In 2005 Brad met a 9 year old boy living on the streets of Kuta, begging for money. The boy asked Brad if he could come and live with him, get away from the streets and start going back to school.
At the time Siska was pregnant with their first baby and they were living in a small house. They both felt it was unwise to take the boy in.
Brad met with him again and heartbreakingly had to explain that they couldn't help. This left Brad & Siska with a deep desire to find a way in which they could help, not just this boy, but all the street children of Bali, Indonesia.
Brad returned to Australia and shared at his home Church his desire to set up a children's home in Bali. A visiting businessman just passing through was challenged by what was said, wrote a cheque for AU$17,000, and Bali Life was born!
A suitable property was found and the first two children, two boys aged 8 and 5, arrived in November 2006. The BaliLife family has grown steadily over the years. The home now houses 20 children from a variety of backgrounds and places in Indonesia, and four Indonesian staff.
The home has been developed to be as self sustaining as possible and in 2008 we set up our own farmland and chicken coup where our goal is to provide and egg every day for each child. Our efforts and successes in this have been a great example to the local community around the home, particularly as the area we live in is very dry and arid.
We have recognised the need to provide the practical skills to the children in our care that will allow them to gain good jobs when the time comes to leave. This has led to the development of a training workshop programme where the children learn English, IT, agriculture, cooking, music, art, dance and sport.
In March of 2010 we were approached by a Balinese lady who had found a child on the streets in a bad condition. She had nursed him back to health and now needed to find a permanent place for him to stay. We were glad to give him our last bed. The more we have spent time with this boy the more we are convinced that this is the same boy that Brad met briefly in 2005, the one who inspired the birth of the children's home. It seems almost too good to be true, but it is such a fitting way to close the first chapter of Bali Life.
To the future