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A Bali-based foundation working with children in need is calling for online donations to keep its projects running, with the devastation caused by COVID-19 impacting its stream of donors. 

The Jodie O’Shea (JOS) House said on its GoFundMe page that prior to the pandemic, tourists would often drop by to make a donation, whether in the form of food, cash, or clothing. However, with the coronavirus outbreak still raging, it said that “this support has completely disappeared.” 

“This mechanism is gone due to no tourists [coming to Bali] and visitors’ restrictions due to COVID,” Rodney Westerlaken, a board member at JOS, told Coconuts, adding that they have seen about a 60 percent reduction in donations during the pandemic.

JOS House is now turning to online fundraising, hoping to raise €10,000 (US$11,744) through their ongoing campaign to meet the needs of children who are already in their care and are affected by the public health crisis. The foundation, also known as Yayasan Cinta Kasih Anak, said they no longer have sufficient resources to continue providing a safe haven for children in need. 

“We do not see a way out without your help,” they wrote. 

Based in Denpasar, JOS House says they work with children from poor families and abusive environments, as well as orphans. Since last year, JOS has been working with the Westerlaken Foundation to reunite children with their families when it is in the best interest of the child, a program they say is based on a UN General Assembly resolution and Indonesian law. So far, they have reunified 51 children with their families. 

“Research shows that children develop much better when living in a loving family environment rather than being institutionalized,” Westerlaken says, further explaining that part of JOS House’s work is to support kids in underprivileged and needy households.

Also Read ⁠— Grab a Nasi Bungkus: Community-based charity stalls pop up across Bali to help people with free meals

This article, Children’s foundation pleads for online donations amid dwindling support from lack of tourists in Bali, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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