While in Bali, Indonesia, the Worldwide Voyage crew visited Kopernik, an organization looking to help impoverished communities through the use of technology.
Tomo Hamakawa Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kopernik explained, “The mission of Kopernik is really to connect these life changing technologies with last mile communities to reduce poverty. A lot of these products that should be accessible, available, for rural communities, the reality is that they donʻt have access so weʻre trying to bridge that gap between supply and demand.”
Access to the most basic human necessities, like clean drinking water and heating, is often unavailable in these remote areas of the world. Making daily life a struggle.
Hōkūleʻa Crewmember, Leionaona Wong noted, “So if they can use this technology to simplify those aspects of their lives it gives them hours of their day to be able to get out of poverty, to go to school.There is opportunity to help generations of children, cause one child gets an education and their children get an education.”
The organization recruits individuals from these disadvantaged communities to help in the distribution of their products, creating an opportunity for growth and change from within the community.
Hamakawa said, “Weʻve seen some inspiring stories where theyʻve become not just retailers, but they become change agents in their community because they are introducing these um, these sustainable solutions in their community so they are becoming a source of inspiration.”
Wong said, “I get very excited, very blown away by people like who do work like this and who actively go out and seek solutions. I think that a lot of time we get very mired down with problems because they seem so overwhelming that looking at the simplicity of a solar light or a ceramic filter, itʻs, itʻs an elegant solution to a complex problem.”