American Community School Changes the Lives of Paraplegics in Bali



Hands Up Schools was approached by an American International School in the Middle East about arranging a trip for 20 of their senior students.


It was essential that the trip combines:

  • Cultural immersion
  • Experiential learning
  • Voluntary Service
  • Planning

Hands Up proposed several destinations around the world that fit within the school’s budget, and the students decided on Bali, Indonesia.

Trip Elements

1. Cultural Immersion

The group immersed themselves in the Balinese culture through:

– A culture day trip led by expert Balinese guides, covering temples, villages, interaction with artisans
– A hike from Kastala village, meeting villagers and farmers, walking through rice paddies and tropical fruit plantations
– Market visit as part of cooking class

2. Experiential learning

The students had a cooking lesson where they prepared delicious Bali dishes and took home a recipe book with many recipes

3. Voluntary Service

Disabled people have especially difficult lives in Hindu Bali, as their conditions are believed to be the result of having done something wrong in a past life, so they are treated as 2 nd class citizens, with no government support, often hidden away by their families.


The students were split into four groups and built four disabled-accessible bathrooms for four paraplegics in different villages – enormously improving the quality of life, dignity and independence of these individuals

4. Other activities

It is vital that all elements of a trip are fun, and they were; in addition, the students had time for enjoying the hotel pool, ocean rafting, dive walking, and snorkeling.

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