General information Bali

Bali has a population of more than 4 million people, of which 90% are Hindi and the others Muslims and Christians. A major part of the population depends on tourism, in which industry the average income is 120 euro per month. A family with two children needs a minimum income of 150 euro just for food and the fee for the elementary school. No work, no income. Since a couple of years the governmental elementary schools are free, except books and uniforms. ALso SMP, Junior High School is free now. The quality of these schools is not very good and thatís why there are waiting lists for the more expensive private schools, especially around Denpasar. Eastern Bali is very poor. The latest volcanic eruptions made 76% of the land unsuitable to grow rice, resulting in an unbalanced diet of mainly cassava. Cassava attacks iodine reserves in the thyroid gland and cause hardly growing children and serious health problems, especially for women over 50 years old. However, there is also good news for eastern Bali. Nowadays, more and more villages are connected to clean water supplies, so typhoid and skin diseases will be decreased and the locals will have more possibilities to earn some money with agriculture. Another problem is upcoming. Adults infected with HIV/Aids, infect their children at birth. Medicines are available and free of charge, but it is a big matter of not-knowing and taboo.