Two member properties of Design Hotels, Alila Ubud and Alila Manggis, have set standards in social responsibility by supporting a local community in need. Far removed from the images of paradise we usually associate with Bali, a remote mountain village is emerging from abject poverty with the support of the East Bali Poverty Project.
The project was founded in 1998 by David Booth, a long time resident of Indonesia, to help a community of over two thousand families living in near isolation. The village had no water supply, roads or electricity, children who were malnourished and illiterate, and no healthcare nearer than a two-hour walk across rough mountain terrain.
The villagers’ biggest wish was education for their children as a means to stop the cycle of poverty and create a self-sufficient future. In response, the East Bali Poverty Project was born with a mission, “to empower illiterate and malnourished children, reduce poverty and promote culturally and ecologically sensitive sustainable development.”
Education has been the cornerstone of change. In addition to academic studies, the children learn practical skills related to health, sanitation, nutrition and sustainable organic farming. Financial aid is also provided each month to ensure villagers can enjoy basic amenities.
The project depends on the ongoing involvement and contributions of the local community as a whole, of which Alila’s Bali resorts consider themselves very much a part. Donating proceeds from art exhibitions and organising a field trip for the children to celebrate their graduation are just some of the ways the resorts have supported the project over the years.
Hotel guests are also invited to learn more, make a donation or offer support in other ways. A holiday at these properties can be a meaningful and enriching experience, providing real insights into the destination, its people and the challenges they face.
For Alila’s Bali resorts, involvement in the East Bali Poverty Project is part of a larger commitment to the environment and sustainable tourism. Both resorts are “Green Globe Certified”. Alila Ubud was awarded best practice results in waste recycling, managing to recycle 80% of its water consumption. Alila Manggis excelled in reducing water and electricity consumption, as well as contributing to the community by employing 85% of its staff from within 20km of the resort site.