Part of East Bali Poverty Project’s vision when it was founded in 1998, was to one day develop an economic and socially sustainable business with the residents of Ban Village. Using the widely available natural resource of bamboo and including the local residents in the process, especially students, was a key focus – ensuring that the project would be sustainable over the long term and beneficial to both the environment and people. We want to help them help themselves build their community’s future.
In January 2016, a bamboo training program began for the 21 senior high school students between the ages of 15 – 18 years old, with representatives from across all six of EBPP schools in Ban Village. The program was sponsored by EMpower from January to June 2016. From July to December 2016, the project is being sponsored by COMO Shambhala Resort in Bali as part of their ‘MasterCard purchase with Purpose’ CSR program. This is part of an extra curricular education program that takes place on Saturdays for 3-4 hours each week. This program will help them gain transferable skills for the future including natural building, resourcefulness, team work, and economic sustainability. The students can bring these skills home and teach their younger siblings, parents, and communities.
On Saturday, August 6th, the first stones were laid down to begin the building of the new Bamboo Workshop – a building project funded by our Global Giving UK crowdfunding campaign in June. With direction, guidance, and training from the local EBPP Bamboo Team, students began work on the foundations for the 8m x 4m Bamboo Workshop, a building adjacent to the Daya Bamboo Training Centre. Local materials were gathered from the dried riverbeds including volcanic rock and sand. The large bamboo building is the training centre and now this is the workshop to develop the handicrafts and furniture for their sustainability project and social enterprise. Quality handicrafts products will be made in this Bamboo Workshop with the intention that they will be sold to both domestic and international markets. Using various techniques, products including delicately balancing dragonflies, handphone (cell phone) speakers, and furniture will all be made. We look forward to keeping you updated on the continued success of our EBPP Bamboo and student team over the next few weeks!