Making a Difference During COVID in Bali: How You Can Help

 

When I learned to SCUBA dive in 1990, I expected to visit the underwater world and see creatures beyond my imagination. I never imagined that it would lead me to travel to the far corners of the earth and meet some of my favorite people. Thank you to PADI for all you do to save our seas and train torchbearers.

During COVID, the entire planet has experienced challenges and uncertainties. People have suffered with losses of all kinds. In Bali, Paul ‘Tosh’ Tanner who is territory director of PADI did not stand idly by. He and his family have made a difference and you can help too to make sure that families have food.

Photos and text below are from Paul Tanner.

As everyone knows, back in March 2020 the world locked down, and Bali closed its doors to the world. The British government recommend that all ex-pats should leave Bali and Indonesia. We have lived in Asia for 20 years and our children were both born in Asia with our youngest born in Bali. We knew this was going to be hard, and we have taken so much from Asia, and it’s given us an amazing life so we wanted to give back if we could.

Over the coming weeks people started to lose their jobs. Around 60% of people work in tourism on the island. The impact of no tourism on the island affects everything. Employees from outside of the tourism industry started to lose their jobs too. Banks, farms and even mechanics were effected from the shutdown of tourism.

70-80% of people have lost their jobs.

There isn’t any unemployment here, and the locals get very little help, if anything. Most have big families, and when one is unemployed, the others can help out. However, now entire families don’t have work and are unable to help out.

This has meant we have had our house broken into twice in the last year.

As a territory director of PADI, I am lucky to have a big network of people that have travelled and enjoyed diving in areas like Bali, and understand how everyone is impacted by this global pandemic especially on our island.

In April 2020, I first asked for donations. People who knew me could donate and have 100% of the money raised go-to food for locals.

During COVID, I have raised money, bought food from local farmers and supper stores and gave the food to either families I know or to a non-profit called SOS Children’s Village Bali

We now give to our local village which has thirty-three families, and 22 of the 33 do not have any employees in the family to support themselves. Once a month, we take the funds raised and give food to the local village.  

We also personally financially support 4 families but we do not use the donations for this. One of the issues about donating is knowing how much of the money you give, goes directly and completely to the people that need it.  We use the donations collected to purchase food. In this way, every dollar donated goes towards helping someone.

Donate via paypal directly to Paul “Tosh” Tanner

People from all over the world have been amazing. We have had people from Canada, USA, France, Spain, China, Thailand, Sweden, UK, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Dubai donate.

Thank you to Erica Wedepohl, PADI Territory Director – Caribbean and Latin America and greatest dive buddy ever, for introducing me to Paul “Tosh” Tanner to share what he is doing.

Erica Wedepohl, PADI Worldwide, Territory Director for Caribbean & Latin America underwater at Beaches Turks and Caicos
Erica Wedepohl, PADI Worldwide, Territory Director for Caribbean & Latin America underwater at Beaches Turks and Caicos

MORE WAYS TO DO GOOD:

COVID Relief in INDIA with my friend, Jonathan Reisman

Dignity for children with Bags of Hope

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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