Monetary crisis in Indonesia starting from the year of 1997 which was then followed by the 2008 global economic crisis had worsened the Indonesian economy. The rate of unemployment as well as the number of people living below the poverty line increases. One of the main overshadowing urban problems is the difficulty to make a living because of the limited job vacancy. Another big problem was massive layoffs of industrial labors.
In the area of Jatinangor (the project location), the number of school dropouts and unemployed due to the retrenchment in the urban business sector as mentioned above, has substaintially increased. This lead to crime committed by society elements as they are looking for money to afford demanding daily needs.
Bamboo plantation and bamboo craft is one of the major upcoming trends and there is also a huge demand of bamboo furniture and other bamboo products, ranging from the locally, nationall, and international scope.
The thing is, people are not aware of the benefit of bamboo plantation. Bamboo plantation could help conserving the soil conservation. However, local farmers in general do not plant bamboo as they think that it is not that beneficial compared to agricultural commodity. In fact, bamboo is good to be planted on the sloping land as it strong roots could minimize the possibility of landslides or other natural disasters.
The committee was formed by West Java Regional Office, consisting of several regional managers, frontline supervisors and society representatives. Planning the survey and determining the location was done on 27 February 2012. Several days after, 7-8 March 2012, the committee prepared the place in which workshop and training will be held, and did the location survey. Next, banners, stationery, t-shirts and raw materials needed during the workshop and training were purchased on 13 March 2012.
Bamboo trainings and workshops were held 3 times: 14-15 March 2012, 4-6 May 2012 and 20-22 December 2012. In these trainings, as many as 65 participants (30 Scouts and 35 non-Scouts) were given the basic knowledge and skill regarding bamboo utilization i.e. the making of bamboo furniture and handicrafts as an alternative to make a living. They were taught how to produce bamboo products and had chance to practice the furniture and handicrafts making. Now, they have realized one important thing: they should be able to make the effective and creative use of the surrounding resources for creating something beneficial.
There was a special idea popping up from the training, which is re-polishing bamboo products to make them look glossy and beautiful, not just an ordinary one. Bamboo products (table, chair, bed, patch lamp, vase and shelves) were created by participants.Because of participants’ enthusiasm, the committee decided to organize bamboo workshop every Friday and Saturday for those who want to learn and practice skills in making bamboo products.
The location survey and preparation for bamboo plantation were done from 1-5 April 2012, while the plantation process itself started at 7 April 2012 in Kiarapayung, Jatinangor. There were 400 bamboo trees planted during this activity, so this also becomes part of natural conservation.
Local bamboo resulted from selective logging are classified based on their ages. For carpentry purposes, Bamboo aged 2-5 years was selectively logged and used approximately 5-10 from each grove. The bamboo is then washed and cut according to the size of pattern and design (seat/ shelve/ flower pot/ bed/ etc). The process is continued by the making of framework supported by nails and rattan ropes. After that, the bamboo goes through its finishing process. Its surface is sanded, polished, and varnished so that it will be fine-looking. Besides, the bamboo original color will appear more clearly. Final bamboo products were all displayed/ exhibited at Sanggar Bambu Putri Kitri (Putri Kitri Bamboo Studio). Bamboo product catalogue is also provided.
All activities performed in the “Use of Bamboo for Survival” program are documented by the Provincial Scout Headquarter. The photo session for bamboo products was held on 11 April 2012. The photographs were then used to make catalogue for marketing/ business purposes as well as part of annexes of the written report. The reports and pictures were sent to Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia.