Help Gusti Community in Bali Survive Covid
Right now Bali has been hit tragically hard from Covid. We rely on tourism and with no tourists many of us cannot put food on the table.Auckland
My name is Gusti Gede Gunung - people call me Big Gusti.
I am a driver, and a survivor.
I work as a tour guide in Bali, and am passionate about showing the ‘real’ Bali, steeped in a magical culture and history.
I love sharing the real stories of Bali with people who visit this magical island. Of how Bali came to be what it is today over millions of years.
It is a country of special energies and vibrations that people feel when they visit places here, like Mount Agung, or the healing waters at Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Water Temple),where tourists from all over the world come to soak in its special powers, bathing alongside the people of Bali.
My people are in crisis at the moment since Covid-19 closures means that many of us have lost businesses, jobs and income and are now struggling to feed the children and keep roofs over our heads.
The prospect of finding any work on an island that is centred around tourism is now non-existent. Most food and basic supplies have started to run short, as they are imported and there are no pricing restrictions when that food becomes available.
But as I said, I am a survivor against the odds I got where I am today and so I have come up with a plan to help the drivers survive and also to help others.
I have a team of 25 drivers who I have trained and helped get into the Bali tourism industry. I believe in sharing the lessons I have learned in life with others. To help lift people up from whatever challenges they face.
Whether you are born into poverty or riches, we can all pool our knowledge and resources to make sure no one is left behind.
So my plan is to deliver food packages to my drivers’ families and to their community that need it the most. With them fed, I will keep the chain going so that his drivers can then deliver the food packs to other families in their communities including my own impoverished village, Karangasem, as a young boy born in the impoverished village of Karangasem, about 20 kilometres from Mount Agung, it’s now a tourist hot spot where people climb from 3am to reach the sunrise at the top.
My family couldn’t afford to send me to school so I was sponsored by charity up to high school. Back in 1985, with no hope of attending high school, one of my school friend’s father used his connections to get me into the tourism industry,
I started off working in a small hotel in Kuta and over the years worked in other hotels including in Legian and Nusa Lembongan.
After getting married in 1988, I decided to switch to driving to be nearer to my family and worked for the first ever metre taxi in Bali called Praja Taxi.
Over time I saved to buy my own van to take people sightseeing to the special spots around Bali. I worked hard and built up clients and now .I employ over 25 drivers and have created jobs for them by helping them get loans for cars and to drive and be tour guides in Bali. We are now facing losing everything due to Covid.
We look forward to showing you our beautiful Bali again, but until then we need your help.”
If you wish to help with our Karma Kitchen Meals on Wheels to provide free meals to Balinese families due to Covid, please visit my other page: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-feed-a-family-with-karma-kitchen-meals-on
Janine Hall's involvement (page creator)
Gusti is an old friend whom I have known since I moved to Bali 11 years ago.
Use of funds
Go directly to the Gusti Community in the form of food parcels.
Thanks so much for all those who have donated to support Gusti and his community. We have managed to feed these families for 3 months and keep food on the table thanks to you. As there is no plans to reopen Bali until at the earliest, September, we are bracing ourselves to survive until then. This is why we have increased the goal to $10,000. If you are able, please can you make another donation? Every bit helps and so far it has meant, several families with young babies can now afford milk, nappies and basic food. It has meant that all Gusti's drivers can provide food for their families despite having no income and its meant that there is much needed nutritional sustenance amongst their community.
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This page was created on 9 May 2020 and closes on 10 Nov 2020.