KABUPATEN, Indonesia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--East Bali Cashews (EBC), a social enterprise that is Bali’s first large-scale, environmentally friendly cashew processing facility, opened an early learning center to offer children within the rural village of Desa Ban a comprehensive pre-elementary school education.
The Honorable Robert Blake, US Ambassador to Indonesia, was the guest of honor at the launch, as well as presiding over the dedication of EBC’s factory expansion, which allows the company to provide nearly 100 additional jobs to a community where villagers’ average income less than US$2 per day.
Nearly 90% of EBC’ employees are women who had never held formal, salaried employment before the company’s launch in 2012.
The expansion and opening of the early learning center follows EBC’s unique partnership with Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a leader in development through impact investment, and global investment firm KKR. This partnership, in which KKR provided technical assistance such as in working on EBC’s business plan, enabled the company to raise US$900,000 in 2013.
“The launch of the learning center, named AnaKardia Kids, gives us the chance to enhance our work with the community even beyond what we are doing as a social enterprise. There is very limited schooling for pre-seven-year-old children in the area, so this center gives these kids a chance for a brighter future,” said EBC founder Aaron Fishman.
The name for the center comes from a combination of the words Anacardia, which is the genus name in Latin for cashew tree, and Anak, which means child in Bahasa Indonesia.
“The early learning center also gives EBC employees an opportunity to continue their work without concern for child care, which can empower these women and improve their livelihoods and those of their families,” added Rezal Kusumaatmadja, Chairman of EBC’s Board of Commissioners.
“East Bali Cashews, with the support of U.S. investors, shows the positive impact U.S. businesses and investors can bring to Indonesia,” said US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake. “East Bali Cashews’ focus on building a sustainable business from an employment, environmental and social perspective is good for both Indonesia and investors.”
In a statement, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said, "I appreciate the effort given by the East Bali Cashews team to create jobs and education at Ban Village. The government's efforts to make ‘Prosperity in Bali’ a reality can best succeed with the participation and support from the companies who have the spirit and awareness to promote Bali, through CSR program."
Teachers from Singapore’s Stamford American International School – operated by KKR’s portfolio partner Cognita – will volunteer their time to create lesson plans and will train the teachers at the center twice per year. Cognita also donated supplies and playground equipment.
Partner schools in Bali will provide additional support for AnaKardia Kids. The Dyatmika School will offer teacher training and long-term mentoring on the Indonesian Literacy Project, Literasi Anak Indonesia, and Little Stars will provide regular teacher training and educational materials for AnaKardia Kids. The parents of Little Stars have also donated toys and supplies.
The anchor funding for the AnaKardia Kids Early Learning Center came from the team of KKR Asia. It is also funded by the Australian Consulate-General in Bali through its Direct Aid Program; the Red River Foods Group, a leading U.S. importer of tree nuts, dried fruit, seeds and specialty snack products; and Indonesia’s Kalbe Group, one of the largest publicly listed pharmaceutical companies in Southeast Asia.
Building on EBC’s momentum over the year, Gerson Lehrman Group (“GLG”), the world’s largest membership for professional learning, recently selected East Bali Cashews to be in its first class of GLG Social Impact Fellows, a year-long program connecting 12 leading nonprofits and social enterprises with GLG’s teaching membership of over 375,000 subject matter experts. GLG will support the EBC management team in a pro bono capacity in a number of areas including packaging, branding and marketing.
About East Bali Cashews
Based in the rural village of Ban in Bali’s Karangasem District Indonesia, East Bali Cashews uses sustainable, eco-friendly business practices to process unshelled cashews, package and sell them to the domestic and international markets. It is the first village-based large-scale cashew processing facility in Bali. East Bali Cashews works towards creating strong social impact on the communities through job creation focusing on women and environmental impact through using renewable energy sources to power the processing facility. For additional information, please visit East Bali Cashews’ website at www.eastbalicashews.com.
Funding for AnaKardia Early Learning Center:
Employees of KKR Asia - Funded construction of main building and
supplies for main building
The Direct Aid Program of the Australian Consulate-General in Bali –
Funded construction of two buildings
Kalbe Farma - Funded healthy eating program and terrace classroom
Red River - Subsidized operational costs for 60 children for one year.
Cognita – Teacher training from Stamford American International School
(Singapore), playground and supplies
Facts on AnaKardia Kids Early Learning Center
AnaKardia Kids Early Learning Center will accommodate a total of 60 students primarily aged between 2.5 and 5.5 years old. Opening in April 2014, the school’s operations focus on the central thesis of giving the children of Desa Ban a head-start in life by providing quality early education, nutritional support, and family health education.
The early learning center employs 10 teachers, each of whom work with teachers from Cognita’s Stamford American International School in Singapore to develop lesson plans. These lessons employ a ‘learn through play’ approach, encompassing educational toys and materials, many of which have been donated by the Stamford American International School’s teachers, students and their families.
In addition to the main facility and classrooms, the early learning center also includes a cafeteria and a playground with equipment donated by Cognita.
The name from the learning center comes from a combination of the words Anacardia, which is the genus name in Latin for cashew tree, and Anak, which means child in Bahasa Indonesia.