Friday, March 26, 2010

Should I launch an online store for helping Papuan Artists Sell their Handicrafts?

Today, I was discussing with Grietje, a Dutch volunteer from SDSP about ways to improve the living condition of Papuan artists living around my house. I offer a suggestion of launching an online store to sell the artists' products which are handicrafts or souvenirs for foreign tourists.  I don't know whether this idea will fully be accepted by the artists. I don't want to forcefully introduce this idea as my intention is only to help them, not to make profit from this business. Why do I come to this idea? Because there are obstacles that I and many travel operators in Manokwari face when developing ecotourism in this area.  Foreign tourists often face difficulties in obtaining visa in many Indonesian embassies around the world for traveling to Papua. In addition, all the movement of the tourists in Papua have been monitored by the police who demand them to have "Surat Jalan" or "Walking Permit." A piece of letter that tourists must get from the Police Station when they are going around West Papua. If tourists don't come, we have to find ways to help the Papuan artists sell their products. I guess, online store or e-commerce is a solution to this problem. by Charles Roring