Back in 2004 Muntigunung was one of the poorest areas in Bali. It was rather inhospitable – simple bamboo huts dotted a dry, brown landscape that had nothing in common with the lush, tropical, touristy South of Bali. Families had no access to water and had to walk for an average of four hours just to fetch water. There were hardly any employment opportunities and the intense long dry season prevented the cultivation of agricultural produce for most of the year. This forced many women and children of Muntigunung to beg in the tourist areas in the south of the island to ensure their survival. As many people in the community relied on income from begging, they used their children as “emotional sales support” with the consequence that these children didn’t attend school, resulting in a continuous cycle of illiteracy and poverty.
A Holistic, Sustainable Approach
In 2006, in an effort to provide a more sustainable and brighter future for the Muntigunung community, Future for Children – a Swiss backed NGO, together with Yayasan Dian Desa, initiated the Muntigunung Community Development Program.
By working alongside the community, specially designed roofs were constructed to harvest and store rainwater in tanks to provide a year-round water supply. After securing and maintaining clean water for every household, the aim was to support the community in accessing healthcare and education and creating employment and economic opportunities through social enterprises. Over the course of several years, child mortality was reduced from 9% to 0%, sanitary facilities were built by the community and access to public healthcare and education facilitated. Three social enterprises were established to develop the area’s economy: Muntigunung Community Social Enterprise (Food), Muntigunung Community Social Handicrafts Enterprise and Muntigunung Trekking.
Today, the buildings initially built to harvest rainwater not only provide water, but also function as communal spaces for the residents and production centers for the social enterprises to process food products and produce handicrafts.
Whenever possible, our social enterprises purchase raw materials at fair prices directly from the farmers in Muntigunung. We also work together with them to increase their agricultural yield and introduce drought resistant plants such as for example moringa.
Creating a Sense of Pride
Profits from our social enterprises are reinvested, creating more job opportunities within the local area. Being able to work and earn a dignified income creates a sense of pride and enables families to stay together and be role models to their growing children without having to leave their community.
By purchasing our products, you not only hold a beautiful, high quality product in your hands, you are also providing the people of Muntigunung with a brighter, sustainable future.