By Michael Doran
Yarra Ranges community organisation, Cire Services, has extended its reach northwards to Bali, thanks to the efforts of Heather Dryden of Yarra Junction.
Heather works with Cire’s Reconnect/Women’s Warehouse and cooking programs but she took annual leave to volunteer with Peduli Sesama Philanthropic Work (PSPW) in Bali.
PSPW provides education, health services, house building projects and other support to locals experiencing economic disadvantage.
Whilst holidaying in Bali last year she visited an orphanage and came away determined to make a difference and ‘do her bit’ said daughter Jen Carlyon.
“Everyone is so appreciative of any support, they are happy and always give thanks even though they struggle through life,” Heather said.
“It is so hard not to become emotional. I have had a lump in my throat a few times.”
Cire, with the help of staff, raised $500 which Heather used to buy books and other school supplies, toiletries and food for the schools run by the foundation.
Whilst there she also dipped into her own savings to buy a wheelchair and bedding for two Balinese, bed-ridden from their harsh working lives.
Since 2010, PSPW has run a successful live-in program training young people for the tourism industry. “We are so proud of our graduates who are able to help their families by going into good jobs,” said Nyoman Sukadana, PSPW founder.
“The foundation impacts so many lives,” said Heather. “Without this sort of education and support these young people and their families would not advance in life.”
Heather is happy to talk to anyone who would like more information on volunteering with PSPW, sponsoring a child or the work the group is doing.
Cire, one of the largest not-for-profits in the Yarra Ranges has locations at Yarra Junction and Mount Evelyn. The group can be contacted at www.cire.org.au