R.O.L.E Foundation Bali
We spoke to the R.O.L.E Foundation Bali a non – profit Humanitarian organization based in Nusa Dua, Bali. They do incredible work with underprivileged people within the community to teach them skills, gain independence and wellbeing with a sustainable environmental model.
R.O.L.E runs a host of learning programmes to empower and educate. BaliWISE teaches literacy and skills to women from disadvantaged backgrounds and groups such as single mothers.
Their sustainability schemes educate in agriculture, community education, town planning and ecotourism. Hosting schoolchildren to teach invaluable eco skills and working with communities to revitalize environmentally damaged landscapes and create sustainable employment in the eco sector.
This wonderful foundation not only empowers those from the most marginal areas of society in Bali, but provides them with a future and a future for the wellbeing of their communities and Bali’s environment.
What Programmes do you run to help tackle waste and encourage sustainability in Bali?
What is your take on the current waste management crisis in Bali and what are your hopes for the future and how does R.O.L.E hope to aid this problem?
R.O.L.E Foundation’s programs aim to create a healthy future for Bali by working in the dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, social, and economic. R.O.L.E focuses to build and develop environmental awareness and assistance, vocational skills and job opportunities, eco-friendly social business, village and farmland services planning and development education.
Regarding waste related issues, we all know how serious the lack of a proper waste management system has become to Bali. All the beautiful beaches, so important to the tourism industry, are being covered with rubbish, a lot of industrial companies just dump their liquid waste into the rivers and ocean, burning garbage is a cultural habit that releases a lot of toxins into the air causing a variety of health problems, etc. These examples are not only a local but a global problem. We are working hard to change this reality.
At R.O.L.E’s Island Sustainability Education Center (ISEC), there is waste management demonstration stations, where we receive waste collected by the Sawangan Banjar, separate it, reuse what we can and send the rest to recycling or another proper final destination.
The “Waste Management Engineer Education Program” teaches permaculture principles and practices that includes reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, and redesign. The students learn how to differentiate types of waste and how a good waste management system works (remember, it starts by reducing consumption!), they do organic gardening (without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers), and teach environmental awareness topics in our Eco-kids educational tour.
As part of the eco-friendly “Social Business Development” program: the women in the “Weaving Futures” program use natural dyes to protect their health and prevent chemicals from entering the environment; the “Soap for Hope” program is all about upcycling hotels and resorts’ waste soap, providing free healthcare access to local communities, schools and orphanages, increasing livelihood and protecting the environment.
ROLE also assists different groups and locations through the Off-Campus projects: the “Beach Cleaners Training” programteaches waste management issues and other environmental awareness topics in 5 different beaches around Bali (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kendonganan, Jimbaran) once a month. The “Waste-to-Wonder: Village and Farmland Development” project in Ngis Village and Komala Village, among other goals, aim to create and maintain clean and sustainable environment for land owners, residents and visitors through a sustainable waste collection and management system.
R.O.L.E runs a number of vocational programmes in your two centres – tell us about the opportunities you offer.
The “BaliWISE Vocational Program” focuses on developing specific work skills and English language, preparing the students for employment in hospitality, retail, fashion industry, restaurants, cooking, agribusiness, tourism services, and administrative sectors; or to generate their own income through environmentally friendly social business, under the umbrella of R.O.L.E or independently. As part of the “BaliWISE Vocational Program”, students can choose to participate in the “Hospitality Course” or the “Women’s Business Development Program”.
The Hospitality course prepares the students for employment in hospitality, tourism services and administrative sectors. It consists on theoretical and practical training at Bali WISE’s classrooms, the Silly Snail Café and Retail Shop; and on-site training at cooperating hotels.
The Women’s Business Development Program provides students the opportunity to experiment and develop work skills in eco-friendly social businesses. A permanent group of former students are responsible for teaching new students and managing each eco-business. The program generates employment and income for local communities through a variety of sustainable activities:
1) Weaving Futures: the program teaches women how to weave, and the significance of native plants used for natural dyes and the techniques involved in this process. ROLE’s Island Sustainability Education Centre (ISEC) facilitates the practice sessions and provides the plants cultivated for dyeing purpose.
2) Health Produce & Products: students learn to turn the produce organically grown in our eco-park into value added health products, such as traditional Jamu (Indonesian health and beauty treatments), Aloe Veragel, and recycled but sanitized soap (Soap for Hope). We also use the produce in cooking classes at the Scenic Warung and to prepare lunch for ROLE’s staff and students.
3) Plant Nursery: the students develop a “Plant Nursery” to supply our garden needs and to commercialize potted plants to generate income for our programs.
Your weaving programme uses natural dyes from the gardens and methods to produce your pieces. Why was using such sustainable and traditional methods important to R.O.L.E?
One of the most important goals of the Weaving Futures Program is to promote and preserve Bali’s cultural heritage through the revival of traditional natural dyes and weaving techniques.
Small scale artisans have historically played an essential role in Balinese society recreating specialised items laden with religious and cultural meanings. The practitioners are usually women battling against fluctuating incomes, increasing costs of materials and lifestyle. Economic factors can be seen as inhibiting these arts, with new generations preferring other employment options and others lacking the finance to establish a viable production base. Traditional weaving and natural dyes techniques are usually passed down orally so that lack of documentation contributes to their loss.
The Weaving Futures Program presents women an alternative for learning job and personal skills and developing an eco-friendly business. By choosing natural dyes techniques, we don’t use chemicals, which are harmful to people’s health and the environment. By learning about dyeing plants, we can work with nature: plant, harvest, extract colors, and fixate colors in a sustainable way and we can become more independent from commercial inputs, obtaining higher profits and not degrading the environment. By stimulating traditional knowledge and local culture, you make local identity and communities stronger, increase tourism and local economy, becoming more secure in a market that sets its priorities in financial terms, showing no respect to people.
Students in the program learn that ethnic and natural organic accessories are a modern fashion trend and there are plenty of opportunities that await them if they learn the proper skills.
What current Ecotourism Programmes are you running?
We put ecotourism into practice at ROLE’s Island Sustainability Education Center (ISEC), a permaculture demonstration site in Sawangan. The Eco-Park provides an attractive and interactive facility for educational visits, in which we discuss different topics for sustainable lifestyles. Attractions:
- Waste management: separation station
- Composting area and potting a seed
- Seed bank, seedling and nursery
- Organic Gardens
- Natural medicines at the Jamu Bar
- Snail farm
- Natural dyes
- Traditional weaving
- Marine Centre and off-campus projects
- Free range ducks
- Renewable energy demonstration
- ROLE’s Classroom
- Soap recycling
- Kids playground
- Eco toilet
- PET bottle construction demonstration
- Warung (restaurant) Scenic
Our Waste Management Engineers are responsible for touring public, private, and special schools, orphanages, and non-profits, as part of our “Children’s Interactive Environment, Diet and Exercise Education Program”. The Eco-kids program teachesawareness of health, diet, nutrition and exercise, and of environmental issues such as differentiation of waste (organic, recyclable and non-recyclable), composting, vermiculture, organic farming, reforestation, protection of species, and more. The objectives are to make students appreciate the interrelatedness of those topics and personal well-being; approach environmental problems through active inquiry, experimentation and observation; adopt more environmentally conscious and energy efficient behavior.
For travelers and locals, while walking through the stations, we present our programs, they can see first-hand where and how it happens, and along we bring some important social and environmental topics to discussion.A variety of workshops related to our programs are also available.
Our students are provided with the skills needed to get successfully employed after graduating and the revenue from the tours helps to maintain the infrastructure available at ISEC.
What future plans are there for Programmes run by R.O.L.E?
Our “Children’s Interactive Environment, Diet and Exercise Education Program” focuses on kids’ Education; the “BaliWISE” and “Social Business Development” programs are about providing women with education, skills development, employment or business opportunities, and access to sustainable income; the “Waste Management Engineer Education Program” aims to develop a healthy and productive environment and urban space using permaculture techniques. Those are our base programs and step by step we’ll continue to develop each one and be able to benefit more and more families, transforming lifestyles towards sustainable development.
Through those programs, we are working to expand future opportunities by: creating different options of courses to the students, such as Fashion, Ecotourism, Nutrition Education and Kitchen Safety, Craftwork, Organic Agribusiness, Organic Landscaping, Project Development & Business Management; and Community Education Trainee Teacher; continually improving English language and computer classes, and employment assistance; developing a scientific research department; increase our human resources and partners team; etc. Well, it is endless (but very rewarding) work!
Tell Us About Some Inspiring Success Stories & Programmes Run by ROLE
Our programs are developing and ROLE is expanding. That is proof of success of all the work being done.
We are very proud of all our students, especially those who became part of ROLE team and are now managing programs and teaching courses and workshops. Our former students: Ibu Made Osiani and Ibu Erna are responsible for teaching and managing the natural dyes and weaving group; Ibu Wayan Sapen takes care of the “Health Produce & Products”, making Jamu and recycling soap, for example; besides taking care of the organic gardens, our Waste Management Engineers have a lot of other responsibilities, Pak Ketut is developing the “Plant Nursery Business”, Made Mulia is the teacher of the “Permaculture Training for Kerobokan Correctional Center Project”, and Edho (Suhendra Abadi) is teaching environmental awareness in the “Beach Cleaners Training Program”, both Made and Edho also teach the “Waste to Wonder – Introduction to Permaculture” course, part of ROLE’s “Waste Management Engineer Education Program”.
Wayan Tucson is another success story for ROLE. Since graduating the “Waste Management Engineer Education Program” (that we used to call “Environmental Ambassador Education Program”), he has returned to Komala, Karangassem, to implement and lead the ‘Waste-to-Wonder Development Project’ in his community
These examples are all Balinese people that can point what is wrong in their country and teach what needs to be done to change it.
Our other success stories are the projects completed and handed over to the local communities, such as:
- Sawangan Pilot Waste-to-Wonder Development Project (Handover 2012): the program assists communities through partnerships (specially with local Banjars) in developing sustainable infrastructure planning; constructing and implementing waste management infrastructure and systems; environmental protection; alleviating poverty by creating markets through sustainable agri/eco-tourism and organic farming development; creating jobs and multiplying trainers/educators.
- Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu (Handover 2012): the project consisted on planning, building and managing solid and liquid waste infrastructure, facilities and associated waste management systems to preserve and bring back to health local ecosystem.
- Padang-Padang Ship-Wreck Clean-Up: in 2008, a Taiwanese fishing boat wrecked on Padang Padang reef. It took ROLE students, staff and volunteers 4 months to clean it from start to finish, carrying the oil, fuel, broken parts, and burnt out fiber glass shell back up and over the back beach cliff.
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