Short on Money, This Man in Bali Runs an Orphanage on PositivityNone By Matt Alesevich
A few winding streets away from some of Bali's most luxurious tourist villas, contributors to the island’s $7-billion-dollar-a-year tourism trade, there's a children's home that operates on a mere $15,000 per year.
The home is run by 47-year-old Bali native Dada Sutapananda, a yoga teacher with a neo-humanist philosophy of selfless giving who, admittedly, never truly knows where next month's operating funds will come from.
With 25 children aged 6 to 20 counting on him, one would assume he's a pretty stressed out guy.
Through yoga, meditation and service to others, however, Dada maintains his equilibrium, happiness, and confidence, and he’s always found a way to make ends meet with a smile.
Eager to discover what makes Dada's unwavering optimism tick, Happify caught up with him at his Ananda Kuranja Ashram and Children's Home outside of Singaraja, Bali.
Is it true you run a children's home with no fixed funding or support?
In the beginning, I [found out I] had eight boys coming to my place, so I said, "Okay, I'll take care of them." Actually, I didn't know where the money would come from! I thought I will just start and go with the flow. It's been two and a half years, and I haven't had a problem. Money sometimes lacks a little, but I don't have a problem with the minimum requirement of food and clothes. We have simple accomodation. Casually people come and give donations or food or clothes, but it's never fixed.
Doesn't this worry you?
I talk to parents and they always say this: "I have two children. How do you take care of and school 25 children and pay for this and that and just laugh?" It's because I know that whenever you do good things, there will be a way. I have a very strong confidence in myself. I'll do something and get a donation or contact or find people who want to help. It just happens. I don't have a website. I don't have a leaflet. People get to know me from meditation or talking somewhere and things happen naturally.
How are you able to sustain the home on such limited resources?
Well, our rice comes from the rice paddies we have. It helps we never have to buy rice. Some people or the department of social services will bring a few sacks of rice or oil or books or money for tuition fees. We grow our food on our land, and we do karma yoga with a worker bee mentality. Every day the bo