COLUMBIA BEARS LIGHT, HOPE TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN SULAWESI ISLAND
Ending 2018 with grateful hearts, Primer Group of Companies’s Indonesia arm PT Yuna Asia, through Columbia Sportswear, in collaboration with Indonesia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, donated solar lanterns to some remote indigenous communities in Tanjung Karang village in Gorontalo, Sulawesi Island.
Originally, these families lived in the mountains and relied mostly on nature to survive. To provide basic needs such as shelter, clean water, washing latrines and lighting, the local government built houses and relocated them to Tanjung Karang, then provided the people with agricultural jobs. However, power supply will only be available within two years’ time.
“To this day, thousands of households all over the country still don’t have access to electricity. In this condition, people normally use kerosene lamps at night which emit fumes that are not only hazardous to health, but also harmful. This is why we thought of producing Solar Lanterns from Columbia as giveaways, which stays true to the brand’s commitment to sustainability by using clean and renewable energy,” says Ken Co, PT Yuna Asia’s General Manager for Business Development.
On December 18, Columbia’s Senior Brand Manager Ian Kristiawan and Marketing Manager Alit Udayana took a four and a half hour flight to Gorontalo, drove for three hours, then hiked uphill and downhill for about an hour to the location just to distribute the lanterns.
“It’s quite hard to reach. Every day, kids have to walk around three to five kilometers from their house to the school,” Ian lamented, as the village is in the middle of a forest about four kilometers away from the public roads.
Close to 50 families were overjoyed to have received their early Christmas present. “The villagers felt greatly helped by these solar lanterns not only for lighting their houses, but these will aid their children to study each night at home and do activities around the village too,” said Alit. “Actually, they’re very happy when we told them that they will receive solar lanterns since usually, they just create makeshift lamps from reused glass bottles with cooking oil as a substitute for kerosene,” Ian added.
Representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Governor of Gorontalo were present during the distribution of the donation as well.
With joy in their hearts and in knowing that they have influenced positive change in the community, PT Yuna Asia has a newfound passion in strengthening their corporate social responsibility; and thus, they have committed to embarking on more of these kinds of projects in Indonesia in the near future.
Contributed by Ian Kristiawan and Alit Udayana|PT Yuna Asia