Following The Hidden Path of Rural Bali – A Trip to MuntiGunung Community Social Enterprise
November 23 @ 6:00 am - 5:00 pm
High up in the mountain villages of Muntigunung, North East Bali, we were touched by people that live a much less privileged life than most Balinese. We feel fortunate to have found a way to support poor local families to generate income by taking visitors on a beautiful trek. We believe water is the `blue gold of the future. Not without reason. Access to clean drinking water is the foundation for a sustainable future. The Swiss-Indonesian non-prof organization ‘Future for Children’, helps people of Muntigunung to improve their living conditions by providing water catchment systems and enabling them to focus on generating income. With your participation, you directly support this project while enjoying some of Bali’s most spectacular views.
Our award-winning 3-hour trek takes guests through breathtaking landscapes to discover a nearly untouched side of Bali. Apart from beautiful views, visitors also get to see firsthand the employment the social enterprise is creating. Members of the community have been trained as guides to lead treks from the top of Lake Batur’s caldera down to the plains of the north coast. The trek starts with an ascent for around an hour to a vantage point with spectacular views of the entire caldera. The trail then descends towards Bali’s north coast with time to stop off at the villages to see the buildings where the community works as part of the social enterprise.
Not only does this employment provide a regular source of income, but it also ensures that the families stay in their village and their children can attend school.
Accompanied by experienced, English-speaking guides and villagers, you will enjoy a part of the island that most Balinese are not even aware of. Learn about the challenges locals face and how help is provided while enjoying the tranquility of this remote area and stunning views of Lake Batur and the Indian Ocean.
Around lunchtime, we will relax near the beach and enjoy a delicious meal before heading back to Green School.
5.40 AM* – Departure from Green School Parking lot
7.45 AM – Start trek. We take frequent breaks.
10.45 AM – Visit two of the uppermost villages and learn about their handy-craft projects.
11.30 AM – Drive downwards to visit The Development Center.
12.30 PM – Drive to the coastline.
1 PM – Lunch and time to relax and take a refreshing dip into the sea.
3 PM – Drive back to Green School
Expect a lot of sunshine. Make sure you are in good physical condition and in order to protect yourself from the heat, please bring the following:
• Sports shoes
• Comfortable clothing, light sweater and/
or light raincoat
• Sun protection (hat, lotion, sunglasses)
• Bathing suit
• Daypack to carry water
Please do not give money or other goods to the villagers. The guides are being paid by us. You may directly contribute to our cause by purchasing products. Or if you want to contribute further, please contact us: email@example.com
MUNTIGUNUNG COMMUNITY SOCIAL ENTERPRISE HISTORY
Daniel Elber was a successful banker for 35 years before he finally gave it all up to focus his life on helping the underprivileged. With a feeling that his job was not fitting him well anymore, he decided to take a year off, go to Bali and think about what to do with the future. It was there that he encountered women begging for something to eat with their children in tow. He knew that the people of Bali were very community-oriented and did not understand why they would not help the people he saw on the street.
During this time, he visited Northern Bali and when to an island known as Muntigunung. This island has the features of a desert and has no access to fresh water. The people there live in poverty, are malnourished, unregistered, and illiterate. Daniel Elber decided to get help for these people.
The first thing that he did was to organize an assessment, which showed that the problems associated with this part of Bali could indeed be solved. There were 6,000 people living in 36 villages that needed to be taken care of using a long-term holistic approach. The objectives that were set included the following:
- To ensure that all the children were adequately educated
- To reduce the 9% mortality rate by half
- To ensure that the adults were also educated and to make sure that each family had at least one job with an income of at least one hundred dollars a month
- To provide the people with at least 25 liters of fresh water for each individual daily
Daniel was able to rally financial support from Switzerland but also began organizing trekking tours that became part of his organizations income-generating activities. They bring people from Songan to Muntigunung who are led through the old ‘begging path’ by the same women who used to walk it on their way to South Bali to beg. These women are now trained and employed as trekking guides. The women show the tourists their way of life, how together with Daniel’s team they organize the supply of water to the village and the various products that they make in their villages.
To further help the people in this area, Daniel Elber and his team are looking to do the following:
- Construct a large water tank where the people can get their water and teach them how to purify it
- Carry out a skills-building exercise so as to increase the employability of the villagers
- To enhance hygiene through various programs including building toilets
- Village development to teach the villagers how they can organize themselves and approach the Balinese government for registration, infrastructure, schools, and the like