Our hopes last July that the Covid-19 pandemic would be quickly controlled and allow activities to return to normal by now have been dashed and although we’ve had no income, we could not lay off our dedicated small team of artisans who all have families to support. We are though pleased to report that we’ve all adapted to the “new normal”, life has continued and by following strict coronavirus protocols, our bamboo team, students in our 6 EBPP schools and our 19 Ban village communities remain safe and healthy.
A huge disappointment has been the recent upsurge of Covid infections in the UK since we sent our custom bike frames to our UK partner, Netham Bamboo, who were starting to fill their order book – but they’ve had to return to lockdown and no further orders yet. However, on the positive side, our bamboo team have kept busy with various activities summarised below.
Bamboo Marine Animals
In preparation for business opening in Germany, our team have made 20 sets of the beautiful marine life bamboo toys that our former interns had designed and started researching and promoting in Germany, which has not taken off due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March. We remain optimistic and are ready!
Children’s Skimboard Prototype
We were recently contacted by a new customer, and potential partner, (British) who lives in Bali and talked about the idea of making children's skimboards. Searching on the internet, we didn’t find any made from bamboo, yet. Therefore, we have been designing and are currently building prototypes for the skimboards and seeing if they work! If it does, then our customer will be helping us to put this product on the market. Our challenge is to minimise the weight and we hope that the Styrofoam ‘sandwich’ we’re piloting will achieve our goals. Wait for updates in our next report.
Supporting EBPP Health and Education Teams Monthly Food Supplement Distribution
Since school and community health posts closures in March, our bamboo team have played a key role in distribution of monthly food supplement packages to our 171 students and their families in the 6 remote mountain hamlets and nutritional food supplement for the dozens of malnourished infants that we support through our health outreach programmes. Thanks to this food support, no children have dropped out from school and many of the malnourished infants have improved body weight and health!
Komang and our bamboo team are using this quiet period to optimise non-productive land in and around our Tianyar workshop, including harvesting and planting Vetiver Grass (Chrysopogen zizanioides) in Tianyar nursery, preparing a vacant plot as an organic fruit and vegetable farm and improving ground water resources.