Driving through Bali’s abundant rice paddies, with bright green shoots extending at various heights from a bed of water logged soil, you wouldn’t think that Bali’s inhabitants have any issue finding water. 

To a point you’d be right, but while water may be plentiful it is unfortunately not safe for human consumption without boiling it first. 

Imagine a world in which every time you took a drink you were unsure if you’d get sick. Safe drinking water is taken for granted by a large majority of the world. Creating safe drinking water in Bali is thankfully relatively easy through the provision of simple water filters.

Yayasan Sahaja Sawah Foundation

The Yayasan Sahaja Sawah Foundation, is part of the the beautiful Sahaja Sawah resort that we stayed in for our month long visit to Bali.  The foundation is working on several projects to improve the lives of the local community and people of Bali and their water filter donation program has successfully provided over 200 filter systems to 5 of the 9 local villages in Tegalmengkeb, Tabanan

Each filter costs $30 and lasts approximately 2 years at which point only a small part needs to be replaced for the water filter to still be effective. 

Keen to help contribute to the local community we purchased 4 water filters, one for each of us and guided by Tia one of the reception team at Sahaja Sawah we delivered them to 4 local families.

Bali families often live together as an extended family on a small plot of land with each building housing different generations of the same family. Therefore one water filer can benefit many people. Three of the filters were donated to families within the village. 

The last filter was in the woods outside of the village. We followed Tia down a small lane back towards the resort when she stopped at the side of the road. We couldn’t see any houses and Tia said we must follow her down a path that followed a small stream into the woods. 

After walking for 5 minutes we reached a humble wooden dwelling built at the edge of a rice field. A lady came out to greet us who was introduced to us as Tia’s auntie. Tia explained they had been living here for 11 years and that sometimes up to 10 people can be living here at one time. 

‘Life’s greatest privilege is helping those around you’

Delivering the water filters was an eye opening experience. As a white, western tourist we are undeniably privalidged. In tourist areas and resorts it is easy to under appreciate how little the local people have and what a huge difference we can make through investing in the right places. 

The Yayasan Sahaja Sawah Foundation’s moto is “Life’s greatest privilege is helping those around you”. They feel it is the duty for the tourism industry, to give back to the local community and to support one another.  As a full time travelling family we couldn’t agree more.

It was a great lesson for the children too. We may teach our children about how others live in different countries and cultures and encourage them to be grateful. Yet when hot water comes from a tap, electricity at the touch of a button and food is always in the fridge it can be hard for them to conceive the reality of others.

Witnessing first hand different living environments will hopefully encourage them look at the world in its widest sense and grow up to do more good in the world. 

How you can help too

Water filters are not expensive and make a huge difference to the lives of others. You can donate your own water filter through the foundation’s Go Fund Me campaign here: 


Have you donated to a community or environmental project? We’d love to hear your experiences please tell us more in the comments?


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