Friday, January 25, 2019

How a Company Gave Color to Rainbow Village

Although it reads like a fairy-tale this is a real life account of the transformation of a slum into a beautiful and prosperous community. It is also a story about how responsible businesses can help local communities.

Many companies contribute to their local communities but one company in Indonesia used a splash of color to help clean up a slum and transform it into a vibrant community.  A coat of paint is all it took to change the neighborhood of Jodipan, in Malang Indonesia into the rainbow village of Java.  Thanks to a gift from the local paint distributor Decofresh, all the houses, stairs and walkways in the village were brightly painted with whimsical designs and vibrant murals.

The story of Rainbow Village in Malang is a CSR success story that chronicles the rejuvenation of a slum on the brink of eviction. This is a project that has reduced poverty while improving housing, and enhancing people's quality of life

Once threatened with demolition Jodipan was reborn. Trash used to be liberally strewn around the village and raw sewage was dumped directly into the Brantas River that flows through the center of town. Now both trash and sewage are managed responsibly.

Since Jodipan become Rainbow village it has become an off the map tourist destination. The ridiculously inexpensive entrance fee of less than a penny even includes a locally made souvenir.  The money raised has helped to improve the economic circumstances of local residents.Residents have also opened stores and stands that sell goods and foods to tourists.

The project concept was the brainchild of eight students at the local university (Muhammadiyah University of Malang). These students were tasked to come up with ways of improving Jodipan as part of a school project.  They approached Decofresh a local CSR focused paint distributor and asked them to donate paint to create rainbow village. Decofresh recognized the merit of the project and agreed to get onboard.

As the students had hoped the brightly painted streets have restored a sense of pride in the village and spawned both economic and ecological benefits in the process. This is a winning project that benefited everyone. A village has been reborn and Decofresh has seen its sales double.

A handful of students and a paint distributor helped people to find dignity by transforming a dying community. The story of Rainbow village illustrates how companies can help communities to improve lives.

Other neighborhoods are now following Jodipan's example. There are now more than a dozen villages in Indonesia that are using color as a bridge to transformation.

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