.

Bali Aid 2020

Bali Aid’s intentions to be a trustworthy organization putting do-good dollars to work, partnered with two registered Yayasans, nonprofits approved by the government.

One of which, Scholars Of Sustenance SOS have successfully optimized food redistribution in Bali since 2016 with their dedicated team, kitchens, trucks and infrastructure already on the ground.

SOS not only provides meals to remote villages, orphanages, and city centers, they also positively contribute to education and the environment.

Yet in the wake of Covid-19, SOS faced a predicament, since they received surplus food from restaurants, caterers and events that were nonexistent, thus there was no food to rescue.

Bali Aid 2020 began their Go Fund Me to directly raise money for SOS enabling them to continue delivering meals to those who need it most. So far, donations have allowed SOS to serve on average 7500 meals per day with the biggest distribution in a single day being 38,000 meals. 

Bali Aid 2020

SOS called on their relationships with suppliers who had empty refrigerators and happily put them to use in local markets. Currently there are 11 fridges collecting food donations which SOS distributes.

Bali Buda markets in Canggu and Kerobokan host these fridges, sell branded water bottles and collect cash from a donation box on the counter to support Bali Aid 2020.

Contributions from local and international businesses’ have helped raise awareness by co-creating cinematic videos. Professionally produced by Bali Aid partner, One Light of co-branded stories to watch donation dollars in action.

Bali Aid 2020

Bali Aid initially tackled the immediate need to feed people, yet understands deeper issues are necessary to address for meaningful impact. In 1950 the population of Bali was 61,068, in 2000, 3.15 million, in 2015, 3.89 million and close to 4 million today.

For the past decade an average population growth of 2 percent annually presents challenges for proper waste distribution, food and water supply.

Classroom of Hope, a non-profit organization providing access to quality education in developing countries, chose to support Bali Aid and their generosity will enable water filtration systems.

Bali Aid has partnered with Taman Sanja, IDEP and Seeds of Change providing permaculture, preservation of land and planting seeds. Selling off fertile land for more lucrative building poses a threat to sever true sustainability and tradition.

Bali Aid assists with ecological efforts for farmers to continue harvesting with respect for their culture and standard of living. 

Bali Aid 2020

Covid-19 brought awareness to problems of food scarcity, while Bali Aid is committed to implement long term strategies to ensure food security. Bali Aid’s logo colors of red, black and white represent the traditional Trim Datu bracelets, symbolizing the circle of life, death and rebirth.

Reciprocity has been shown from around the world between businesses, locals and the expat community, all helping one another pivot in this pandemic.

Bali Aid is honored to help the Bali people’s example of resilience, devotion, hardwork and love. “Many of us Expats admire the Balinese way of life, while this virus has posed a temporary set-back from tourism, it has enabled opportunities to restructure systems in alignment with Bali’s traditions and values for future generations,” Bali Aid 2020 team member.


24 June 2020
Fantastic article. Thanks for sharing!


Kylie Butler
1 comment
23 June 2020
BALI AID 2020 is a initiative set up to provide and distribute food to those that need it most. We work closely with Scholars of Sustenance who been active in Bali since 2016, helping impoverished communities with food donations. SOS has the know-how and the right contacts to ensure that every donation is delivered exactly where it needs to be. WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO Every monetary donation goes directly towards buying and distributing food to the communities who need it most. We collaborate with local farmers, market vendors, and retailers to ensure the best price and nutritional value. SOS has their own trucks for direct distribution. We also install community fridges (where people can store their surplus food for those in more need). BALI AID 2020 is volunteer-based, meaning no money raised through this campaign will be used for operations other than stated above.