With so many cafes and restaurants across the island, selecting a dining location can be a chore in itself. So, why not try a restaurant where paying your bill directly supports a good cause? Get a delicious meal and know that your rupiah is going to someone less fortunate. Win-win.
With the motto “not less, but differently gifted,” the Sjaki-Tari-Us foundation supports teenagers and adults with mental disabilities through education and job training. Sjaki’s Warung, an open-plan restaurant right next door to the foundation’s special needs school in central Ubud, plays a big part in the program by offering students the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience.
“If possible, students learn how to cook or serve food. Otherwise, they help cut vegetables and take care of other preparations in the kitchen,” says Luh Mertasari, the school’s headmaster and manager of Sjaki-Tari-Us.
Sjaki’s Warung was set up in 2009 to generate income for the adjacent school and give teenagers and adults with mental disabilities a place where they can develop their skills while earning a salary.
“We have a baking program where all the cookies baked by our teenage students are sold at the restaurant,” Mertasari says. “In addition, one of the students who graduated from our school currently holds a full time paid position at the restaurant.”
From Indonesian classics such as nasi campur and gado-gado to Western favorites such as spaghetti Bolognese, the restaurant offers the perfect opportunity to sample delicious food while making a difference to people with special needs. Better still, those wishing to learn more about Sjaki-Tari-Us’ project can peruse the wealth of information on hand at the restaurant.
All the profits generated by the venture go directly to Sjaki-Tari-Us.
“The profits are used to buy school supplies and petrol for the school bus. The money also covers a portion of the teachers’ salaries,” according to Mertasari.
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My Red Envelope
With this charity program, you can pick from a list of participating restaurants and businesses, then 10 percent of your bill will automatically go to a local partner charity when you mention “My Red Envelope.”
Grahame Gavin, who, along with his wife Lou Westbury, owns Bali Ginger Suites and Bali Akasa Villa in Seminyak, says that the idea for My Red Envelope originated when the duo were approached by various businesses with offers of commission.
“We were sometimes approached by local businesses, especially restaurants and tour operators, to send customers their way in exchange for commission, typically 10 percent,” Gavin explained. “This is a widely established practice in Indonesia, but we never liked it, so we decided to make an arrangement with businesses where the commission would go to a charity instead.”
My Red Envelope provides a simple mechanism that partners a business with a charity. “Anyone can go to any of the six businesses we have made a deal with, let them know that they are there from My Red Envelope and 10 percent of their bill will go directly to the partner charity,” Gavin said.
My Little Envelope is currently running six such campaigns in the Seminyak area. The Mexican restaurant Lacalaca supports the Bali Children Foundation; the Red Carpet Champagne Bar supports the Kolewa Foundation, which helps to provide cleft-lip surgeries for children; Republik 45 supports the Bali Mother & Baby House; Saigon Street supports the Bali Street Kids Project; Spa Bali supports B.A.L.I Wise, which organizes hospitality courses for disadvantaged women; and finally the Italian restaurant Zibiru supports the R.O.L.E Foundation, which educates communities about waste disposal.
The beauty of My Red Envelope is that everybody – businesses, charities and customer – benefits. “All that anyone needs to do to help out is to choose a business that participates in the program,” says Gavin. “It doesn’t cost anything extra. You don’t have to donate, make jam or sell a raffle ticket. Instead drink a cocktail, get a massage or enjoy your next birthday at a My Red Envelope restaurant. It really is as simple as that.”
The Fair Warung Balé
Set up in Ubud to support projects run by the Fair Future Foundation, the Fair Warung Bale’s profits are used to fund free health and medical care in Indonesia.
“All of the restaurant’s profits are used to support our project,” says Alex Wettstein, the president, founder and medical staff at the Fair Future Foundation.
“We also use the restaurant as a training ground for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 20 to learn on-the-job skills.”
The restaurant’s guests can enjoy a quality feed – the menu options include such delights as tuna tartare, red chicken curry and tom yum soup – along with the satisfaction of knowing that one meal at the restaurant raises enough money to cover two medical check ups for the underprivileged.
“The money is also used to fund our new pediatric hospital in the Klungkung district, which is scheduled for completion later this year,” Wettstein says.
Fair Warung Bale
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