Creating eco-bricks from waste to build a local cafe
Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, is one of two places in the world where wild orangutans can still be seen, along with myriad other species native to Gunung Leuser National Park. In order to protect this rich area of biodiversity, our local tour leaders have long recognised the vital importance of engaging local communities near the park to assist in conservation and environmental protection efforts.
They have been involved in a number of initiatives over the years. This Community Kickstart grant involved the community in crafting eco-bricks, made from waste collected around the local area, in order to help build a local education café. The café, in turn, will not only help to bring further tourist income to the area, but it will also become a venue for an organic vegetable garden and all kinds of community activity, such as traditional dance, cooking classes, environmental education and English lessons.
There is a particular focus on getting local young people engaged in this initiative; helping to collect the waste and make the bricks as part of their education in protecting their local environment and developing a sense of pride in the beautiful and diverse ecosystem they have on their doorstep.
“This initiative will be helpful for [this community] during the pandemic. Many people lost their income due to Covid-19, especially people who live in Bukit Lawang as their revenue comes from tourism.”– Elly Siregar, Exodus Tour Leader
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