Every time you meet someone, you have a chance to change a life.
That is a bold statement. Pause right here, go back and read that again, please. That statement is the takeaway from my meeting/interview with Mrs. Renata of the Kim Foundation here in Bali. Even if you do not read one more word of this blog, I believe I have given you food for thought.
This was to be a simple meet and greet. I was merely checking out the facility. It was to be about the children and what the facility offers the youth in Ubud Bali. Instead, I was graciously offered coffee, nasi goreng (fried rice), and fried bananas.
It was around lunchtime, but I was not expecting any of that. Of course, it was not about the food, there was so much more to our conversation and I felt as if we had known each other for years. While we didn’t change the world, we did come to terms with what is wrong with much of it. Nearly two hours of conversation and it didn’t seem that our conversation about life, changes, and understanding was enough. With that thought, I will be returning in the next few days to see the children and the staff.
What can we offer to others?
Most of us have something we are good at. It could be math, language, geography, or something more personal like singing and dancing. No matter what you are good or bad at, you can offer something so much more. That is your time, compassion, and understanding towards others. This is exactly what I found at the Kim foundation.
Mrs. Renata is from Czechoslovakia and I am from Hungary. Since we were both born in eastern Europe I believe we were raised with very much the same core values. This was pretty evident even though I grew up in Canada.
The best part of the conversation for me was that with her organization, she was and is able to change the future. While this made her pause and even deny this, I believe this to be true. No, she does not have a magic wand. What she does have is patience, caring, love, and compassion towards the children and staff in the organization. This also extends to others around her and it shows.
With this, she gives more than she takes and changes lives in the present, therefore, changing the future. What she takes away is the pain and the stigma that is associated with physically and mentally challenged individuals.
You are accepted and loved just the way you are.
This is what the world needs to come to terms with. This is what the world needs. We need this so we can all live in a better world under better circumstances. This is the butterfly effect for these needy children. With a warm hug and a smile, the children’s future is already brighter.
What does this all mean?
When one travels there will always be some sort of story that pops up. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and other times we simply create great memories.
This could involve people and places or both. Having had the pleasure to have met with Mrs. Renata at the Kim Foundation in Ubud Bali here is my brief backstory.
I had bumped into this organization during a small event they were having at a local restaurant and being a curious person I asked if I could visit, which I did. I am glad I reached out because it is a life-changing story for me as well. Meeting caring and passionate people only adds further to the charm of Bali.
A very unique place.
The Kim Foundation supports the Sari Hati School. An educational facility for children and adults with special needs and Tur Youth Centre. Here they encourage entrepreneurship with social impact.
I was very interested in the Sari Hati School because I have yet to see a special needs facility in Bali.
The facility is much larger than I thought it was going to be. It has a large kitchen and several spots where the children can congregate. From outings to in-house encouragement and daycare. These children are not necessarily in school. This is not a school per se. This is a facility that encourages internal and external acceptance and thrives from encouragement. In this case, the special needs of kids and adults alike are at the forefront, and teaching the locals about this is one of the goals.
Acceptance comes in twofold.
There is an acceptance of oneself and being accepted by others. This is critical. Showing others that being different is okay and is not to be feared.
Accepting yourself and being encouraged to fit in is also part of the program with the outings. Pottery classes, painting, and games that encourage learning and togetherness are also part of the program.
One of the most important and interesting aspects of the program is to grow a sense of self-worth and happiness from within. Each child is encouraged and engaged with another. The individuals that had little to no happiness prior to joining the program are now part of something bigger. These kids and staff are extended family members.
This experience and this meeting come full circle to the statement I so boldly declared above. The next time you have a chance to show kindness, compassion, and understanding to another individual, please give that extra second of your time. You may change a life or two in the process.
If you would like to donate, please follow the link here.
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