East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP)


Mission Statement

Vision: That every child in rural Indonesia has access to good healthcare, nutrition, education, clean water, sanitation and opportunities to achieve his/her full potential and empower others
Mission: To create sustainable solutions to poverty in rural Indonesia mountain village prioritizing the health, nutrition and education of children.


The East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) is a non-profit organisation established in July 1998 by a British resident of Bali after an appeal for help by the 19 communities of Desa Ban, an isolated 7,200Ha East Bali mountain village, forgotten by time and progress.Commitments made at the outset of full community participation and bottom-up stakeholder led structured sustainable development established the foundation for mutual trust and belief with and between the 19 communities.
The whole village was first engaged in 1998 by conducting participatory community surveys with 1,056 of the 3,000+ families in the 19 scattered sub-villages, which revealed thousands of people living without water, sanitation, roads, schools, health facilities, electricity or suitable nutrition sources due to their steep and sandy farmland that could only sustain seasonal cassava, corn and peanuts crops. The conditions across the communities exhibited abject poverty, poor health with widespread skin diseases, 85%-100% illiteracy, high child malnutrition, 85% goitres from endemic iodine deficiency disorders (the highest in Indonesia and perhaps anywhere) with abnormally high rates of cretinism (iodine being the essential nutrient for healthy child births, brain and body development), an average 30% child mortality before the age of 1 year, depending on hamlet, poor diet, and totally inadequate water and track access.
When interviewed in November 1998 to determine their priorities if EBPP could help, over 1,000 families in the most isolated communities requested children's education, better farming techniques, health facilities and a clean water supply as a foundation for a better future. An inspiring and productive collaboration then began with the most isolated communities at the highest elevations working together to build the first road from the saddle between Mt Agung and Mt Abang to Daya hamlet in 1999-2000.This provided the first access in history for thousands of people to leave the village - and for knowledge and supplies to come in. This was followed by additional 20km of cement stabilised access roads, built by the 6 most remote communities applying the Indonesian gotong royong system (communities working together for mutual benefit) from 2000-2009 enabling communities to visualise positive change for present and future generations and provide better access for the project team to engage with knowledge and appropriate technology transfer. (see our 1999 video)
School curricula were designed to address local needs with topics included for healthy lifestyles including safe water consumption, hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, art, crafts, music and Balinese dance classes. From education as a foundation, with 6 schools established from 1999-2007, we partnered with INGO’s local NGO’s, regional government and the private sector and initiated 27 monthly community outreach health posts (posyandu) in 2003, safe water resources from rainwater harvesting, mountain springs and deep wells (2001-2013) and sanitation facilities (2010+). Newly educated students were the major catalyst for positive change, and we now see students graduate and enrol to universities, healthier communities and entrepreneurs emerging from the previously most isolated and impoverished communities.
Stabilising of steep volcanic ash slopes, a key priority not only for the durability of new access roads built on ridges, but also to develop previously unused land plots to cultivate new nutritious vegetable crops to enhance diets, was enabled by introducing Vetiver grass (Chrysopogen zizanioides) in March 2000, its deep roots and dense hedges preventing erosion and conserving valuable soil and water. This was incorporated to all schools’ curricula, enabling children in all 6 EBPP schools to create organic vegetable gardens on nearby steep land, grow their own nutritious lunches and teach their parents – who learnt from their children and developed kitchen gardens for family nutrition.
In 2006, we launched our most important environmental initiative: sustainable bamboo reforestation for environment rehabilitation, community social and economic development. In partnership with the late Ms Linda Garland’s Environmental Bamboo Foundation, we provided bamboo clump management training to our core local team and distributed 80,000 bamboo seedlings (sufficient for 200 hectares) to 9 of our communities for planting to harness human and natural resources for mutual benefit with potential to provide sustainable livelihoods for present and future generations whilst ensuring preservation of the local environment and rehabilitating ecosystems, with the added benefit of carbon sequestration.
With the philosophy of “helping people to help themselves”, all programmes are designed as models that can be replicated, and executed by local people who directly transfer knowledge and appropriate technology within their communities.

Program Details

Road/communications infrastructure–facilitating two and/or four wheel vehicular access to enable(a) faster and safer transport of cattle (the people’s ‘bank’) and cash crops to market, access to buy food to improve their diet from only cassava and corn, and essential supplies and, for those in urgent need of medical attention, such as mothers in labour and chronically sick people, (b) better access for children going to schools from the upper hamlets, (c) general prospects for improvement to quality of life and self-esteem, and (d) better prospects for getting government to provide additional road infrastructure, water, toilets and provide all other essential facilities and resources to improve community access and reduce dependency on NGO support
Children’s Education – the provision of relevant and integrated academic and extra-curricular education from elementary to senior high school in six EBPP schools in the most isolated and disadvantaged hamlets with total community participation in all processes including construction and maintenance of the school buildings, which we call “community learning and development centres” – because they were built and are owned by the respective communities. Since the outset, the curricula have been tailored to the communities’ needs and in addition to the government academic curriculum, incorporate additional modules of creative art, music, dance, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and environmental education.
Youth Empowerment courses – A series of youth empowerment programmes since July 2015, sponsored by EMpower, The Emerging Markets Foundation, to unlock the potential of all our junior and senior high school students to change their lives and lead change in their communities and the world around them. All courses are carefully designed, in consultation with students and communities, to open their minds to limitless possibilities and improved social skills, with the following modules: nutrition classes learning to combat malnutrition and stunting within their communities, reproductive health including HIV & AIDS segments, hands-on nutrition status evaluation at community health posts (posyandu), bamboo skills development and handicraft production, financial and computer literacy including professional IT training, business plan development, gender equality, university and job readiness training, leadership skills and presentations to local and regional government appealing for improved infrastructure, housing, etc.
Malnutrition– targeting infant and child malnutrition by providing (a) nutrition supplements to 0-5 year old infants and counselling mothers on dietary needs, depending on infants’ age, and (b) providing daily nutritious school meals at EBPP schools and educating all children in developing organic vegetable school gardens where school children teach their parents, leading to rapid decline of malnutrition
Maternal and child health care and general community health outreach – developing comprehensive maternal and child health care and health education, including annual dental and ENT care, facial deformities interventions, support for the chronically ill, physiotherapy and first aid training for students and communities.
Clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) – the provision of clean safe water from sanitary rainwater harvesting, remote mountain springs and rehabilitated artesian wells; hygiene education and awareness for all schools and communities; and improved sanitation by introduction of first ever toilet/bathroom blocks for each household, with Asiatic squat toilets, septic tank & soak away systems
Environmental restoration - environmental rehabilitation of the steep and arid mountain slopes by the use of vetiver grass for slope stabilization and soil erosion control and by carefully designed community owned bamboo reforestation for (a) watershed and ecosystem revitalisation, (b) climatic improvements, (c) carbon sequestration and (d) community economic development from sustainable bamboo businesses
Social Enterprise - East Bali Bamboo Bikes: In 2016, the East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) launched East Bali Bamboo Bikes (www.eastbalibamboobikes.com ) asa social enterprise to create sustainable bamboo livelihoods and provide jobs for high school graduates and other unemployed youth, building on the bamboo skills developed since 2006, to benefit the isolated and impoverished communities of Desa Ban in East Bali. Products designed and built include five bamboo bike models, bamboo wheelchairs for disabled children and various hand built products from laminated bamboo.
Natural Disaster Response and Management:
1. Bali Volcano (Mount Agung) crisis response 2017-2019: Assisted Sept 2017 evacuations of all 3,600 families from 19 Ban village hamlets and distributed essential health, food and education supplies, provided comprehensive health and infant nutrition support, emergency housing and toilets to evacuees in 104 evacuation camps in 5 regencies of Bali;
· February 2018: Built temporary camp in northern village of Tianyar Timor, comprising 16 buildings including: studentdormitories, classrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, offices, stores and bamboo workshop.
January-May 2019: Built first 20 of 300 planned temporary 24 sq.m. bamboo A-frame houses in preparation for further evacuations as Mt. Agung eruptions continue for the 300 families of the 3 Ban village hamlets of Cegi, Pengalusan and Pucang, sited only 5km from Mount Agung Volcano Crater.
2. Lombok August 2018 Earthquakes Response Supporting Ban village victims: Provided 127 temporary homes & 100 family kitchens for families affected by the Lombok earthquake that damaged more than 340 buildings in Ban village.
Primary Issue
Secondary Issue
J1. Tunjung Sari No. 2YZ Padangsambian Kaja
Denpasar, Bali 80117
Social Media Links


Supporting Members