When we first witnessed the heart ship of these porters we started to look for ways to assist and help to bring a little sunshine in their daily lives. We started with collecting clothing
The birth of an idea
After many visits to east Java since 2007 our caring project gradually spread its roots across the globe, and with it we started to get gracious support from many great people that are willing to help and support the Porters and their families
At present a bamboo stick connects two baskets that are filled with 60-90 kg of sulphur. The porters then carry this horribly heavy load 185 extremely steep meters to the rim of the volcano and then 3.8 km down to the collection point. The entire journey for one load takes about 5 hours for which he receives less then US$6.00
After many visits to east Java over the previous 4 years our caring project gradually spread its roots across the globe, and with it we started to get gracious support from many great people that are willing to help the needy.
Even the Swiss Government contacted me and congratulated our team for their efforts to help this brutally hard working mining community. Generously they offered between US$6000-US$8000 and ask me to make a proposal how I would spend this money. Almost instantly I replayed to the Ambassador of Switzerland here in Indonesia that at this stage I would not so much be interested in their money but more so in their connections back in Switzerland. Together with my replay I drafted the following note with the hope that we would be able to find some help in Swiss Universities.
To my greatest surprise within less then 1 month I was contacted by not one but four universities showing interest in our project.
Three weeks later I flew back to Switzerland and visited the Fach Hochschule Luzern, Technik & Architektur and brought with me a Bamboo pole that holds the two baskets. Two weeks later Mr. Marco de Angelis, Professor for Product Development visit us here on Bali and joined us on our regular journey to Kawah Ijen.
Thomas Studer a design engineer student contacted me and confirmed his arrival dates. He brought with him a first trial trolley. Rather sceptical we presented this first prototype to the porters and had small hope that the reception would be so overwhelming. As with any prototype areas of changes where noted and then made instantly to the trolley here on Bali.
Late October 2014
We brought the modified trolley back and gave it to the porters with the hope that they would us it in their daily struggle for survival.
We build the first prototype trolley here on Bali following the design from Thomas Studer including locally available aluminium and parts.
We handed over the locally build trolley to the porters to be tested and used daily.
After two months of serious usage both trolleys are still in perfect working order. We obviously identified areas that need adjustments and modification in the construction, changes that will be included in the next trolleys build. Currently we have one more trolley that is being build including the latest changes. Two more prototypes are being build in Switzerland which we will be delivered in May.
March 2015 – Conclusion
With the progress that we have made and the feed back that we have received and seen I am extremely optimistic that by August 2015 we will commission 200 trolleys to be build which will then gradually handed over to the porters by the end of 2015. This will mean that the porters then have to pair up and work as a team. That way the porters can increase their daily productivity by about 50%, and with it earn a little more, and at the same time reduce the stress level on their bodies by properly 75%