It all started in 1998 while Begoña Lopez was on vacation in Bali, Indonesia. Not satisfied with just being a tourist, she decided to do some volunteer work at a local school called Sutha Darma. It was there that she met three handicapped brothers with a disability they called “sensitive bones”. They came from a very poor family and were severely deformed. All of them were in wheelchairs. Over time a beautiful and strong friendship developed. It was from this beginning that Begoña’s life changed and Kupu-Kupu Foundation finally emerged.
On her second trip to Bali, Begoña had a little money that she had raised from some friends in Spain. On this trip she visited a school for handicapped children in Bangli. They asked her to buy mattresses for the beds and some school materials. She also saw the condition of the kitchen at the boarding school and was appalled at how it only had a dirt floor and no running water. She talked to the director of the school about how they could organize to build a new kitchen for the children.
She also went to a hut in Bangli where there were three handicapped young men sleeping on a single mattress on the floor that was dirty and full of holes. She bought some new mattresses and from that point she visited them often to talk about their lives, needs and problems.
At that time Begoña lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon her return she was completely consumed by what she had seen in Bali and how she was going to help. Feeling that she could be more successful at raising funds in her home country, she decided to move back to Spain in order to try to find sponsors for her new projects in Bali. In order to get funding, she found it necessary to set up a NGO and then apply for funds from different Spanish government agencies.
Kupu-Kupu was organized as a local charity on 18th February 2000 in Spain. Shortly afterwards, Begoña was successful at getting funding for her first project, a new kitchen for the handicapped school, from the City Council of Llodio, Spain.
In June 2000 Begoña made the ultimate commitment and decided to move to Bali and give up her job and her lives in Spain and Scotland. Since then she has been working for the Foundation on a full-time volunteer basis without any pay.
Kupu-Kupu Foundation works to improve the lives of physically and mentally disabled children, adolescents and adults in Bali, Indonesia.
They fulfill their mission statement by:
- Assisting with medical care by providing medicines, physiotherapy and surgical operations
- Providing wheelchairs and other physical aids.
- Adapting facilities to make them more handicapped friendly.
- Increasing the awareness of the local community about the problems of the handicapped.
- Getting handicapped children in school by providing the necessary support that they need.
- Helping the handicapped to become more independent through job training and support. This primary is done through selling and promoting handicrafts that they make.
More information of the foundation and how to support in their webpage.