The Garden of Life: Where Charities Blossom

Our Bali Heroes | Written By, Life on the Island | June 17th, 2016

The Garden of Life Foundation is an incredibly unique and ambitious project here in Bali that aims to unite people, communities and businesses together to help the island’s existing charities to grow further and continue to prosper.

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Sadly, Bali is not immune to the environmental, socio-economic, health or other problems that are found around the world. Despite being known as a paradise island, many communities remain forgotten in the darkness. Luckily, a vast range of charities exist in Bali now, with people dedicated to focus, fight and make positive changes.

However, it is incredibly difficult to run a sustainable and successful charity organisation. Doing so requires being able to balance two jobs: firstly, the actual mission of the charity, and secondly, raising funds to do so. Unlike a business, the day-to-day work of a charity usually does not centre around sustaining the livelihood of the charity itself. Thus, fundraising becomes a job, and challenge, all on its own.

It was this exact issue that The Garden of Life Foundation wanted to address and lend its hand. In simple terms, The Garden of Life wishes to alleviate the continuous burden of fundraising from existing, reputable charities in Bali so that they are able to focus further on the actual ‘mission’ of the organisation, whether that is helping disabled children, or protecting the environment. Essentially, the Garden of Life would be a central body that builds funds, centralises administration (which cuts costs), creates transparency and rallies the different organisations in Bali together to find synergies and create an effective community of change-makers. Currently, The Garden of Life has partnered with SoleMen Indonesia, Bumi Sehat Foundation, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Muntigunung Poverty Eradication, the Coconut Knowledge Centre and Karang Lestari Bio-rock Foundation. A mixture of social and environmental organisations, that have built strong reputations and immensely helped Bali and its people over many years.

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The Garden of Life’s strategy for raising these funds is by creating a sustainable business model centred around the construction and use of ‘The Flower of Life’. The Flower of Life, as co-founder Ronny Tome explains to NOW! Bali, is an eco-monument and sustainable centre to be built in Bali’s Tabanan Regency, neighboring the spanning rice fields of Jatiluwih. This is set to be a truly impressive piece of architecture; its design is based on the golden ratio, a spiraling shape found throughout life and nature, creating a dome of almost 4000m2. More impressively, the dome itself will consist of 429,822 personalised solar hexagons, which will become the site’s generator of clean, sustainable energy.

A lot of thought went into the Flower of Life, because its founders realized, that in order for this to work, the foundation needed to use a very powerful, positive symbol. Something that anyone around the world would look at and all agree that yes, this is a positive movement. Now, an eco-site designed around a geometrical sequence found within all aspects of nature and life, funded by a global community, generating clean solar electricity, made to sustain existing charities on the island – it would be difficult to refute that this site would be embody the very nature of good will and positivity!

The site, when constructed, will continuously create income as a tourist destination and will also be used for functions, gatherings and events. The solar panels are expected to create enough electricity to feed back to the national grid.

Meanwhile, the foundation’s current fundraising efforts are focused on inviting corporate sponsors on the island to partner with the Garden of Life and through the ‘selling’ of the personalised solar hexagons. A $250 donation entitles you for a personalised solar hexagon, with your name, date and country of birth, essentially making you part of the monument itself. Family ($500) and Group ($1000) hexagons are also available. Additionally for every donation received, a tree of life will be planted within or around the Garden of Life in the donors name.

Whilst this is a very ambitious undertaking, The Garden of Life has already had huge support, both from local and international patrons inspired by the vision of The Flower of Life and what it could become. With the location confirmed and all permits in place, the path is prepared for the project to enter its next phase. “We want to create global excitement about fundraising,” says Ronny Tome, “and we want to create strong, positive news that can inspire people in Bali and all over the world to make a change, both for the environment and social well-being. Together, it’s all possible!”

Currently, the Garden of Life Foundation is looking for partner- and sponsorships and donations from individuals, communities and businesses. Find out more and see how you can help this garden to grow to become a place where flowers and life can blossom.

www.gardenof.life

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Life on the Island

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