Hatfield family campaigns for taxi driver’s pregnant wife after Bali tourism collapse

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 May 2020

Mathew Cowen with his family and Jhio. Picture: Mathew Cowen

Mathew Cowen with his family and Jhio. Picture: Mathew Cowen


A taxi driver in Bali who wants to allow his pregnant wife to give birth safely is being helped by a family from Hatfield.

Jhio's wife Sukek. Picture: Mathew CowenJhio's wife Sukek. Picture: Mathew Cowen

In the time before lockdown, Mathew Cowen took a world wide trip with his two kids – both under three at the time – and wife through the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Asia before finishing in South East Asia.

This is where Mathew met “a wonderful” taxi driver and guide named Jhio, real name Yoga Santika, while in Indonesia, who showed their family support and love in a foreign place.

Now, he wants to return the favour by helping Jhio’s wife, Komang ‘Sukek’ Sukareni, who is due any day now, afford the hospital fees so she can give birth with access to medical equipment and staff.

Mathew said: “We met Jhio as he was a local taxi driver and tour guide and the company he worked for had good reviews, but he personally went above and beyond, taking us to see amazing places, eat incredible food and enjoy fantastic experiences.”

Jhio. Picture: Mathew CowenJhio. Picture: Mathew Cowen

“Our whole family fell in love with him, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.”

“He reached out to me because of the COVID-19 situation meaning tourism is shut and he can’t earn money to pay for his wife to give birth safety in a clean hospital with properly trained staff.”

You may also want to watch:

Mathew added that as Jhio’s whole family live in “abject poverty” there are also no family or friends who able to help him.

Mathew Cowen with his family and Jhio. Picture: Mathew CowenMathew Cowen with his family and Jhio. Picture: Mathew Cowen

Bali, which has more than 60 per cent of its gross domestic product linked to tourism, has been very hard hit financially by the coronavirus crisis.

And has had an almost 100 percent decrease in foreign arrivals since April according to the Jakarta post.

But the cases of coronavirus and the spread of the virus has been significantly lower than in the UK.

Indonesia has had an estimated nearly 10,000 cases, over 1,000 recoveries and almost 800 deaths, while the resort destination of Bali has had 215 cases, 96 recoveries and four deaths.

Jhio. Picture: Mathew CowenJhio. Picture: Mathew Cowen

Jhio said in a video that he was “thankful” for the donations, which have already been provide by Mathew’s friends, family and some in the Hatfield community.

In total £340 has been given to the Bali driver who is out of work due to the crisis.

You can donate more here gofundme.com/please-help-jhios-wife-give-birth-safely-in-bali.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times