Where We Work

Map showing location of KupuKupu Foundation

Kupu-Kupu Foundation works on the island of Bali, Indonesia.  Indonesia is a country of over 13,000 islands that stretches from Malaysia to Australia.  Bali is a popular tourist destination with most of the tourists areas concentrated in the southern portion of the island.  The Foundation works mainly in the poorer North Central and East portions of Bali in two regions named Gianyar and Bangli (circled in red on the map above).


Indonesia has  the fourth largest population in the world with more than 240 million people.  The vast majority of the population is poor with an average annual income of less than US$300.  Bali has a population of about 2.5 million people of which about 12,500 have disabilities.  98% of the Balinese are Hindu.

According to the statistics from the Social Department there are 1,727 people with disabilities in the Gianyar region.  However only 57 of them when to the Senior High School and 867 (almost half) have never being to the school at all.  In the Bangli region  there are 1,158 people with disabilities, of whom 53 went to the High School and 530 (almost  half) never went to any school.

We are help people of all ages.  Many are victims of polio who contracted the disease before  preventive inoculations were available.  Many of our clients had never seen a wheelchair in their lives, never been out of their houses, and never gone to the school.

What It Means to be Handicapped in Bali

Balinese traditional beliefs are that physical and mental disabilities are a result of karma from a previous life, be a handicapped person means the reincarnation and punishment for being a bad person in a previous life. Thus, people with disabilities are most often treated with scorn and ridicule. There is little awareness in Indonesia for the special needs of the disabled . Wheelchair ramps and van lifts are non-existent. There is no accommodation of handicapped children in the schools and almost half of the handicapped children never go to any school.  Tragically, most handicapped persons usually never go outside. 

Handicapped  children and adults are not seen as normal people who have the same needs as everybody else – to be mobile, get education, meet friends, socialize, get married, engage in sports, travel, get a job, etc.  Most resign themselves to their fate as the invisible and unwanted people.

Needs of People with Disabilities in Bali

  • Medical care for their handicaps and complications.
  • Wheelchairs and other physical aids. Many have never even seen a wheelchair.
  • Facilities that are more handicapped friendly.
  • Increased the awareness of the local community about the problems of the handicapped.
  • Education.  Almost half of all handicapped persons never go to school.  They need to learn to read and write.
  • Mobility to expand their lives.  Many handicapped persons have never left their homes their entire lives.
  • The handicapped need to become more independent through job training and support.