Weaving their own future

This is the third and last thread in the series of my takeaways from the SCG Sustainable Development Symposium. I am glad that I have continued writing on it for three weeks in a row. I began the series with the policy-level perspective, followed by a story on a large-scale community project. Cliché as it may sound, this part will be about the next generation.

I am not trying to promote SCG but I have to elaborate on this a bit to give you some background. Every year, SCG Indonesia, as part of their CSR initiatives, grants a number of scholarships at various levels. Akbar Ghifari first received a scholarship when he was in high school. At university, he applied for a second scholarship from SCG, this time the scholarship was for him to participate in seminars and training camps that groom young adults to pay more attention to social issues. Akbar had an opportunity to present a project with an aim of providing solutions to social problems. Akbar’s focus has been on fabric waste.

The majority of villagers of Padasuka, Soreang, Bandung are in professional textile industry, 70% to be more precise. Tonnes of textile waste are produced ,and to a large extent, burned every year. Akbar saw this as a problem that needed solving. He thought there should be a better way to reduce tonnes of plastic waste. So he began the Niracle’s first collaborative project, along with 9 other SCG scholars by adding values or produce new products from textile waste.

Small patches of left-over cloth have since been made into decorative roses, pouches, and bags which are then sold. As earnings of the villagers increase, the group has continued to expand their reach even further.

It is a small endeavour, no doubt, but a significant and novel step. Making a product from waste may not be new. But the fact that a group of young adults initiating the project by convincing villagers and working with the community as a team is heartening and admirable. After a while, Akbar and his mates were successful in weaving the new routine of making use of leftover fabrics into the life of villagers.

I am writing about Akbar and his group, Niracle, not because of their work or their products, roses made of fabric petals and fabric pouches. I am writing to support the spirit of youth in realising the importance of waste reduction and initiating their own projects. With the proper support and encouragement, the new generation will be able to embark on projects that will solve problems created by our generation and the generations before us. They will be able to shape their own better future.

I want to see more Akbar.

Akbar Ghifari (left), representative from the Niracle, speaking as a panelist at the
SCG Sustainable Development Symposium on 20 February 2020
Photo courtesy: https://www.jagatngopi.com/

Additional Reference: https://majalahcsr.id/niracle-berbagi-kebaikan-atasi-limbah-kain-dengan-ekonomi-sirkular/

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