The Arthur Guinness Fund improves communities in Indonesia
For two years, the Arthur Guinness Fund has been supporting the work of outstanding social entrepreneurs in Indonesia whose businesses are shaping communities for the better.
Working with the British Council in Indonesia, the Arthur Guinness Fund supports entrepreneurs who are driving real improvements in communities. The entrepreneurs include teacher Mohamad Zaini Alif, who is reinventing Sundanese folk toys and promoting Sundanese folk games, in order to boost cultural heritage and local tourism, and Kelompok Wanita Nelayan, known as ‘the pearl of Paotere’ for her tenacity in empowering women to fight poverty in the fishing village of Paotere in Makasar, South Sulawesi.
Wangsa Jelita is helping to empower women rose farmers in Lembang. A largely unskilled group, the women used to sell their roses to middlemen, leaving them with little direct market access or control. Wangsa Jelita is currently working with 25 farmers to form a co-operative, teaching them to make rose-based soaps and other beauty products with the roses that don’t meet market standards. Sales have increased significantly and the farmers are looking to move from handmade production to a partnership with a soap factory.
Seeing the way out of poverty
The Arthur Guinness Fund is also proud to support an entrepreneur from the Ashoka community of over 2,500 leading social entrepreneurs around the world. Indonesia’s Ashoka Fellow is John Ndolu, an elected chief of the Kunak ethnic group, who is working to keep community values alive while simplifying traditions that have become prohibitively expensive.
John’s work has so far reached over 130,000 people, and is showing Indonesia’s growing population that even isolated and conservative communities can shed burdensome traditions. He said, ‘The aim of my work is to reform costly cultural traditions in Indonesia, related to weddings and funerals, which prevent local families from moving out of poverty. These customs have not been challenged for centuries and it’s time we thought about what is most important in life.’