At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian government made the choice to protect orangutans and the guides who lead tourists through the national parks by closing national parks to tourists. This was the right thing to do, but it has had unintended negative consequences.
With no furlough scheme for the guides who are now out of work, the income supporting their families has disappeared overnight. Their food security is tenuous, and they don’t know when visitors will be allowed to return.
Staff at SOS have spoken to their friend and colleague Darma, who runs Nature For Change and has lived in Bukit Lawang for decades. Many of the people who are now without income are his friends and neighbours, and he knows how hard this time is for them. He’s given SOS a list of the supplies people are struggling to afford, and they want to raise the money to give as many families as possible some of the basics they need. They will be working with Darma and Orangutan Information Centre to distribute the aid in Bukit Lawang, Tangkahan and Ketambe – three popular tourist sites in the Leuser Ecosystem.
Please donate to make an extremely difficult time just a bit easier for people who’ve taken a huge hit to their income to keep orangutans safe.
It costs £14 to feed a family for 10 days, or £42 to feed them for a month. Any contribution, no matter how small, will be gratefully received.
You can donate here: https://www.orangutans-sos.org/covid19-appeal-helping-guides-in-the-leuser-ecosystem and FAQs about the appeal are available here: https://www.orangutans-sos.org/helping-guides-appeal-faq/