• Written by:  Heinz von Holzen
  • Date Posted:  February 19th, 2015
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March 2016

November 2015

On Tuesday November 3 we handed over 26 trolleys bringing the total tally up to 61. This latest version was once again modified according to the feed back that we received from the previously carriages.  The biggest improvement was made by changing the BMX wheels to motorbike wheels. Yes,  this made the latest trolleys twice as heavy but now enables the porters to load well over 200 kg of sulphur in one journey down from the crater. This simply means that with 1/2 the strain to their bodies one porter can earn up to 50% more money per day.


We now have commissioned 50 more trolleys to be build, which will be handed over on January 5 2016.

50 packets of clothing

Beside the trolleys we distributed 50 more packets of cloth which are always well received. Please do continue to send your no longer needed garments. Especially children clothing and toys are always well received. Not forgetting, pencils, paper and books.

One digital camera for all three schools

On our way to the highland of East Java we visit our three schools that we support and handed over to the teachers a simply digital camera. Nothing fancy, but a straight forward camera that assists greatly in the day to day teaching. A camera like this is for most Westerners something you simply have and frequently change and upgrade. I was personally touched and surprised how grateful the teachers where for this little gadget.


November 2015 news


Trolley Overview

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


The birth of an idea

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.

January 2014

The Swiss Government contacted me and congratulated our team for their efforts to help this brutally hard working mining community. Generously  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 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.

April 2014

To my greatest surprise within less then 1 month I was contacted by not one but four universities  showing interest in our project.

May 2014

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 me on our regular journey to Kawah Ijen.

October 2014

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.

November 2014

The first two prototype trolleys where manfactured  here on Bali following the design from Thomas Studer including locally available materials and parts.

December 2014

We handed over the locally build trolleys to the porters to be tested as hard as possible and used daily.

February 2015

After two months of serious usage both trolleys are still in perfect working order. We obviously identified areas that needed adjustments and modification in the construction.  Changes that will be included in the next series of trolleys.

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 delivered in May.

March 2015 

With the progress that we have made and the feed back that we received and seen, I am extremely optimistic that by August 2015 we will commission 200 trolleys to be build which we will then gradually handed over to the porters. It is our aim that by the end of 2015 each porter will have his own trolley.By using a trolley  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%.

The Birth of the Studer Trolley

The trolley is named in honour of Miss Helga and Hanspeter Fischer, a couple from Briton / Switzerland with a huge heart and donated US$30’000 to see this caring project become reality. Thank you sooooo much to both of you for your kind generosity.

Cost for 1 trolley: Rp.2’200’000 / +-US$200.

Total cost for 200 trolleys Rp.440’000’000 / +-US$40’000

 Thomas Studer a very talented and creative engineering design student from the university of applied science and art in Luzern, Switzerland took on this challenging task to design and develop a trolley that enables the porters to wheel their heavy loads in a more humane way down from the rim of the volcano. Since the introduction of a first prototype in November last year 5 more revised trolleys have been tested which resulted in the final design which will go into full production within the next two weeks.

July 2015

July 7 will be in our memories always a very special day as we handed over the first 11 trolleys. Definitely 150 more will follow between now and the end of the year. What made me even more proud was the fact that the idea of a trolley was so well received. One year ago not one trolley was in operation, then the first prototypes where introduced, the porters liked the idea and started to build their own versions. One year later there are already 70 working trolleys making the daily lives of this seriously hardworking miners a little more….

A very big thank you to Thomas from the Fachhochschule Luzern and Hanspeter Fischer for your Generosity to make this all possible.

August 2015 

Within less then 6 weeks 24 more trolleys where build which we handed over to the Sulphur miners. Actually we do not give the trolleys to the porters but sell them for a small fee of Rp.100’000. The porters then sign a contract with us committing that they will maintain the trolley in perfect working orders. If still in perfect working condition after one year we will refund the Rp.100’000 together with an additional Rp.100’000 interst.

August 2015 news update




Recipients of trolleys as of August 2014























  • Welcome to Trekking and Volcano Adventures in Indonesia

    Unfortunately Indonesia is far too often for the wrong reasons in the lime light of the world press. Terror, tsunamis, earthquakes, destructions of rain forest and corruption seem to be the favorite subject of the media. To my great disappointment far too few people talk about the incredible cultural diversity of the nation, the enormous size, and totally forget to focus on the unbelievable beauty of this great nation.
Beside the incredible beauty of Indonesia, a nation is only as good as its inhabitants. I cannot think of another place on earth where you would find so many incredible kind people that will be delighted to look after you in a way normally only kings and royalty are treated.
 Hopefully these colorful stories will encourage many readers to pack a good pair of quality hiking boots and a backpack big enough to store the impressions of the countless memorable discoveries awaiting one throughout Indonesia. Selamat Jalan and happy trekking Heinz von Holzen Trekking @ Indonesian Trekking Adventure
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