Luh De Suriyani ,
The Jakarta Post , Denpasar | Mon, 10/19/2009 1:25 PM | Bali
A poster exhibition and public event marked the anti-poverty campaign, “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now”, campaign at Denpasar’s Puputan Badung Park on Sunday.
The exhibit featured dozens of works by local artists. The posters were displayed in the field and attracted the attention of the city’s residents, who flocked to the event.
One of the participating artists, Wayan Dania, created posters that attacked prevailing social injustices in the environment, health care and the economy.
One of his works read “We need no heroes, we only need someone to plant trees”, with a gripping visual of the island’s disappearing forests due to rampant illegal logging and unchecked man-made development.
His other works highlighted children’s rights for better education and nutrition.
“Sometimes we forget how vastly liberating the sky is because we keep being told to bow and look down,” Dania said.
Next to the poster exhibit, activists from the Bali Bloggers Community (BCC) offered a free-of-charge crash course on basic computer and Internet knowledge. One of the curious visitors was middle-aged man I Ketut Tarta.
Three months ago, Tarta was forced to take an early retirement package after working for 15 straight years for the island’s oldest and biggest chain of supermarkets. Now, he is unemployed.
“I haven’t succeeded in getting a new job. Now, I want to setup a new business providing a marketing and distribution channel for bee farmers in my village, and I need the Internet to promote my business,” he said.
The activists taught Tarta how to set up his email account and introduced him to the marketing potentials of blogging.
The BCC has actively worked to increase the Internet literacy of the island’s residents, particularly those from low-income families. In the past, the BCC had conducted educational campaigns targeting street children.
On adjacent tables, which lined the pedestrian area in front of the Bali Museum, activists from other NGOs offered their services ranging from educational sessions about reproductive health to free medical checkups for senior citizens.
Organized by Alase, an alliance of the island’s NGOs and civil society institutions, the campaign was aimed at strengthening public initiatives to encourage the government to fulfill its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The event attracted more than 500 activists and concerned individuals, who gathered to remind both the local public and government of the importance of MDGs.