Our Programs

EDUCATION SUPPORT

Education is one of the main factors when considering why children are placed in orphanages. Every parent wants what's best for their child, and that includes a proper education. Even though public schooling in Indonesia is considered free, there are still expenses associated with sending a child to school, including uniforms, books, exams and even the cost of getting to and from school. As a result, the cost of schooling becomes too high and other expenses take priority. 

Access to education is a basic human right and no child should be taken from their family just so they can go to school. There are laws in Indonesia that prevent children being separated from their families for the purpose of education, but these laws are seldom enforced.

Key to Freedom take over responsibility of education sponsorships in order to prevent children being taken away from their families, and to ease the burden on parents who live on a low income.

 

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

The trauma of living in an orphanage can result in life long mental health struggles for children and their families. If a child has suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of the orphanage they are at a far greater risk of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution or even suicide as ways to cope with their struggles.

By providing access to mental health services to children and their families will ensure children are not left to deal with their trauma on their own. It’s also important that parents and siblings are getting the support they need, not just to ensure the reintegration process is handled as seamlessly as possible, but also to deal with the feelings associated with the knowledge that their child or sibling was taken away and potentially abused, neglected and so on.

 

YOUTH CENTRES

In Bali there are currently no centres for youth to gather in order to get support from peers and community leaders, finish their homework, seek advice or just hang out. Being able to connect with other youth who may be facing similar experiences or struggles or even just to make new friends and feel a sense of community can help build confidence and open up new experiences.

We will engage local banjars and community leaders to facilitate the gatherings and have trained staff on hand to help with homework, medical issues etc. 

 

UPSKILLING AND SMALL BUSINESS START-UPS

Having a range of practical skills greatly increases the chance of getting sustainable employment and decreases the likelihood of youth falling into the cycle of poverty. Parents also deserve the chance to widen their skills and seek new opportunities, as often they stick to what they know or lack the confidence or money to try anything new. This program will also prevent children from being sent to orphanages in the future as families will be able to sustain themselves with their new skills and pass on their skills to their children and the wider community.

We will work with locals who are skilled in certain areas who can train others in their specialised field and assist with the cost and administration involved in setting up a small business. 

FAMILY REINTEGRATION

According to recent data published by Westerlaken Foundation, 76% of children in Child Welfare Institutions still have both parents alive, whereas 92% of the children still have at least one parent alive. These statistics are frightening and lead us to question why children are being taken away from their families to begin with. Being exposed to abuse, neglect, exploitation and sexual assault are just some of the horrors that occur behind closed doors at almost all orphanages around Bali.

There are laws in place to protect children from such places, but the execution of these laws is severely lacking. The law also states that all children should grow up in a family unit and only be placed in a care facility as a last resort and for a temporary period of time, however we are still seeing constant recruiting of children all over Indonesia. Greedy orphanage owners, be they local or Western, care little about the welfare of the children and more so about the money they can make off vulnerable children and their families. Unfortunately, a lot of adults in the remote villages where children are sourced lack the education and understanding of what they are signing themselves and their children up for when they are surrendered to orphanages. Key to Freedom will work alongside existing organisations in the field to gain experience in this area.

 

COMMUNITY FOSTER CARE

There are some instances where children are left with no immediate family to care for them. The current solution to this should be temporary care or foster care, but unfortunately these children are highly likely to end up in orphanages or entering into childhood labour. By law, children’s housing institutions should only care for children on a temporary basis when there are no other options for that child to be placed with anyone else. But what happens when the child has exceeded the maximum amount of time in temporary care and is not old enough to care for themselves? 

Key to Freedom plans on making every effort to prevent family separation. Foster care is currently not a form of legal care for displaced children in Indonesia. Extensive research shows that growing up separated from a family is harmful to children’s development and wellbeing, so one of Key to Freedom’s long-term goals is to work collaboratively with the government and local communities to start up foster care systems in Bali so that no child is left to grow up in an orphanage.