Dear Friends and Supporters,
I sincerely hope this finds you well. We’re living through unprecedented times, and such occasions amplify the importance of compassion, community, and generosity.
Bali is home to a resilient and spirited community, one that has
endured mulitple terrorist attacks and natural disasters. However,
COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout have been devastating.
More than 80% of Bali’s economy relies on tourism and for months
hotels have stood empty, restaurants closed, shops shuttered, and
tour agencies idle. Unfortunately, with recent announcements
indicating that foreign tourists will not be allowed entry until 2021, it
appears that we’re just at the beginning stages of this crisis.
Its very important to understand that in a highly communal developing nation like Indonesia, a single salaried worker is often supporting an entire extended family. Now, as large swaths of workers have been furlouged, and others have seen substantial salary cuts, these networks of dependents are facing dire shortages. People cannot afford food, let alone health care.
Solemen is receiving an increasing number of calls for help, but we no longer have the funds or resources to respond. Hospitality has been our primary sponsorship and donor base, but as they cannot afford to pay their own staff, they’ve been forced to withdraw their support. We need your help. Now.
Ten years ago, I embarked on a 535-kilometre barefoot awareness walk around Bali, pledging to raise $1 million for the poor and differently abled around Bali. This was not a marketing gimmick or attempt at self-aggrandizement. I walked then, as I do today, in solidarity with the countless Balinese enduring extreme financial, medical, psychological, and nutritional risk. Despite being a tourist hub and Instagram Mecca, these populations are often never seen by outsiders. Our journey of solidarity has never stopped and is the basis for our foundation’s name “SoleMen.”
Solemen Foundation has come a long way since its humble beginnings. We are now looking after the daily needs of thousands of “SoleBuddies,” the affectionate term for those we care for. We have a talented Board of Directors, dedicated managers, and a wonderful group of outreach workers, all of which is supported by a lean administrative team. Compassion is the basis for our holistic work, and it carries us through some truly heart wrenching experiences.
From Romania to Albania to Peru, I’ve travelled the world wading into neglected areas to deliver aid and shine a light on the less fortunate. However, COVID-19 has added a layer of complexity and immediacy to our work in Bali that nobody saw coming. As always, we will fight for those in our care, and the communities they’re apart of, so we are taking action.
This document contains SoleMen’s five-year plan – a vision that was in the works long before COVID-19. I appeal to you. Please read through this document and consider how you can support the future of thousands of desperate individuals. How will you include Solemen in your corporate social responsibility initiatives? How can you sponsor one or more of our programs? How can you donate so we can put
more vehicles and more staff in the field to reach the increasing numbers living in extreme risk? COVID-19 reminded the world that without compassion we have nothing. Please join me in looking after those who urgently need our help.
Yayasan Solemen Indonesia alleviates the misery of extreme poverty by bringing hope and sustainable solutions to those who remain hidden from public view and hence are separated from easy access to medical treatment.
Solemen assists people living with disabilities, mental health disorders and acute or chronic illness and their families throughout Bali. Solemen assesses and addresses their immediate challenges; develops a sustainable plan based on individual family needs; and engages with local communities for their support to optimise outcomes.
• Every life matters.
• Everyone deserves to live a fulfilling life free of pain and restraints.
• Everyone can contribute.
• Communities are stronger when everyone is included in unity.
• Family and friends are the most enduring support a person can have.
• Basic human rights are adhered to.
• Positive social perception of Solebuddies is always demonstrated.
• Everyone’s opinion is valued.
• Cultural and religious beliefs are respected.
• Dignity matters.
Founded in 2011, Yayasan Solemen Indonesia is reputedly one of Bali’s most visible and trusted charities. Solemen actively reaches people who fall through the healthcare cracks and are not helped by the existing network of charitable organisations and government programs.
Solemen assists people of all ages, religions and social positions Bali-wide. The organisation funds regular medical assessments and treatments, provide enhanced nutrition in the form of specialist milk and food parcels, providing the staples required monthly. Solemen programmes also sponsor education, vocational training and assist families to set up sustainable businesses.
Ketut, in her forties, was found crying crawling in the mud and sleeping in a shack high in the mountains in a very remote areaof Karangasem. Her family did not know how to care for her. Solemen taught the family how to look after her, built her a new living quarters and a toilet and bathroom for the whole family. Solemen also sponsored her niece’s education. Ketut responded well to interaction and loving care soon after meeting Solemen, developing a wicked sense of humour. She squealed with delight whenever Outreach Team Leader Sarah Chapman arrived, sharing a special bond with her.
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
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 life threatening 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.
Solemen performs a distinct role in discovering individuals and families with health needs that are not being met by government mandated services. Whilst there is currently no formal referral system between agencies such as Banjars, Puskesmas, hospitals and Solemen, well-meaning individuals within the agencies tend to make an unofficial call for help. This will change with Solemen establishing formal
relationships and implementing a referral system.
The Solemen Outreach Team visits the referred household to interview and assess the potential SoleBuddy and the family members, gaining as much information on the case as possible. The information is sent to Solemen HQ for further assessment and a support plan is devised, including a pathway for solutions. Pathways include referrals to external services such as medical services or hospitals, or to allied services
such as other charitable organisations.
Solemen accompanies all SoleBuddies throughout their support plan, including providing transport where required. Periodic follow up ensures referred services are provided and SoleBuddies experience the best possible outcome.
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
As a charitable organisation, Solemen has two primary income streams: donations (85%) and merchandise (15%). Donations make up 85% of Solemen’s annual income, with corporate programmes accounting for 46% of all donations (39% of total income).
Corporate sponsorship is a lifeline for Solemen programs, generating over IDR 2.7 billion since the beginning of 2017. This form of sponsorship is paid in monthly instalments.
Prior to COVID-19, Solemen had ten corporate sponsors, nine of which have withdrawn from the program due to the financial constraints caused by the shutdown on international tourism in Indonesia.
In the past four calendar years, Finns Recreation Club has donated IDR 2.4 billion and Frankenstein’s Laboratory has donated IDR 185 million. The programme has funded much needed outreach services to remote and often inaccessible areas of Bali where poverty is high and access to health services is low.
“Dollar per Night” has been one of Solemen’s most productive programmes generating IDR 1.2 billion since 2017. Seventeen participating hotels, resorts and villas in Bali invite their guests to donate USD 1.00 to Solemen for each night of their stay. Uptake of the offer is close to 100%. The donation is paid with the guest’s accommodation account and the funds passed onto Solemen once a month.
Since the beginning of 2017, Bali Dynasty Resort has generated over IDR 570 million, Hard Rock Café has generated over IDR 220 million, and The Apurva Kempinski Hotel has generated almost IDR 200 million through the program. However, the current downturn in international tourism due to the COVID-19 border closures has effectively stopped this income stream.
Solemen’s Donation Box Program provides a platform for people to donate cash who may not ordinarily consider contributing. There are currently 71 donation boxes in 62 participating businesses around Bali.
In 2020, in response to the negative impact of COVID-19 border closures on employment in the international tourism sector, Solemen expanded its donation box program to include boxes for accepting donations of groceries. Four Pepito stores, two Bintang Supermarkets, Grand Lucky Supermarket and Zero Waste Bali are encouraging their customers to add essential items to their grocery shopping and
deposit them into the donation box for distribution to some of the Balinese people currently struggling to feed their families. Whilst it is difficult to quantify the donations, Solemen is making a difference in the lives of many families through the grocery donation box program.
The sale of Solemen merchandise makes up 15% of Solemen’s annual income. In the last three years (2017 to 2019), almost 75% of the IDR 699 million net merchandise profit came from sales
of Sole Teddy Bears and Mini Sole Teddy Bears. Moringa products accounted for a further 6.4% of profit. Going forward, the moringa product group is expected to generate a greater proportion of
revenue with a broadening of product lines and a new alliance with Board Member Yuli Utomo.
Solemen’s merchandise strategy is currently under review. Under-performing product lines will be deleted and new lines will be added that generate healthier margins and better appeal to the target
As a not-for-profit and charitable organisation, Solemen has traditionally relied on donations and sponsorship to provide its health and social services. This strategy exposes the organisation to economic influences, such as the mass international tourist evacuations during the 2017 eruption of Mount Agung, the 2018 earthquake in Lombok and the current COVID-19 global pandemic. These events interrupt service delivery to some of Bali’s most vulnerable communities, families, and individuals. Solemen is actively working toward becoming independently financially sustainable, removing the need for ongoing fundraising.
The total cost of implementing Solemen’s vision for expanding their essential services is approximately IDR 38 billion (USD 2.6 million), which includes the first year of operations. Although implementation will be staged, early access to funding will give Solemen freedom to take up opportunities such as leasing the right buildings for Outreach Bases and land for the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centre.
Solemen requires a five-year investment of IDR 150 billion (USD 10.2 million) to give the organisation time to implement its sustainable financial strategy. This strategy includes generating income through the social enterprises such as the micro-businesses inside the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centre, the aquaponics project at Solemen’s headquarters, and the moringa production project partnership.
Solemen will continue to accept corporate and private sponsorship and donation. These activities generate ongoing interest in Solemen activities domestically and internationally. Solemen will also continue to accept in-kind support, such as the laundry service provided by Hard Rock Hotel. These partnerships help fulfil private organisations’ social responsibility obligations.
Solemen’s merchandise program has been highly successful, and this will continue into the future to supplement income generated by the new enterprises.
Solemen offers a range of sponsorship and donation opportunities ranging from IDR 900,000 (USD 65.00) to provide a family with enough chickens to produce eggs and meat for a family of four and generate a small income; to, IDR 28.2 billion (USD 2 million) to provide health care to thousands of Balinese people living in remote areas without access to government mandated health services.
Article 74 of Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 40 of 2007 concerning Limited Liability Companies obliges businesses with activities in the field of and / or related to natural resources to perform social and environmental responsibility. Article 15 of Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 25 of 2007 concerning Investment obliges all businesses in all sectors to implement social and environmental responsibility. The accepted rate of corporate social responsibility in Indonesia is 5% of revenue and is considered a corporate cost for tax purposes.
Solemen encourages all businesses to be socially responsible and consider the reach and impact that sponsorship of and / or donation to Solemen projects will have on Balinese communities. Solemen will accept monetary and in-kind support.
The following expansion project sponsorship packages are available:
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.
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.
In 2019, a private donor sponsored two years’ rent on Solemen’s Head Quarters in Legian. The amount shown at “Rental & Building Expenses” in 2019 includes payment of IDR 400 million in rent for the period 01 April 2019 to 01 April 2021. It also includes notary fees for the leasing agreement, leasing taxes, the costs of renovation and the costs of relocating to the premises, totalling IDR 92.9 million.
Solemen had an overspend of IDR 272.7 million in 2019 as a result of an IDR 300 million decline in donations.