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Australian Expats in Indonesia Give Back to Community During Pandemic

Amanda Rialdi, an Australian expat living in Indonesia, wasn’t able to return home when the borders of Australia and Indonesia both closed.

She chose to stay in Bali despite the coronavirus outbreak and its spread across Indonesia.

“I honestly couldn’t sleep wondering how people would get by now with no income,” said Amanda, who has been living in Bali for the past seven years. She decided to be active and to give back, donating AU$150 to provide meals to people on the street for a start.

“We have now given out over 3,000 meals to metro areas and villages [and] about 4,000 masks… I would say we have helped around 5,000 people so far, but those figures could be much higher,” she said.

Handing out meals

Amanda and her friend, who is a fellow Aussie expat, developed a community as it became her job to serve and distribute meals. The community went online in the form of a Facebook group called Let’s Help Bali ( COVID-19).

“We make no profits from these but it’s keeping some people afloat… I’m crying happy tears every day,” said Amanda. The group now has nearly 5,000 members which connect Australians with their Bali families and villages.

Delivery drivers are the tour guides or hotel workers who have lost their jobs; the fees go straight to their pockets. With millions of Indonesians having lost their jobs, and Bali’s biggest income source having been tourism, giving back to those in need is seen as an obligation by foreigners still on the island.

Tara, an Australian expat and an English teacher at National University of Jogja said that “Indonesians are very, very kind and giving people, Almost every time I go to the supermarket I will see a car stopped on the side of the road and the car is just full of boxes of food and they will just be giving it out to anybody that goes past on a motorcycle, handing out food.” She added that she’s grateful that she still has a source of income.

Due to that, she decided to support local businesses by handing out meals and making personal protective equipment.

Source: ABC Australia

Image: ABC Australia

See: Coronavirus and the Community: Time to Help

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