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.
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.
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.
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 me 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.
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.
The first two prototype trolleys where manfactured here on Bali following the design from Thomas Studer including locally available materials and parts.
We handed over the locally build trolleys to the porters to be tested as hard as possible and used daily.
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.
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%.
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 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.
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.
Recipients of trolleys as of August 2014