I am a friend of Gratia Widiasih who is a dressmaker living in Bali. I am writing this funding appeal on her behalf. Gratia made a very small income from her dressmaking business until Covid hit. Tourists, who were her main customers, fled the island and have not returned leaving Gratia with no income. She has turned her hand to making home made, embroidered masks to try and raise some money. She was eeking out a living by selling her masks. Because Bali ran on tourism with very few people working in other areas, Balinese people have probably suffered from Covid restrictions more than most.
In January, Monsoonal rains and storms hit Bali. Gratia's very humble home, built on the banks of a river, was inundated with the rising waters of the river. She woke up in the middle of the night with huge bangs and crashes and sounds of rushing waters. Terrified, she waited until dawn to discover the rising river had broken its banks and swept the foundations and kitchen side of her home away. The simple structure is now leaning at a dangerous angle and is not safe to stay in.
Gratia has four dogs and a cat. She loves all animals and has been a saviour to Bali dogs and cats, feeding them whenever she can even when often all she can offer them is rice. Three of her dogs were saved from the streets and one dog was dumped on her by an expat who lived here and then left.
A friend of Gratia who lives in Denpasar, offered her a small room in an old, building that looks as if it should be demolished. Gratia moved with her few belongings to this room on the first floor and now lives in this cramped space with her animals. One of her dogs is uncomfortable in the squashed conditions and spends all his time outside the window on a sloping roof.
Gratia continues to make her masks and would take dressmaking orders if any were forthcoming. She goes hungry much of the time and her diet consists mostly of rice with occasional vegetables. She has been given a quote to fix her house and the cost would be about US $2,500. Please donate what you can towards Gratia's home renovation. Every dollar will help.