Children attending English classes at Kaura Learning Centre

Discova Launches Kaura Learning Centre in Bali to Transform Local Lives Through Education

March 4, 2024

With the Kaura Activities Hub in Manggis in Eastern Bali now open, the Kaura Community Learning Hub has started offering learning programmes for the people of the area.

What is a place without its people? It is undeniable that Manggis Village, located between the sleepy beach area of Candi Dasa and the towering Volcanic, Mount Agung is a stunning location in so many ways. Discova was drawn to this place by the people here who demonstrated a desire to introduce tourism to their community with clear objectives in mind. These warm, welcoming people want to introduce visitors to their rich cultural heritage and traditions and host them in this stunning location. They want their people to remain empowered as the visitor economy grows, so education and learning is key.

In keeping with the foundational objectives of the Kaura project, Discova secured funding for the construction of a $40,000, eco-sustainable, learning hub. This bamboo structure, designed and built locally and styled to harmonise with its surrounds, saw its first regular classes commence in February 2024.

96 students of primary and secondary school age have since enrolled in our free weekly English classes which run as extra-curricular activities alongside their normal school curriculum. Leading on from these classes, Discova’s Community Engagement Leader, Sintya Dewi, is offering a six-month, place-based programme that allows children to build a deep connection to their surroundings and promotes a holistic understanding of their community’s heritage and environment. This complements the community leader’s goals of developing a greater appreciation among the youth for their home, in the hope that they will remain here and learn valuable skills before considering a move to the cities for employment. This in-turn reduces the risk of exploitation and enables them to support their families while they further their careers.

In addition to these youth programmes, the women of Manggis have jumped at the opportunity to develop their own spoken English as they prepare to host more Kaura guests on the immersive cooking classes that are now on offer daily at Kaura. The cooking activity has a unique Manggis-spin on it. The participants will forage in the surrounding food forest for ingredients and complement these with organic vegetables and rice from the community gardens. This is a true farm-to-table experience. Being able to communicate with confidence allows these amazing women to share genuine insights into their culture and their village and is one of the key objectives of the project.

Manggis Women who attend English classes at Kaura Learning Centre

Sintya Dewi, Discova’s Community Engagement Leader considers the launch of the Learning Hub programme a milestone in the project’s and in her own journey. She says, “As someone passionate about accessible education, it gives me great joy to facilitate a dynamic and inclusive learning atmosphere that also positively impacts the environmental and economic well-being of the village.”

Sintya adds that one of the challenges thus far has been finding other qualified and committed educators to support the learning centre and its mission to effectively impart knowledge and skills to the students.

“Acquiring technological resources to enhance the educational experience for high school students and our woman’s local group has also been one of our key hurdles,” she informs.

Ninety-six students who attend primary and high school in the area have enrolled for our weekly English classes.

To help in sourcing additional resources to support the Learning Hub projects, Sintya has been working with Discova’s Educational Travel specialists to identify ways in which student groups from abroad can spend time in Manggis to learn about the traditions and culture of the people here and to bring the valuable benefits of cultural exchange and the financial support that the programme needs to thrive into the future.

“It is really a mutually beneficial opportunity” says Sintya. “Young people from all over the world can come and engage with these wonderful people in this beautiful place. They can take home a fresh perspective and heightened respect for local traditions, and they can leave in their wake, a motivation in the people of Manggis to learn more about the world and to learn the skills that will help them engage with it.”

“Be it book donations, volunteer opportunities, or organising a skill sharing workshop, your involvement can make a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve. Together, let’s create a brighter future for generations to come,” concludes Sintya.

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