Twenty years have passed since Gede Bingin, the first Balinese student to benefit from the experience
of a school term at Helena College in Perth, Western Australia, bravely boarded a plane for his first flight and travelled to Australia.
Gede, just 17 years old, was from a subsistence farming family who lived in a small village in the dry, eastern part of Bali. After completing primary school in his village, he came to Denpasar to look after his brother’s young child. Determined to continue his education, he took English lessons and computer classes. When the opportunity to go to Helena College was presented to him, he seized it enthusiastically.
On his return to Bali, Gede started helping John Fawcett with his early humanitarian work. Now, 20 years later, Gede holds the position of the Yayasan’s Office Manager, also responsible for the Children’s Corrective Surgery Program
and children’s cataract surgeries.
In the intervening years, 31 young people have participated in the same program, returning to their island community enriched by this experience. This September, Arya and Yastari, two more students, have been given the opportunity to go to Helena College.