29 August 2016
Elfin faces lit up as new shoes that had just been distributed were put on. Some children deftly tied their shoelaces, while others fumbled, for they were donning shoes for the first time. What was clearly evident was the children’s joy on being presented with shoes at the start of the new school year.
Recently schoolchildren in villages around the PTFI operations area received assistance in the form of new shoes to wear to school, through the 3000-Shoe Project, a humanitarian action initiated by Community Relations Department.
After 2 months spent collecting shoes, on August 17 and August 19 the shoes were distributed in assistance to the villages of Kampung Aroanop and Kampung Waa Banti. Distribution of shoes in Kampung Aroanop coincided with commemoration of Indonesian Independence Day in that village.
By the closing date of shoe collection, 3900 pairs of new shoes had been received through donations from the company’s community as well as from partner companies engaged by Community Relations. This number far exceeded the target of 3000 pairs of shoes collected. The shoes were then sorted by size according to data on the schoolchildren that a Community Relations team had previously gathered.
The shoes collection project that started at the beginning of July was quite a challenging one because it coincides with Eid holiday when many of the community members were not in Jobsite.
However the team did not give up, we continue to work and hold on to priciples, if there is a will there is a way. And Thank God , finally we were able to collect the shoes needed, even more than what we targeted, "said program coordinator Enda.
In addition to a slow start, the 3000-Shoe Project team had to endure a long wait to deliver the shoes. This was because to get a good quality shoes from the sponsors, we had to get some shoes from Java. As the number was in the thousands, on top of the restricted amount of airline baggage allowed during the holiday season, the shoes had perforce to be shipped by sea.
”The long and short of it is there was a lot of drama! But as you can see now, we are happy the children are wearing new shoes,” Enda said as he smilingly watched the playful children in their new shoes.
The 3000-Shoe Project team voiced the hope that the program would serve as a milestone for other humanitarian programs engaging the community. Through the 3000-Shoe Project, the community indirectly encourages children’s school spirit, as they enthusiastically wear their shoes to go to school. The team would like to specifically thank the community, the partner companies - Pontil, Redpath, RUC, Sandvik, Trakindo, SSB, Cummins, Cakra Jawara, CKB, Jacon - and individuals at Jobsite and Jakarta for their participation in bringing about this successful activity.
After Aroanop and Waa Banti, the 3000-Shoe Drive team will resume assistance to distribute shoes in the villages of Tsinga and Hoya, as well in lowland villages. (Sularso)