Bangun Desa, Bangun Indonesia

Oct 6, 2018 – The Prudential Chairman’s Challenge 2018 is underway in Indonesia. This year we are taking the volunteers outside of Jakarta to a small village hidden in the hills of the Bogor Regency. Kampung Mulyasari, which is comprised of 43 families, has located in its current site after the original settlement was destroyed by a landslide. Although in a picturesque location, the villagers are extremely isolated from the outside world. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Jakarta they have no electricity or road access. In fact, to visit the village every Saturday all Prudential volunteers need to make an arduous 3km trek up a rugged track – a walk that takes over an hour. This does not seem to deter them as the first week witnessed the engagement of 70 personnel and the second week 86 are involved.

The principal objective of the 2018 initiative is social inclusivity. Given the isolated location and difficult access villagers have little, if any, contact with communities outside of their immediate location. The only education received by the 150 children, within a Pondok Pesantren, is limited in scope. The engagement of volunteer ‘teachers’ is helping to enable these young people to achieve a greater understanding of different cultures and behaviours. This makes them better prepared for success as/when the need arises for them to connect with communities outside of the village. We are grateful for the support of Ustaz Sofyan which has enabled the Prudential team to interact with the community to:

1. Assist in improving financial literacy education
2. Link the villagers with the outside world through instalment and training of solar panels.
3. Working with Institut Pertanian Bogor to improve agricultural productivity through provision of improved tools and strategies and ongoing training in effective cropping.
4. Improving sanitation through the construction of toilets. At this time, there are only four toilets catering for 43 families.
5. Improving education facilities through the construction of a modern classroom.

With the support of Prudential personnel, the village will be linked more closely with the greater West Java community. This provides for improved education, communication, health and economic conditions. As this process takes place the villagers will meet and interact with hundreds of Prudential volunteers and, in so doing, build levels of confidence.

And what a change from Jakarta for the volunteers! The climate in the hills is cooler and there does not seem to be a hint of pollution. No cars and nor is there any raucous noise – it is so peaceful. This is one of the compelling reasons as to why the enthusiastic Prudential personnel are willing to be engaged in Bangun Desa, Bangun Indonesia.

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