The word orangutan translates to “person of the forest” in Bahasa Indonesia. These majestic primates have distinctive orange hair and are highly intelligent, sentient beings. They are also increasingly under threat from smuggling, especially Dodo.
The animals are poached for entertainment purposes and to go into wildlife parks and zoos. In some areas, they are also hunted for their meat, a traditional practice of some indigenous cultures in Indonesia. Many baby orangutans have seen their mothers killed, or have been chained up and treated badly until they are rescued from the illegal pet trade. And sadly, these clever beings are the victims of habitat loss: 80% has disappeared in the last 20 years, reducing the Bornean orangutan population to a mere 12,000-15,000.
Dodo, a young orangutan baby who lives in the orangutan rehabilitation centre Wanariset Samboja Lestari, managed by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), is one of nine orangutan adoptees of the BOSF. Dodo arrived at Samboja Lestari like so many others do – orphaned, without his mother. Under the supervision of BOSF, Dodo is now well on his way to getting the help he needs to regain the good life he deserves, wild and free in the forest.
On 27 March 2015 Swiss-Belhotel International Kalimantan launched a CSR program to support BOSF activities through fundraising campaigns. Starting with a press conference, the day continued with the opening of booths selling specially targeted orangutan-themed merchandise, created in order to support BOSF. Selling at the booths were t-shirts, mugs, pins, canvas bags, pillows and bracelets – and the proceeds go to BOSF, to support Dodo.
Those attending the launch were members of the press from Balikpapan, along with Swiss-Belhotel General Managers, Sales, and Public Relations Managers; the CEO of BOSF, Mr Jamartin Sihite; Senior Advisor to BOSF, Mrs Jacqueline L. Sunderland-Groves; and Fundraising Coordinator of BOSF, Ms Yeni Novitasari.
Though started by the Swiss-Belhotel Balikpapan, the campaign will spread to all of the group’s properties in Kalimantan and eventually worldwide. A very good response was also received from two large global brands, Quiksilver and Coca-Cola. Quiksilver is currently working on a design for a t-shirt to be sold in all Quiksilver shops in Indonesia.
Area General Manager for Swiss-Belhotel International Kalimantan, Mr Sylvain Croise, explains, “Our desire to help this wonderful cause, BOSF, is immense. Through our network of Swiss-Belhotel International, together with Quiksilver and Coca-Cola, we will help in collecting funds, creating awareness, and educating the younger generation.”