The holiday he and his wife took in 2005 to Bali, Indonesia, instead spurred a mission.
It started when a woman who was traveling with them asked if they wanted to see an orphanage, Bill Taylor said. They went to see it and discovered many of the girls needed people to help them by sponsoring their education.
The Taylors decided to sponsor two girls before the end of their two-week trip.
"It pretty much grew from there," Taylor said.
The next year, he and his wife went back to the orphanage in Untal-Untal, north of Denpasar, the capital city of Bali. They met the two teenage girls they sponsored for the first time and found out how many more girls at the orphanages needed sponsors. They told friends about eight girls when they returned home to Edmonds. A similar chain of events happened when they visit for the third consecutive year in 2007, Taylor said.
While the Taylors now sponsor five girls, they have helped to coordinate sponsorships for 140 girls. A total of $400 a year for each girl covers the cost of food and school-related expenses including uniforms and job training, Taylor said.
Many of the girls are not orphans in the traditional sense that they do not have parents, Taylor added. School is not free in Indonesia and parents who cannot afford to give their child an education can send them to live in an orphanage.
"School in the country costs about $20 a month," Taylor said. "A day laborer, if they can find work, can make $4 a day on average and many of these children come from families where their parents are not day laborers."
Seven orphanages throughout Bali are operated by the Widhya Asih Foundation, which is sponsored by the Christian Church of Bali. About 400 children total live in the orphanages. The Taylors in 2007 started the Bill & Pat Bali Fund, a self-directed fund within the San Francisco-based nonprofit Give2Asia, to help the Widhya Asih Foundation fund the girls' educations. Donations are also accepted to help provide university tuition scholarships, school shoes, books, backpacks and rice for the girls.
Six of the orphanages house girls and boys, Taylor said, but the first orphanage they visited is only for girls and their fund is focused on raising money for girls.
"Mainly in Third World developing countries the culture marginalizes girls," Taylor said. "Evidence supports that the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty is education and particularly educating girls."
Taylor, a semi-retired management consultant, takes four trips to Bali every year and along with his wife, leads at least one annual trip for sponsors. They have provided laptop computers, funded a bus, built a vocational training center at Untal-Untal, and equipped each of the seven orphanages with water purification systems.
Taylor said he visits flea markets and swap meets throughout the year to try to find things the girls can use. On his most recent trip in late September, he brought 60 Barbie dolls with him to the orphanage in Blimbingsari, Bali.
During other past trips they've brought the girls stickers, school supplies, chocolate and handmade bracelets, Pat Taylor said. They see how the gifts and the money from their fund get used.
"We can give and do give to local organizations in Seattle and Edmonds, but we also feel the money we can give makes a greater impact there," she said. "When we give to the girls there we can see they get a better education, they get better food and they can break the cycle of poverty."
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; email@example.com.
How to help
To learn more about sponsoring a girl in Bali, Indonesia, or donating to the Bill and Pat Bali Fund go to balifund.org.
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