This Page/Menu Header is intended to provide as much detailed information about the Ashram, from a statement about volunteering at the Ashram by a former volunteer to an overview of the activities there that a guest may at his or her choosing but a volunteer expected to participate. We will add pages that we deem appropriate for this Menu Header as we come across them. The intention is to give interested parties a good idea about the ashram and hopefully will answer many of the frequently asked questions by potential guests and volunteers alike.
Please feel free to write with more questions or suggestions so that we can provide the answer to all the others out there who may have similar queries. It is all in the interest of improving our efficiency of communication
Principally our Ashram differs from traditional Gandhian Ashrams with our slightly different interpretation of the concept of swadeshi or self-sufficiency as originally espoused by Gandhi. Borne out of necessity as we do not own nor have access to the rather scarce – and expensive – large tract of land in Bali for the members to till and sustain the Ashram and its members (even if we had the funds to acquire the lands, we will be depriving many poor or tenant farmers of their livelihood, which is hardly Gandhian), our founder Ibu Gedong instead pioneered the new economic model to run a paying accommodation served by the members to derive its primary income to support the running of the Ashram and its host of community services. However, we still have links to the agrarian ashram model in that there are a number of Ashram’s small plots of land run on traditional ‘non-violent’ farming methods by tenant farmers, where our members participate in the mass seed planting and harvesting. The produce such as peanuts, beans, chillies is used at the ashram with the excess produce sold at the local market. We believe that at the time, and indeed even now, our adaptation of the Gandhian Ashram model is unique to us alone but which has served us and the communities we support well.
Our founder’s foresight is a forerunner to the now very much in vogue ‘eco-tourism’ where people can observe and perhaps participate without spoiling the inherent nature of the object. In fact we would argue that the implementation of our adapted model even enhances our ‘service’ outcome as our younger school age and knowledge hungry members thrive from this exposure to the primarily overseas guests and volunteers as they gain immense confidence in English and themselves, a pretty useful springboard and very much reflected with their generally better performance at school and with the careers they pursue in their later lives.