Turkish woman becomes guardian angel to Bali's poor
by Anadolu Agency
MELBOURNENov 20, 2019 - 4:44 pm GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Nov 20, 2019 4:44 pm
The life of a Turkish woman living in Australia changed forever when she decided to take a vacation to the island of Bali in Indonesia. Bali, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is considered by many to be a paradise on Earth. Yet, for residents, the island has a darker side. In Bali, as many as 162,051 people, or 35% of the island's population, live below the poverty line. Furthermore, the poverty rate in rural areas is double that of urban settlements. When Güzin İnanır traveled to Bali and witnessed the incredible poverty, she felt the need to help in any way she could. İnanır has since won the heart of locals, who affectionately know her as “Mother Güzin."
İnanır began by gathering funds from those in her social circle to give to the poor. After this initial success, İnanır realized that she had a mission to carry on. “They are living in the forest under tin-roofs for shelter, not homes” said the volunteer, "After seeing the poverty that the children have to tolerate, I said to myself: 'This cannot be a place to take a vacation.' So I initiated a funding campaign starting with my friends and family in Melbourne, Australia.” Following her fourth trip to Bali, İnanır decided to launch a charity foundation called “Heart to Hati,” a play on words blending English and Indonesian words for “heart.” “After I set up the charity, the donations for Balian children started to increase. It is amazing to see how happy children get over just a piece of chocolate. It makes me happy to see the glow in their eyes. I guess, seeing happy people is the ultimate joy for me,” said İnanır.
İnanır provides food and basic needs for Bali's poor, as well as prosthetic legs and wheelchairs for children who need them. İnanır’s charity also takes care of the elderly, offering them a comfortable place to stay. Over Ramadan, the charity provides packages full of food. The foundation also covers schooling costs for a number of children. İnanır collects donations personally every three months. “When it is time for me to come back to Bali, children wait for me at the gates. They call me 'Ibu Güzin' - or 'Mother Güzin.' I am a mother for the whole area.”