As part of our Giveback initiative, we unveiled the ‘Bridge of Hope’, a philanthropic project to support people living in island communities in the district of Panimbang in Banten Province, Indonesia. The project drew upon the engineering and environmental skills and expertise of our employees to design a bridge that would help connect the islands’ inhabitants and help them safely cross the difficult waters of the Ciliman river.
Locals were previously forced to cross using a makeshift raft made from plastic barrels lashed to wooden planks that formed a platform for pedestrians and motorcycles, and which was propelled by pulling on a line suspended over the river. It was a crowded and dangerous journey, particularly when the river was high, but crossing the river without the precarious raft meant taking a 4km detour on a dirt road, which could be a two-hour drive during rainy season.
Working with our NGO partner, ‘Yayasan Relawan Kampung Indonesia’, a team from our offices in Singapore and Jakarta visited a number of locations to select the most appropriate site for the bridge. The selection was based on potential community benefit, technical feasibility and the optimum conditions for ease of access. The project was also supported by AkzoNobel Marine Coatings who donated all of the paints required to ensure that the bridge would be protected from corrosion.
Del Redvers, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at BMT Group, said:
“The Bridge of Hope will make a huge difference to the quality of life of the villagers of Desa Mekarjaya and Desa Sukaresmi in Indonesia. The bridge will not only provide much easier access to public amenities such as schools, food markets and medical facilities, it will support economic development helping people get to work and transport produce across the river.”
The bridge was another example of our commitment to corporate social responsibility and how our skills and expertise can improve lives of people through charitable, sustainable projects. However, our efforts didn’t end there…
BMT volunteers from around the world spent a week working on further social projects and providing additional support to the rural Indonesian communities connected by the new bridge. The volunteer group was split into two teams - an education program support team that worked to refurbish the interiors of the primary school classrooms and assist the teachers with lessons, and a health program support team that conducted health examinations for over three hundred students, with campaigns to promote hand washing and tooth brushing as well as height and weight measurements, eyesight checks and dental health checks.