Solemen aims to open eight outreach bases around Bali, one in each provincial regency (kabupaten). Each base will deploy a small medical and administrative team to form close working relationships with each neighbourhood council (banjar) and government-mandated community health clinic (Puskesmas). These relationships access local knowledge and will provide information on and access to vulnerable people with complex health needs that may be hidden away.
People in remote areas often suffer various medical afflictions, such as schizophrenia and other serious and chronic mental health disorders, cerebral palsy and cancer – most without ever receiving treatment. They tend not to access Puskesmas and hospitals due to low socio-economic standing, poor education, and physical remoteness; and, subsequently, place extreme burden on their families. The Solemen outreach bases will bring life-changing health care and social services to these individuals and families.
Stigma is often attached to any perceived abnormality in Indonesia. For example, parents of children with birth defects or disabilities will hide them away, rather than seek medical support or intervention. Families often do not have the money or education to be able to access services. Schizophrenia sufferers are often shackled and / or incarcerated by their families or local village leaders, rather than admitted to a psychiatric facility. Bali Provincial Mental Hospital in Bangli is the only specialist psychiatric facility for assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Government health services are not funded to actively seek out people with low access or high need. Solemen fulfils this role.
Solemen currently services remote communities from its headquarters in Kuta. Two vehicles travel around Bali daily, each with two outreach workers who deliver health care and a variety of social services. However, the response times are exceedingly long due to the distances travelled. Further, staff work long hours in often treacherous environmental conditions. With resources stretched and Solemen staff unable to search for sick or disabled people, many vulnerable people are still denied health care and social services.
A third vehicle picks up “SoleBuddies,” Solemen’s affectionate term for people in their care) and transports them to hospitals, clinics and therapy centres. In addition, two staff are responsible for accompanying SoleBuddies through the hospital system and for supporting inpatients. However, there are far more people in need than resources to support them, with village leaders, families and individuals crying out for help.
Beyond bringing health care to people who may not otherwise have access to it, the Solemen outreach bases will reduce the burden of care for village leaders, families, and the patients themselves.
An example of one the great outcomes Solemen
contributes to is baby Lestari. Solemen’s Outreach Team met Lestari when she was six months old, living in a refugee camp as a result of the volcanic eruption of Mount Agung, and suffering from spina bifida.
Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly. It is a type of neural tube defect. Lestari was on a long waiting list for complex surgery at Sanglah Hospital Bali.
Solemen made an urgent plea for help at a Ducatus function. A private donor funded Lestari’s surgery, bypassing the waiting list at Sanglah by attending Bali Royal Hospital, and averting the risk of lifethreatening complications such as immobility, scoliosis and hydrocephalus. Lestari is now three years old and well recovered. She is meeting her developmental milestones and has monthly checkups to ensure she is receiving adequate nutrition and remains healthy. Solemen still contributes milk supplements and food parcels to support her nutritional intake.
Born with spina bifida, Baby Lestari’s future
would ordinarily have entailed severe disability
and a shortened lifespan. Through the actions
of Solemen’s Outreach Team, she now has the
opportunity for a full and meaningful life.
Each of the Solemen outreach bases will have an administrative office to support the field staff and house the vehicles after hours. Each building must have sufficient office space, staff amenities and patient liaison areas, significant lockable storage space for supplies and equipment, and wheelchair access. The land must be suitable for parking the mobile clinic vehicle, the outreach four-wheel drive ambulance, transport vehicles with manoeuvring space for wheelchairs and a minimum of ten motorcycles; plus, have sufficient turning circle to safely move vehicles in and out of the premises.
The implementation of the eight Solemen outreach bases needs to be staged over three years to leverage the learning from each setup into the next base.
Current relationships with banjars all over Bali will produce options for buildings for lease and will, no doubt, provide some in kind support.
Each base will be fulltime staffed with a paramedic, a nursing assistant with caregiver experience, an office administrator, and a community liaison officer / driver. Whilst the nurse will supervise all outreach activities, overall operations will be controlled from Solemen Headquarters by Outreach Director Sarah Chapman with the support of the Outreach Deputy and the Outreach Coordinator. All base staff will be recruited locally to ensure they have knowledge of the area and connections with Banjars. Field staff will be trained through shadowing the existing outreach team for a minimum three months before being deployed. Formal training includes manual patient handling, first aid, risk assessment,
and communication skills. All drivers must be safe drivers.
There are many charitable organisations (yayasans) offering health related services to impoverished people living in remote regions throughout Bali. Many specialise in a specific medical field, for example, sight restoration, maternal and infant health, mobility rehabilitation, craniofacial disabilities or sensory
disabilities. Solemen often connects people in need with the appropriate yayasan. Although the patient treatment plan may be managed by another yayasan, Solemen may continue to support the patient through transportation, funding, accommodation, monitoring, and social services.
Allied services include:
• Bali Kids (children’s health checks)
• Bumi Sehat (maternal and infant health, childbirth)
• John Fawcett Foundation (sight restoration)
• Kolewa Foundation (children with hearing disabilities)
• Puspadi Bali (formerly Yakkum Bali) (prosthetics, orthotics, wheelchairs, mobility aids and rehabilitation for people with disabilities)
• Yayasan Peduli Kemanusiaan (YPK) Bali (rehabilitation and physical therapy for disability)
• Yayasan Senyum Bali (Smile Foundation) (craniofacial disabilities)
The Solemen Outreach Team meet regularly to assess individuals and families for support – developing plans and treatment pathways for people who would not ordinarily have access to health care.
Each Solemen outreach base will cost approximately IDR 1.6 billion (USD 115,000) to set up and IDR 2.5 billion (USD 175,000) per year to operate.
The total cost for eight bases is IDR 12.8 billion (USD 900,000) to set up and IDR 20 billion (USD 1.4 million) per year to operate.
There are several funding options for the Outreach Base Project, with naming rights available to donors who sponsor an outreach base or an outreach vehicle.
Donors who sponsor a worker will have a plaque with their name engraved on it on display at the outreach base of the sponsored staff member.
Your next step is to contact Solemen’s funding strategy consultant, Robert Epstone to discuss the right sponsorship and donation options for you and your organisation. Robert and his team can look at your social and corporate responsibility plan with you and your team to develop the optimum way to collaborate.
Please contact Robert via email
Office: +62 812 3720 6220
Your contribution will provide care and support for disadvantaged children and adults all over Bali. Even the smallest amount counts
Tax deductible donations are available for Solemen supporters from Australia, the United States and New Zealand when made through the Global Development Group (GDG) website. Options include credit card, PayPal, direct deposit and cheque.