Making a Difference During COVID in Bali: How You Can Help


When I learned to SCUBA dive in 1990, I expected to visit the underwater world and see creatures beyond my imagination. I never imagined that it would lead me to travel to the far corners of the earth and meet some of my favorite people. Thank you to PADI for all you do to save our seas and train torchbearers.

During COVID, the entire planet has experienced challenges and uncertainties. People have suffered with losses of all kinds. In Bali, Paul ‘Tosh’ Tanner who is territory director of PADI did not stand idly by. He and his family have made a difference and you can help too to make sure that families have food.

Photos and text below are from Paul Tanner.

As everyone knows, back in March 2020 the world locked down, and Bali closed its doors to the world. The British government recommend that all ex-pats should leave Bali and Indonesia. We have lived in Asia for 20 years and our children were both born in Asia with our youngest born in Bali. We knew this was going to be hard, and we have taken so much from Asia, and it’s given us an amazing life so we wanted to give back if we could.

Over the coming weeks people started to lose their jobs. Around 60% of people work in tourism on the island. The impact of no tourism on the island affects everything. Employees from outside of the tourism industry started to lose their jobs too. Banks, farms and even mechanics were effected from the shutdown of tourism.

70-80% of people have lost their jobs.

There isn’t any unemployment here, and the locals get very little help, if anything. Most have big families, and when one is unemployed, the others can help out. However, now entire families don’t have work and are unable to help out.

This has meant we have had our house broken into twice in the last year.

As a territory director of PADI, I am lucky to have a big network of people that have travelled and enjoyed diving in areas like Bali, and understand how everyone is impacted by this global pandemic especially on our island.

In April 2020, I first asked for donations. People who knew me could donate and have 100% of the money raised go-to food for locals.

During COVID, I have raised money, bought food from local farmers and supper stores and gave the food to either families I know or to a non-profit called SOS Children’s Village Bali

We now give to our local village which has thirty-three families, and 22 of the 33 do not have any employees in the family to support themselves. Once a month, we take the funds raised and give food to the local village.  

We also personally financially support 4 families but we do not use the donations for this. One of the issues about donating is knowing how much of the money you give, goes directly and completely to the people that need it.  We use the donations collected to purchase food. In this way, every dollar donated goes towards helping someone.

Donate via paypal directly to Paul “Tosh” Tanner

People from all over the world have been amazing. We have had people from Canada, USA, France, Spain, China, Thailand, Sweden, UK, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Dubai donate.

Thank you to Erica Wedepohl, PADI Territory Director – Caribbean and Latin America and greatest dive buddy ever, for introducing me to Paul “Tosh” Tanner to share what he is doing.

Erica Wedepohl, PADI Worldwide, Territory Director for Caribbean & Latin America underwater at Beaches Turks and Caicos
Erica Wedepohl, PADI Worldwide, Territory Director for Caribbean & Latin America underwater at Beaches Turks and Caicos


COVID Relief in INDIA with my friend, Jonathan Reisman

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Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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