From Solemen to SoleFamily Bali

Our Story

After almost forty years in the UK and Japanese fashion industry, Solemen’s Founder, Robert Epstone, following ten years in Shanghai arrived in Bali in 2009 intending to relax in retirement. After a 15-month project building wells in East Sumba for the Rotary Club of Bali Seminyak, he made the decision to start his own NGO and give back to the island he had chosen to retire in.

Robert pledged to go barefoot until he had raised $1 million for his foundation (a milestone reached several years ago), and Yayasan Solemen Indonesia was born.

Our Story

Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.

In 2011 he completed his first barefoot walk of 535km around Bali, stopping at various villages to conduct workshops and medical health checks where most of the villages had never seen a doctor. His second barefoot walk in 2012 saw him operated on a school desk for a serious foot injury and ended with Robert completing the walk despite being on crutches. What initially was a decision driven by empathy for those who couldn’t afford to wear shoes, became a way to establish credibility for himself as someone with integrity, as an honest, reliable, and passionate person people could trust to lead a charity.

Meeting ‘Angel’ Sarah Chapman was a real turning point for Solemen. Kadek Ani, eight years old and six kilos, fortuitously brought Robert and Sarah together. Sarah, a retired nurse with 28 years of nursing experience in the UK, had been riding on the back of a motorbike 6 hours a day, 3 days a week, to visit Ani who was severely malnourished with multiple health issues. Robert reached out after reading her story on Facebook and together, they made sure that Ani received the care and medical attention she needed until she sadly died a few months after meeting her. Her legacy continues as the catalyst inspiring the birth of Solemen’s Outreach programme.
Sarah and Robert have since been passionate, and tireless volunteers dedicating their lives to the people of Bali, and putting smiles on the faces of those most in need.

solefamily story
Operating Expenses

SoleFamily Bali

Yayasan Solemen Indonesia (‘Solemen’), established in 2011, gained a reputation as one of Bali’s most respected and reputable non-profit health organisations. To date they have supported over 900 families with a disabled or sick member.

In March 2023, Solemen rebranded as Yayasan Sole Family Bali (SFB) with a new legal framework and a passionate, dynamic new board. The name change to SoleFamily reflects the charity’s commitment to providing comprehensive support for families in need. With a dedicated team offering support, advice, healthcare, and compassion, the organisation is making a lasting impact on the lives of those it serves in Bali.

The name has changed, hope and love hasn’t.

SoleFamily’s focus is community outreach, medical intervention, food aid, education, and occasional disaster response. SoleFamily’s activities benefit the sick, the poor, the disabled, and the marginalised in Bali.

SoleFamily changes the lives of people of all ages and religions throughout Bali by bringing hope and sustainable solutions to those who find access to healthcare difficult.
Their programmes are funded via generous private and corporate donations.

In addition to the two passionate founders, they have a talented board of directors, dedicated managers, and a compassionate team of outreach and administrative staff. Overheads are well known to be kept at an absolute minimum.

All donations go directly to making a positive impact to their patients diverse needs.

For more information on medical care or to report a family member who needs help, please message (us) to [email protected].

Please help (our organisation) by liking them on SoleFamily FB

and donating today

Sole Family needs your help not just in monetary terms, but also food, clothing, mobility/disability aids, sponsors and more.
Please review the wish list to view what is currently needed. SoleFamily Bali hopes that you can help (them) us help (the) their SoleBuddies as well as enjoy the beautiful island of Bali.

SoleFamily Bali needs your help

Not just in monetary terms, but also food, clothing, mobility/disability aids, sponsors and more.
Please review the wish list to view what is currently needed. SoleFamily Bali hopes that you can help them help the SoleBuddies as well as enjoy the beautiful island that is Bali.

Recognised as one of Bali’s most respected and trusted charities.

‘Solemen’ founded in 2011 by Robert Epstone. ‘Sole Family Bali’ co founded in 2013 by Robert Epstone and Sarah Chapman.

SoleFamily Bali has one big mission - to continue changing lives in Bali.

Any person suffering from a physical, or mental disability can seek help and advice from our Outreach team.

SoleFamily Bali cares for over 800 families; the SoleBuddy and their family carers.

SoleFamily Bali assist the most marginalised in Bali.

Changing Lives In Bali

Every SoleBuddy and their family needs our support, and we need your support so we can continue their medical care, their emotional welfare, and to be their shoulder to lean on.