Find out more about the Ragam Foundation: a notable charity organisation in Bali

By Catur, 2024.05.24

Ragam Foundation - charity event in Bali

Bali has been known as the Mecca of tourism worldwide for decades due to its incredible nature and unique traditions. But just like everything in the world, there are always two sides to the coin – and it is not always about glam and blitz on the Island of Gods. There are still many disadvantaged and underprivileged communities in Bali – something that people rarely talk about.

Whatever the right term for charity work, whether a foundation, a Yayasan, or a non-profit organisation, it shares the same purpose: improving the lives of local communities and creating a positive impact through dynamic programs.

Short introduction about the Ragam Foundation

The sign and logo of Ragam Foundation organisation

Out of many charities in Bali, the Ragam Foundation was built on a philosophy of giving to people in need and facilitating those who want to give back, whether through donation or participation in the programs. As one of the leading non-profit organisations in Bali, the Ragam Foundation has established various programs since its inception. Founded by Nicolaas Kimman, the name Ragam was chosen to represent the diversity of their volunteers, local staff, and the communities they help.

The word Ragam means diversity in Indonesian and embodies the programs they run. The Ragam Foundation aims to help local communities via projects such as distributing daily nutritious meals, educational programs through a community garden, organising organic farm tours, and teaching local women to knit to give them access to clean water. We conducted an online interview with Nick and asked him about the Ragam Foundation.

Interview with Nick about his charity in Bali via the Ragam Foundation (Yayasan Ragam Kemanusiaan Indonesia)

Cooking during the charity event from Ragam Foundation

1. How did growing up in Indonesia influence your founding of the Ragam Foundation, and why did you choose Bali over other places in Indonesia?

Throughout my life in Indonesia, I grew up simultaneously in two worlds. I studied in international schools and had friends there, but I always went home to our house in local areas where I had friends from the neighbourhood. I was never ‘shielded’ from the realities that exist in any city that I lived in, always seeing and being aware of the disparities in ‘income’, ‘livelihood’, and ‘living conditions’ that exist. This was especially made clear when I moved to Bali when I was 12. It is a paradise Island for people who come and visit, but it is a daily struggle for many local people who work here.

I feel that all of these experiences and how my parents raised me ‘not inside a bubble’, combined with my innate desire to help others, motivated me from a young age to someday be able to do something to give back to the country I call home. I chose Bali because I have been here for the longest time and have the strongest roots.

Men and women are cooking for the charity meeting in Bali

2. What was the first program the Ragam Foundation initiated and how did it come about?

Before I founded Ragam, I worked for a foundation called Scholars of Sustenance during COVID-19. With them, I started one of the first large-scale support kitchens on the island and eventually ran four across the island.

Once COVID was coming to a close and I was conceptualising Ragam, I knew I wanted to continue doing food and that a community kitchen would be one of the leading programs we would run. I believe everyone deserves at least one excellent and nutritious meal a day, and I also knew from experience that a kitchen like this is one of the best ways to get people involved.

Students are cooking on the clases from the Ragam Foundation

3. There are many Yayasan and charities in Bali. What do you think sets the Ragam Foundation apart from other foundations aside from the common goal of giving back to the community?

What sets us apart isn’t necessarily the types of projects we run but the overall philosophy of how we run our organisation. Ragam was and is set up to be a facilitator of goodwill. We’re here to help the people who need support and those who want to give it. Many people have the willingness and capacity to do good things. However, they are often hindered by the questions: Who, Where, Why, How, What, When?

We’re here to address these questions and make it as easy to give through the diverse range of programs, actions, and initiatives we run. The only reason we’ve grown so quickly in the last 2.5 years is because of this approach. Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.

Cooking classes for students from charity organisation

4. The Ragam Foundation now has several programs, each with distinctive goals, such as sustainability, women’s empowerment, and nutrition. If you could summarise the mission, vision, and impact in one sentence, what would it be?

We are empowering underprivileged communities to achieve sustainable prosperity in Bali, Indonesia, by building bridges and fostering change with the SDGs in mind.

The products on the table from charity organisation

5. Out of all your interactions and encounters, which one do you think leaves the lasting and biggest impression/impact on you? What are the biggest challenges that the Ragam Foundation faces at the moment? How do you stay inspired and motivated when challenges arise?

I think this question can best be answered by surmising my experience over the last 2.5 years at Ragam and my work at the previous charity.

I noticed throughout these years that if you operate with proper intent, positivity, and general openness, you will be amazed as to how much will come your way. This foundation is only where it is now thanks to countless individuals and, no matter what challenges we’ve faced (the main one being the continuous sourcing of stable funding) and hardships we’ve had to overcome, the one thing that keeps me and the foundation going is seeing the number of people who resonate and connect with what we’re trying to do and are doing.

There’s a quote I use on lots of the material we share: “When we focus on what drives our souls, we attract those who feel the same,” and this has been evident every day since we began. I cannot begin to describe the gratitude I feel for being a conduit for positivity, and I am honored to be in a position where I can do this every day. Keep these five S words (Sabar, Santai, Semangat, Senyum, Suksma) in mind with whatever you do in life, and you’ll be okay.

The volunteering work in Ragam Foundation organisation

6. What milestone of the Ragam Foundation do you wish to achieve, and what steps have you taken to turn it into reality?

If you had asked me this question when we started, I would have been able to answer it with more clarity as we were just beginning and had a lot of dreams and aspirations to work towards.

Right now, I have a lot of programs that we’re working on, some of which stand a chance to make significant countrywide changes if implemented properly. Of course, a goal would be to see them running the way they are in my mind. However, to keep things simple, Ragams’ biggest and most straightforward milestone is simply being able to continue and grow in a conscious, sustainable, and impactful way.

The Ragam Foundation distributed the products to a big community

The initiatives of the Ragam Foundation in 2023

The initiatives of the Ragam Foundation continued to impact underprivileged communities via several of its projects.

These are some examples of what Ragam achieved in 2023:

The impacts of the Ragam Foundation

The distribution of the meals from the Ragam Foundation

Though the Ragam Foundation is less than three years old, it has grown into a respected foundation in the region of Bali and developed from its first initiative. Bagi-Bagi Nasi Community Kitchen has been proven to help many Balinese, ranging from children to families from underprivileged communities, while its newest program, launched in 2023, aims to give children opportunities to continue their education through the scholarship program.

To maintain their programs and create new initiatives to continue making changes in the Bali community, the Ragam Foundation always needs support. Donating US $10 is enough to provide 55 meals, while US $35 will help families have clean drinking water for up to three years. You can also help by donating clothes, books, and toys, which they will distribute to those in need. You can also volunteer in many of their programs.

To find out more about the Ragam Foundation, please check:

Catur

The author of the project On Bali

Hi everyone! My name is Catur, and I was born and raised in Central Java. I moved to Bali in 2011 but left the island in 2016 before returning in 2018. Bali feels more than a home to me, and maybe that’s why my name feels like a premonition. Catur means four, both in the Balinese and Javanese languages. It is spoken like ‘c’ in chess, which is also the meaning of my name in Indonesian.

Date of Last Update: May 28, 2024

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