The Center With A Big Heart

The Center With A Big Heart

I was asked to present on Autism to the UBUD Rotary club on my second trip to Bali. They had heard that I had been on the island the year before helping. They were interested in knowing the current status of Autism in the world & what I was doing on the island.

The Rotary Club was comprised mainly of expats from California & Australia wanting to make a difference on the island. They had retired to the island, some starting businesses, others consulting & still others opening restaurants & helping in hospitality.

One of the members was volunteering her artistic talents at Sari Haiti Center just outside Ubud, just a 15 minute motor bike trip from my bungalow. She asked if I would meet with the founder while I was on the island. I met Tanja & we immediately connected. She invited me to connect, observe & learn what was going on at Sari Hati. Her hope was that I would connect with the director & her team at the center.

Sari Haii is a center where children & teens with a wide variety of special needs engage in yoga, drumming, art, community meals, ceremony & cognitive enrichment & come together in a safe, supportive & caring environment. Drivers pick up the children at their villages & bring them to a place they can continue to interact & learn, otherwise they would be limited to remaining in their own homes without a great deal of outside stimulation or enrichment.

The Founders provide services free to all, just like all the other centers I have previously mentioned. They find ways to receive donations & sponsorships from outside the island or from businesses & organizations on the island.

My sharing at Sari Hati has focused on helping them to better understand how to support the children with less communication, short attention spans & lower cognitive ability. Sari Haiti has also been one of the 8 centers who now comes to the larger collaboration at YPK each year I visited the island.

Karen Kaplan
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