Our great progress reported in March took a severe hit when the COVID-19 took hold in Indonesia, prompting Bali’s Governor to instruct school closures on 16th of March and total lockdown of Bali’s traditional communities on 31st of March! While some of our bamboo artisans from Ban village were required to stay in their respective mountain hamlets, we continued limited activities with a ‘skeleton’ team.
Bamboo Trainees Resume on 1st July Building their First Bike Frames
Laid off from 1st April till 30th June during the pandemic lockdown, our graduates were excited to immediately resume hands-on training by preparing accurate drawings and then directly learning the main steps to build their first bamboo bike frame! (See photos)
Bamboo Wheelchairs Donated tomore Needy Disabled Children
On 16th April, we proudlyhanded over a custom made bamboo wheelchair to a severely disabled 12 year old girl in nearby Tianyar village, who is unable to speak but clearly suffered great discomfort in her old and damaged steel framed wheelchair, which was also far too big for her. A few days later, we provided our first prototype bamboo wheelchair, made as a trial for Bali Beach Wheels, to a 5 year old disabled boy, also in Tianyar. Fortunately, the size suits him perfectly after makinga few minor adjustments to make it more comfortable.
Two more Custom Bamboo Bike Frames for UK
Working to new geometry from Bristol-based Netham Bamboo, our team completed 2 more beautiful frames in less than a week and shortly after getting the air freight quotes on 30th March, all air cargo flights were stopped due to Covid-19 – and not yet resumed. However, that did not deter Netham from researching electric bikes and accordingly ordered a prototype frame, which we completed in Mid-April and is also sitting in our Denpasar office, wrapped and ready for shipping, hopefully quite soon!
Potential Partnership with Established Bali Bike Shop
An enquiry in mid-May from a well-established bike dealer in SE Bali resulted in the owner joining me to meet our expert bike builders in our Tianyar workshop on 28th May with exciting results. He was so impressed with our team’s technical expertise, our well-equipped workshop and our many bamboo bike designs that he provided us with one of his best-selling imported steel bike frames for our team to build him a bamboo sample! He also loved our laminated bamboo mudguards and kiddies Balance bikes and proposed some modifications to enable lower prices – which we’re planning in the near future.
We hope that the COVID-19 crisis will soon be behind us and whilst we’ve kept all of our bamboo artisans employed full time, output has been very restricted and we urgently need donor support to enable us to replenish stocks maintain machines and seek new markets and bamboo bike and craft orders.
Many thanks to our GlobalGiving donors and we will contact you shortly with details of the GlobalGiving July 15th Bonus day