Berdiri Projects

Work Begins

This month we started on the pre requirements for the proposed electric fence we plan on building during march.

The first step in providing a safe and healthy environment for the conservation center elephants in Seblat, North Bengkulu, Sumatra is to make sure there is a good food supply. The first step is to repair the fencing for the 2 hectare lot that was once a flourishing plantation of king grass of which the mahouts would readily cut klumps for overnight food for the elephants. Sadly the fence is in disrepair, which allows the wild pigs to get in and feed on crops and nothing much remains.

This will soon become the main food source to provide the elephants when they settle inside their home each night. Once all the holes are discovered and patched new crops will go in and soon flourish. Time to get to work…

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New MoU in Place

To support our elephant conservation efforts head to the official Berdiri website

This month is a landmark for us here at Berdiri. We have signed a new 3 year MoU with the local conservation agency (BKSDA) here in Bengkulu to continue on the much needed conservation efforts for the critically endangered Sumatran elephants. The next three years will entail a few projects. First and our focus for now is to implement an electric fence for the camp elephants of PLG Seblat so they can be chain free, free to roam and socialize and to encourage the opportunity to breed.

This is the beginning of a long term plan and there will be many small, medium and large projects to aid in the conservation of the critically endangered elephants here is Sumatra.

A big thank you to those that have stuck by awaiting to make this happen. Especially the amazing conservation team of Tulsa Zoo.

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EoS Book Excerpt (Elephants of Sumatra) – The Projects

Below is a sample extract from the up coming Elephants of Sumatra – The Final Stand documentary photography book being published in support of the critically endangered sumatran elephants and the various projects we have, projects we support directly in the field or indirectly by other means. The final product will be a 100 page photography documentary book created by Berdiri Founder Bruce Levick based on the back of 3 years in the field documenting  the dire situation being faced by the last remaining ELEPHANTS OF SUMATRA. The extract below is from a chapter named “The Projects”, which documents the work being carried out by various NGO’s to help conserve this amazing species. The book will be available for pre-order soon.

“Sumatra may be only one island of many thousands within the archipelago of Indonesia but the diversity of the wildlife within is second to none. With many unique species fighting for small pockets of remaining habitat on the island of Sumatra with most of these species listed as endangered or critically endangered, the elephants of Sumatra being one of those listed as critically endangered with an estimated figure of 1000-1500 left in the wild.
The main threats to the Elephants of Sumatra is habitat destruction and poaching for the ivory trade. For the most part it is the habitat destruction that is causing so many problems for the remainder of the species. As the habitat reduces the elephants are constantly on the move looking for new areas that are suitable for their herd and this causes the elephants to enter into nearby villages causing issues for the local farmers and community that come into conflict with the elephants. Thus usually ending in capture or death for the elephants. A lot of cases see elephant herds poisoned as they enter into oil palm crops where farmers have left out fruit laced with poison…” 

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Siti Update

We’ve just visited the Zam Zam orphans again this week. Sorry for the delay in the update as it has been a busy time getting the Yayasan registered and official. We had a few goodies to deliver to the kids this week that recently arrived from our good friend Carol (New Zealand). The kids get a real kick out of the gifts that come from over seas.
It’s about to be the month of fasting here in Indonesia and before it starts it’s a tradition of ours to deliver rice and syrup to help with the breaking of fasting every evening. So we also delivered some food goodies for Ramadan. We have also scheduled to bring all the orphans that we support to our restaurant during the month to open fasting one night with the kids.


Siti and Laily

Siti is coming up to her 2nd birthday this year (October) and is actually mobile now and walking around. Her operation in Jogjakarta has been broken down into two parts. Siti’s leg and foot had two issues. One with her skin constricting around the top of her ankle and cutting off the blood flow and the other is a growth on top of her foot. The doctor in Jogjakarta decided it was best to operate on her ankle first before tackling the more difficult issue of the growth on her foot. The operation on Siti’s ankle was a success and now Siti is a little bit older and stronger to better cope with the removal of the growth on her foot. The Ibu (Mum of the orphans) is due to travel again with Siti to Jogjakarta for that next part of her operation after the month of Ramadan. We will discuss again with Ibu how we can help to fund another trip to Jogjakarta and give you an update soon.


Siti’s first operation was a success


Siti checking out the new toys


The Zam Zam orphans with their new toys


Siti still requires another operation to remove the growth from her foot


The Zam Zam kids enjoying thier new toys


Blowing bubbles


Celebrating and having fun

For those wanting to send any gifts or goodies for the kids please send to the below Address:

Bruce and Laily
Yayasan Berdiri
Jalan M. Hasan 1 No. 60 RT 4
Pasar Baru
Bengkulu 38114

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Siti going to Jogjakarta

It’s been a month or so in the making since the mother of the orphanage received the funding for Siti’s operation. The period of waiting was necessary to allow the month of fasting and the following celebrations to pass as travel and organising such operations at that time is more challenging and also very much more expensive. Very much like Christmas time for us westerners where not much can be achieved and trying to get anywhere is rather expensive.


Picking Siti up to go to the airport

This week has turned out to be the effect time for Siti to travel and have the required operation on the growth on her foot. The decision was made by Suyati (the mother of the orphanage) to book Siti into a hospital in Jogjakarta instead of the much more crowded Jakarta. The hospitals name is “Sardjito Rumah Sakit”. It was expected there would be a long waiting time in Jakarta and not having any specific contacts in Jakarta meant a possible long hotel stay. Turns out that Suyati has family in Jogjakarta and can stay for as long as needed until the operation on Siti is carried out.
On Sunday we took Suyati and Siti to the airport to see them off. She was a happy little girl clapping along to the music on the radio until half way to the airport she decided to go straight to sleep. It was a nice moment to see them both off and to know that we and a handful of great friends who chipped in helped make a potential life changing difference for Siti.
On Monday we received word from Suyati that both her and Siti had arrived safely and they were currently on their way to the Sardjito hospital for Siti to have her first check up with the specialist in Jogjakarta.

After the doctor gave Siti a thorough check he decided Siti was not quite ready for her operation. She requires 1 week of medication to get her body ready to have the operation. We weren’t had the exact details but it sounds like a normal occurrence for young children having such a big operation. The extra strength and health she will gain over the next week will help her pull through much better after the operation.

More updates to follow in one week.


Seeing Suyati and Siti off at the airport

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Zam Zam Orphanage Progress Report

After 3 days of demolishing and rebuilding it was good to report that things are progressing well. Despite the odd afternoon of rain there is no stopping these guys. The new structure is looking really good. Check out the video below to see the latest construction progress. So far the new brick walls are in and the roof is on and the base structure is in place.


The Walls

The Walls


Demolishing the old structure

Demolishing the old structure


New materials

New materials


The brick work for the new structure

The brick work for the new structure



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Zam Zam Water Pump Thank You Video

There have been some great supporters of the Zam Zam orphanage project and I promised a thank you video for those that contributed the most. Well this video is really for all those that contributed but special mention goes to..

Andy, Jason, Patty, Carol, Rob, Julie, Wendy, Leigh and Carol G. You all know who you are and a big thank you to you all. Thanks for digging deep for the Zam Zam orphanage and i am sure you will see in this video below that you have made quite a difference already. More work,to come…

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Zam Zam Orphanage

The Zam Zam Global Orphanage in Bengkulu is just one place that does it’s best in a tough part of the world. When I visited the orphanage, they explained to me that a good portion of the rooms were collapsing and the water pump is broken. There are approximately thirty kids in this one orphanage and the place could use some help. How you can help with this project >

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