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Children hawking on the beach

Brisbane, Australia
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Children hawking on the beach

I'm just wanting everyone's opinions of this practice in Amed.

Most of us who have been there would have seen the liitle books they give you to read asking that you buy from them to support thier schooling and school. And I can gaurantee most of us have bought from them.

BUT education is free is Indonesia for children of this age..............

Some of the expat owned businesses display signs asking tourists not to buy from these children because the money doesn't go to the schools at all, and encourages them to be lazy.

I personally don't think that it is lazy to sell goods, so I disagree on this point with them, but I do feel that whoever it was that wrote out these pages for these children is responsible for promoting a situation that is not always beneficial to the children. Surely, their time would be better spent playing, being children, or doing homework rather than hawking cheap goods on the beach to tourists.

And in most cases these children have enough basic english (in my experience) that they don't need the written blurb to explain where the money is supposd to be going. The blurb, obviously written by an english as a first language, person, just acts as a tool to encourage (and shame) the tourist into handing over cash.

Opinions welcome :-)

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Amed
Amed
Abang, Indonesia
Terrigal, Australia
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1. Re: Children hawking on the beach

i may be wrong but the schools are free but the teaching is not and so students do pay to go to school but also it may be after 6th grade. i'll have to look into that or maybe someone knows for sure.

anyway, just another way to contribute to the families' earnings. i wonder how kids can go up to strangers and ask for assistance. thinking of when i was a kid it must be a hard thing to do for them.

Perth
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for Kuta, Lovina Beach, Singaraja, Baturiti, Bali
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2. Re: Children hawking on the beach

well I have always been told that this is basically child labour and should not be encouraged.

Not the only reason I don't buy though....I find there to be too many kids with products that i would not have a use for.

So it's always been a no go zone for me Whinnie.

Brisbane
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3. Re: Children hawking on the beach

I think there are still costs with going to school, much the same as in Australia where public schooling is "free". Uniforms, shoes, sports gear, books, the odd text book fees, all the little extras that aren't free?

Cheshire, United...
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4. Re: Children hawking on the beach

Education is supposed to be free for children at elementary & junior high school but that isn't entirely the case. In Amed the costs are as follows:

Elementary: Uniform, shoes etc 250,000

Lunch/snack money 1,500 per day,9,000 per week

Total cost per year 718,000

Junior High in Culik: Uniform, shoes etc 200,000

Semester 1 fees 200,000

Bemo transport & lunch money 4,000 per day, 24,000 per week

Semester 2 fees 200,000

Total cost per year 2,000,000

Senior High in Amlapura

Uniform & attributes 1,000,000

6 monthly of 100,000 so 200,000 per year

Monthly fees 75,000, 900,000 per year

Bemo transport & lunch money 5,000 per day, 30,000 per week

Total per year 3,660,000

The main industry in Amed is fishing, the fishermen earn a meagre income. Many children finish their education aged 12 years at the end of elementary school as their parents simply cannot afford the costs of Junior High.

The children weave the baskets themselves, make the bead necklaces, sometimes their parents help. It can be daunting to be approached by a group of children but usually after a firm "Tidak terima kasih" they are happy to chat & practise their English.

There is a sign outside Amed Cafe saying that education is free & not to buy from the children as it encourages them to be lazy. It isn't entirely free, there are costs involved so this is misleading. I find the sign insulting to the local families. I've watched children weaving their baskets & attaching sequins or shells so they are not lazy.

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Amed
Amed
Abang, Indonesia
Hotel Amed Cafe
Hotel Amed Cafe
157 Reviews
Amed, Indonesia
Australia
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5. Re: Children hawking on the beach

There is a sign outside Amed Cafe saying that education is free & not to buy from the children as it encourages them to be lazy. It isn't entirely free, there are costs involved so this is misleading. I find the sign insulting to the local families. I've watched children weaving their baskets & attaching sequins or shells so they are not lazy.

I agree Ursie.

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Hotel Amed Cafe
Hotel Amed Cafe
157 Reviews
Amed, Indonesia
Cheshire, United...
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for Bali, Amed
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6. Re: Children hawking on the beach

Thanks for your comments Linda. I was really upset the first time I saw that sign & very embarrassed by it. I've visited homes nearby & some families have very very little. The children are so enthusiastic & eager to learn & I think all children should be entiltled to a free education. Maybe I'll do some research next trip & try to ascertain why the government maintains that education is free yet the schools charge. The government decreed last year that young children must attend First School. A wonderful idea if it was free but it isn't. There is the cost of uniform, monthly fees, transport & snack money. The nearest First School is in Culik so the children have to travel there. Also it was poorly resourced when it opened.

My first experience of the children in Amed was when I met numerous children selling their wares on the beach & now many of them have become friends.

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Amed
Amed
Abang, Indonesia
Perth
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for Kuta, Lovina Beach, Singaraja, Baturiti, Bali
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7. Re: Children hawking on the beach

I can't refer to Amed only Lovina where the same thing happens with the children.

We sponsor a child in Lovina....so they can go to school.

The children that approach us in their zillions always have anklets and bracelets made out of stuff we can't get back in (seeds).

So is Amed in particular different from Lovina I wonder....no sign in Lovina just zillions of kids and no precious wares.

I have still been told a few times about the child labour bit and should not be encouraged......so one still wonders.....what was that that Whinnie said about them just being children and playing.

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Amed
Amed
Abang, Indonesia
Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Children hawking on the beach

My issue isn't really with them selling, although it does make having a relaxing snorkel very difficult as there are just so many of them and they just don't give up. They may with you Ursie, but my experience is very different especially taking newbies to Bali up there. They do eventually leave Hubby and I alone but usually only because we use the "play with them tactic". We talk to them and play with them until they forget to try to sell to us and we end up having a great time with them. Although my Hubby was very interested in buying a large ship kite that one of them was selling, but was completely put off it because he couldn't talk to that boy without 20 other children all pushing in and talking over each other to get his attention. It became impossible.

My issue is with the note that they all have copies of. It is misleading and it is a shame tactic and really, they don't need to do that. If they are going to do it, then they need to learn to back off and let people buy from one of them (most of them have exactly the same wares) without being surrounded and feeling like you are in the middle of a feeding frenzy (it really is as bad as that). And they need to stop using the note that they all have. For newcomers and people not used to this situation, it is very, very daunting and in all honesty they would do a lot more business if they backed off.

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Bali
Bali
Indonesia
Eaton, Australia
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for Broome, Bunbury
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9. Re: Children hawking on the beach

I tend to buy whatever is being offered by children, wherever it may be when we stop to have a look or a swim or whatever. However, as with what Whinnie is saying, if I get surrounded by large numbers of hawkers, whether they are adults or children, I get so claustrophobic by the sheer numbers of people all talking and pushing, I just have to get away.

So I agree, back off and I think more will actually buy and not get completely overwhelmed by the numbers and escape the quickest way they can...usually by getting in a car and driving off.

Edited: 23 July 2010, 00:55
Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Children hawking on the beach

We recently stayed in Amed and whilst on a snorkelling trip we were approached and surrounded by about a dozen or more children trying to sell us all sorts of things, miniature boats, necklaces and little beaded baskets with salt. We didn't bring any money with us because we didn't think we would need anything as we were snorkelling but I did have a bag with keys, phone, camera and sunscreen, so they didn't believe me and kept on thinking there was money in my bag. We were getting quite annoyed and put off. This is while we are trying to get to the water over the hot pebbles that are mixed in with Corse sand, not easy as our feet are sinking into it like its quicksand and the area smells strongly of Cow Dung! As well, we are trying to get our son, who’s on crutches into the water and fitted with his one flipper! We had to work fast to get into the water just to get away!

Later when I came out of the water, they came straight back to me before I even had a chance to grab my towel. I took some photos of the kid’s snorkelling and the area and then ended up sitting down close to the water (less smelly!) and a few of them sat down nearby me. I was looking at a free little booklet that we had picked up in Candidasa the previous day that had all sorts of info on Candidasa, Amed and surrounding areas. I ended up asking one of the older girls (she was 12 and she spoke english well) what the name of this beach was and then we both looked at the map to spot it there. She then became very interested in the booklet and I handed it over and she pointed out places she had visited, there wasn't many but they had all been with her teacher and not too far away. She told me the only other place she had been to in Bali was Denpasar to visit her older brother and father who were working there, she said she was living with her Grandmother here in Amed as her mother had died. It was her school holidays and I asked her what else she had been doing on her break and she said that this is what all she does. Her grandmother makes the little baskets and she collects shells from the beach to decorate them and then tries to sell them on the beach to tourists. I then of course felt bad and said I would buy two if I’d had money on me. She asked if we would come back another day and I said I didn't think so as we were leaving the following morning. She also asked where we were staying, I told her and she said that it was far. Well what do you know; her and her little friend appeared on the beach at our hotel while we were having lunch at the restaurant later that day. I asked her how they got here and she said they had walked! They came all that way to sell me the two little baskets. I don't even remember how much I paid, I didn't really want them, but I felt like she deserved a Sale, how could I say no!

It ended nicely and it was interesting chatting to the girls, but the rest of my family may have also been more inclined to join in had we not have been so bombarded by them all initially and not just by the children. I also had to say no repeatedly to a couple of ladies on the beach offering us massages as soon as we got down there. This is something I didn’t expect in Amed and it is a shame.

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Amed
Amed
Abang, Indonesia
Candidasa
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Karangasem, Indonesia
Bali
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Denpasar
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