Our first project is completed. Following a recognisance visit to Borneo at the end of 2017 we have developed a working relationship with a small local non-governmental organisation (NGO) and with their help we have built a children’s library on the banks of the Ruanga river in Central Kalimantan. This is much more than just a simple library: it is a form of “educational after school club”. It not only offers children in impoverished villages access to books but also teaches diverse subjects such as traditional local dance and music, environmental protection and provides health education, as well as giving supplementary teaching on topics covered by the standard school curriculum. This programme will help shield children from the (often harmful) temptations of the everyday world and give them unrivalled opportunities.
In our second project we have provided a village of 400 people with water filters. As a result there has been a 50% reduction in the frequency of diarrhoeal illness in the area. This initiative was accompanied by educational events focussing not only on how to operate filters but also on more general health and well-being issues such as hand and food hygiene and methods of disease transmission.
As well as the clear health benefits of the water filters, their introduction will bring financial and environmental benefits: villagers will no longer need to buy bottled water thereby reducing yearly household expenditure by at least 120$ and the volume of single use plastic.
In a separate project we are funding the purchase of traditional shepherds’ instruments for a mountaineer’s music school in Poland. They are being commissioned from local artisans and will be replicas of historically important instruments that time has almost forgotten, found in museums and in private ownership of local families. There are only a few people left who know how to play them and the idea behind this project is to revive these forgotten skills amongst the next generations.