Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Denpasar is a very special place. A place of hope and smiles, a safe house, a haven....
Founded by Kiwi expat Kim Farr, the BSM safe house is a literal life saver for many women and children.
During our recent trip to Bali to celebrate 10 years of Coastal Vintage,
the crew had the honour of visiting the BSM safe house to meet the Mum's who make the glassware we sell on their behalf.
These glasses have always been one of our favourite products, but meeting the Mum's who make them and hearing their stories made it so real for us.
To say it was a life changing experience is an understatement!
Upon entering through the guarded gates we were welcomed with hugs and smiles by the gorgeous kiddies,
many of them tucking small frangipani flowers behind our ears and taking us by the hand.
It was heartbreaking to hear that during the pandemic over 125 children came to be fed daily at the safe house
as their parents had lost their jobs and could not afford to feed them.
It's thanks to the safe house that many of these beautiful children are here today.
Kim and her team are breaking the tragic cycle of impoverished mums, begging children and human trafficking in so many ways:
Rescuing abused children, providing a refuge, feeding the hungry, medical aid and counselling, education and empowering the mums by teaching them new skills.
Mornings at the safe house see the older children like Intan (above - who love gymnastics and wants to be an animal doctor when she grows up), away at big school.
The younger ones or those not yet able to go to school, attend pre-school at the safe house and are taught by a trained pre-school teacher.
They spend their mornings drawing and colouring in order to refine their motor skills.
Even the son of the local garbage man (above) is now attending pre-school at the safe house!
Kim and her team care for these children with genuine love, affection and respect. Some of the Mums cook, others clean, all are paid a wage for the work they do.
Kim herself does not take a wage as she is able to earn money on trips back to New Zealand.
Financially the safe house is an open book, with very few overheads and no administration infrastructure to service, nearly all the funding is used directly to help the Mums and kids.
Sadly, so many of them have come from horrific situations. Kim shared a few storied with us...
A family of three sisters, who share a bed at the safe house, were dropped off by their Mother, as their step Father was sexually and physically abusing them.
Kim related how the girls would wake up through the night screaming and crying.
The organisation employs a social worker who helps counsel children.
When the girls first arrived she would sleep in the room with the girls and was there when they woke up to help calm them down and over time help them heal.
Today, a few years later - they are thriving, doing well in school and love to dance.
A small boy who looked about six ran past us and Kim explained he is actually 12 years old and severely malnourished.
They have been trying to help him put on weight, it has taken a lot longer than expected, but against all odds he has gained 2 kilograms.
We meet Cinta, one of the Mums who helps to run the market stalls and make the glasses, she is cradling a 28 day old baby and proudly lets us hold her beautiful bundle of joy.
As the older children arrived back from school, the laughter level increased, and all of a sudden we were pulled into a dance routine.
We did our best chicken dance and baby shark moves, but the children fell about laughing at our attempts! Such a lovely, joyful moment.
It was the greatest pleasure and the highlight of our Bali trip visiting the safe house.
To see the impact of selling glasses through Coastal Vintage on behalf of the Mums, and the difference it makes to their lives is truly humbling.
We would love to encourage you to find out more about the BSM safe house by clicking HERE.
There are children who are in need of a sponsor to help feed, clothe and educate them.
And of course you can purchase BSM glasses from us, all profits are returned to the project to help continue this incredible work.