Yogyakarta, in Central Java, Indonesia is an enigma.
In the heart of the world’s most populous island, one where cities like Jakarta and Surabaya are known for their near endless grit and sprawl, Jogja is clean, friendly, bikeable and teeming with student life, culture and art.
It’s also home to a wealth of social enterprise and creativity, such as the work of Warwick Purser in the Tembi community as well as the many efforts of ViaVia, a travellers cafe and much much more.
A long bridge connects Malaysia to Singapore. Every day thousands of moto-mounted labourers stream across to work for the big money in Singapore and return home each night to their families in Malaysia.
Crossing this bridge, Green Riders moved from the resource economy of Malaysia to the wealthy, urban culture of Singapore.
Crossing this bridge, we also crossed into a nation with a sense of urban, nature disconnect, as well as the powerful social innovation and environmental initiatives that middle class cultures can so often breed.
Through our stay, we were invited to connect with many such projects, such as GUI, the Ground Up Initiative and Bamboobee, the makers of our bamboo bikes, and to share our work at a media event, put together by Lastrina from 350 Singapore.
At the southernmost tip of Continental Asia, where Malaysia looks out over the water at the island of Singapore, is the point known as Tanjung Piai. In this region, Serina Rahman invited Green Riders to visit the community where she works and lives.
Kelap Alami, or Nature Club, is a community-based program designed to empower rural youth by educating them about their environment, in this case mangroves and sea grass, so that they can monitor it and become interpretive guides for visitors.
The result is that the children have led the entire community to better understand and care for their unique corner of the world and cultivated alternative means of generating income, in a place where the traditional ways of fishing and agriculture are losing ground.