Expat Profile — Marie-Lise Goelo

What made a French Breton native from the tiny island of Brehat, moving to live so far away as island of Bali? It all started when Marie-Lise Goelo discovered Bali 40 years ago.

Bali Pocket 002 - January 2016_page41_image400She was an entrepreneur, and her line of business was clothes for children. She loved Balinese fabrics and kept coming back, selling clothes back in her native France. After eight years she relocated to Australia where she made beautiful and special jewelry pieces. She was very successful selling her art in Singapore and Japan and living in prosperity. But then she decided to leave everything and see how other people live. She left for Goa, where she lived five years. She fell in love with people, simple life, nice organic food. She also faced extreme poverty.

One day she was passing through the street and saw newborn baby, only a few days old in arms of a very old and poor woman. She provided the child with some milk and then realized that little baby is part of human trafficking chain. They are used for begging to get money.

Marie then decided to find the mother and was shocked when she found a girl almost, who needed a detox rehab badly. She provided it for her and decided to save the baby as well. She placed the little, undernourished girl in an orphanage that she helps financially. Now the girl is already five and a happy child.

Marie-Lise went back to Bali, where she has been for the past three years. She decided to help animals this time. She is truly shocked by the conditions that some monkeys live in. She was nearly in tears when she saw a monkey in chains that were strongly embedded in his skin, and he could hardly move.

Bali Pocket 002 - January 2016_page41_image401She decided to do something about it and help monkeys in captivity, together with her friend Eva Wowor. They were able to find a sanctuary for monkeys and all other abused animals with the help of BARC (Bali Rescue Association). The sanctuary is 40 meters long, ten wide and is hosting 16 monkeys. Because of its limited sources, sanctuary needs help, so Marie and Lisa decided to a campaign among expats to help financially.

Marie is staying on Bali for a while because of all charity work. When asked what was her time on the Island of Gods, she said it was a weekend out of a dream. She and her two friends went to water palace Tirtaganga near Amed to celebrate a full moon. They visited royal pavilion, had perfect service and wonderful dinner. All accompanied by massages and swimming in the pool under the full moon. “Unforgettable,” said Marie.

If you want to join in the initiative of improving the conditions of the monkey sanctuary, please contact Marie-lise at:

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