Elite Havens Country Manager for Indonesia, Alan Porteous, is a man on a mission to make change happen. On June 13, 2020, he cycled 350 kilometres non-stop around Bali, a 12-hour endurance mission, with the goal of helping the local children to return to school as soon as possible. Alan teamed up with Bali Hope, Bali Children Foundation and Elite Havens to make this event happen. “Together, we can make a difference,” he says.
Elite Havens: You are obviously very attached to Bali. Can you tell us more about that?
Alan Porteus: As Country Manager for Elite Havens Indonesia, Bali has been my home for over eight years. Bali receives more than six million foreign tourists and a further 11 million domestic visitors per year. More than 70% of Balinese people rely on tourism for their income either directly or indirectly. They have endured many challenges, including the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005 and have always recovered. However, COVID-19 is bigger and more devastating than anything before it in terms of the economic impact.
Elite Havens: What made you want to support this cause specifically?
Alan Porteus: Bali has a population of over four million people, many living in extreme poverty, and this is increasing. The most impoverished are generally away from the key tourism areas in the north, east or west of Bali and many of these families cannot afford to send their children to school leaving them without education and any chance of a future. Education is the key to sustainable change and a better future.
Elite Havens: Why did you choose Elite Havens as your sponsor?
Alan Porteus: Elite Havens has been an integral part of Bali Tourism and Hospitality for over 20 years. We employ over 1,000 staff in Bali with an estimated 5,000 families being supported by the business. Elite Havens delivers, directly or indirectly. They are a family-oriented organisation, and we are passionate about helping and improving our home communities in a sustainable way. We continually increase our efforts to give back to the Balinese and Indonesian people, and partnering with Bali Hope and Bali Children Foundation was a perfect fit for us.
Elite Havens: Why did you want to partner with Bali Hope and Bali Children Foundation?
Alan Porteus: In 2019, I partnered with Bali Hope and Bali Children Foundation. I joined the Bali Hope 2019 Swim Run event, wherein I helped raise funds for a recycling project and education programs on the island of Nusa Lembongan just off Bali. Bali Hope and Bali Children Foundation were a perfect fit for me, and this was instantly recognisable. Bali Hope is about creating positive change through endurance events, and I am an endurance addict having completed five Ironman and 15 half Ironman events and always looking for a new challenge.
Bali Children Foundation helps thousands of children to complete school, to find employment, and to improve their lives and the life of their community. Starting in 2002, they have worked on one village at a time to help a total of 76 villages. After identifying a village with disadvantaged families, the local staff members work together with the village leaders to introduce families to Bali Children Foundation and the opportunities their scholarships and curriculum provided.
The Bali Children Foundation believes that the next generation’s education is their top priority. Due to the COVID-19 economic crisis, these students from the wider community are at great risk. About 25% of students are at risk of dropping out of high school because their parents cannot afford the costs of school fees.
Margaret Barry, founder of the Bali Children Foundation, affirms: “The Bali Hope Challenge and Alan’s ride around Bali is a fundraising event to provide a ‘Get Educated’ fund for the school fees of this semester. Please support him by ensuring Bali’s next generation can continue to get the education they deserve.”
Bali Hope’s mission is to bring together extraordinary people for team endurance missions that build community and make change happen. Their passion is centred around family and children and giving back to Bali, which ties in perfectly with Alan, Bali Children Foundation and Elite Havens.
Tom Hickman, founder of Bali Hope, states: “It has been fantastic to see previous participants like Alan step forward to support our charity partner in these difficult times while our events are pushed back to 2021. Alan’s endurance cycle is such an inspirational effort. We are so grateful.”
The COVID-19 crisis has been a huge challenge for us all. But despite all this, we can still do our part in helping each other and by getting through this, together. You can still extend your support by visiting Alan’s donation page. Funds raised will go to Bali Children Foundation, an award-winning charity providing pathways out of poverty for some of Bali’s most disadvantaged children. Watch the video below to know more about Alan and his efforts to make change happen, and find out more about his work at Elite Havens as Country Manager for Indonesia.