Maddi Nicholls, 20, helps Geelong-based charity Bali Smiles with its goal to improvehealthcare and living conditions in a poverty-stricken Balinese community
I live on a farm next to the beach in Torquay, so I get the best of both worlds
We’ve got lots of horses, chickens and dogs, but we’ve also got that beachside lifestyle. My life is pretty hectic – I’m a student nurse, a medical receptionist and I do a bit of modelling in Melbourne, so I’ve got my foot in a few doors!
I first found out about the charity Bali Smiles on vacation with my family
We’ve always holidayed there since I was little. In 2009 I was with my two younger sisters and we bumped into one of our old school teachers. It was Jan Johannesen, founder of Bali Smiles. She was with two Balinese women and she started telling us about how rewarding her charity work had been for her. Since then, our involvement as a family has grown.
My family takes over second hand linen, clothes and other supplies for the disadvantaged
The supplies go to the remote poverty stricken community of Munti, high in the Balinese hills. So many people pitch in. We’re talking about everyday needs that we often take for granted, like basic hygiene resources. I donated toothbrushes and some of the kids had never owned one. It’s sad, people go there all the time for holidays and don’t realise the poverty that exists.
The effort Jan has made to improve healthcare for the community is incredible
Through fundraising with Bali Smiles, she organised and built a much needed medical clinic in Munti. She employs one amazing local doctor, Dr Komang, who works there for only the smallest fee. But the people of Munti work in a village 3 kilometres away called Kuta, and the road back is extremely dangerous. It’s rocky and the gravel gives way, so it’s not safe for a sick person to travel on.
The mission is to build a safer road so people can reach the clinic
It’s going to cost about 15 thousand dollars to fix the road. My little sister and I are brainstorming fundraising ideas. We want to combine it with a touch of Bali - for example we fundraised at a local school by making giant vats of Mi Goreng. We just made this big batch and sold it for a profit, it was a huge hit!
My dream is to assist in the clinic in Munti
My area of interest is pediatrics. In the near future I’d like to go over and assist Dr Komang - it’ll be good training for me with my nursing, too.
It’s about doing what we can, one thing at a time
There is always going to be poverty in the world, but we can do our best to make life easier for them. A simple way people can help is by gathering supplies to donate like I do.
Bali Smiles is always after clothes, towels, bed linen, underwear and soft toys for the people of Munti. If you are visiting Bali and would like to donate supplies, you can take them to the charity’s drop-off point, the Bali Smiles Salon in the town of Kuta: Shop 3, Gang Kamboja, Jalan Legian, Kuta(opposite Bali Barrel Surf Shop)