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“When will the next edition of the comics be coming out? Can we get more copies of the comics for our school library? Are you visiting our school again? When will that be?”

These are just some of the questions that APRIL’s Fire Aware Community (FAC) Project Officer Riana Ekawati has been receiving from eager students and principals from various schools in Indonesia over the past year.

Riana has been hard at work introducing and enhancing fire prevention awareness among young students at 81 schools (51 elementary schools and 30 junior high schools) in 2017.

An offshoot of APRIL’s Fire Free Village Program (FFVP), the FAC was introduced in 2016 as a way to introduce communities to fire-free concepts and initiatives through a range of community awareness and engagement activities.

One of them is the Schools Awareness Program, which sees elementary and junior high school students developing fire awareness by participating in interactive workshops and discussions, as well as consuming engaging publications.

Access to inclusive and quality education for all is one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the belief that education is an important driver towards sustainable development, SDG 4 aims to ensure that every person will have access to primary and secondary school by 2030.

Syahzidah Afdilla Lubis almost did not get the opportunity to achieve this. He was devastated when he faced the fact that he would not be continuing his education at the senior high school level, because his family couldn't afford it.

In a bid to improve his family’s economic situation, Syahzidah decided to work as a janitor at Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP). Then good news arrived for Syahzidah, when the company started an ‘Equivalent Education Program’ for its employees.

Under the program, RAPP employees receive the opportunity to complete informal elementary, junior high and upper high education, through classes which are held two or three times a week.

When a colleague’s child became seriously ill eight years ago, APRIL Group Logistic Supply Chain Manager Meyli was sympathetic.

Although APRIL Group provides health insurance for its employees and their dependents, Meyli still felt the overwhelming need to do something to help.

“One of my co-workers was struck by a tragedy as her child was suffering from a terminal illness, so my colleagues and I took the initiative to raise donations – and that’s how the Tolong Menolong Union was born,” Meyli shared.

Meyli approached the company’s Human Resources Department to get things moving, and the company fully backed her idea.

For many Indonesian women, opting for a career is not an easy path – and even more so when you choose to work in a challenging, male-dominated factory environment.

But, this has not stopped Itsna Lathifa from chasing her dreams. The mother of two children now serves as the Acting Process & Pulp Product Quality Assurance Area Head at Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP).

Itsna is the epitome of women’s empowerment, successfully managing all the obstacles she’s faced in the working world thus far, beginning with when she began her career at RAPP in 2005.

When Itsna first joined RAPP, her mother had disagreed as Itsna had to work the night shift at the time. Her mother was often anxious as the people who worked the night shift were mostly men. At 11pm every night, Itsna would call her mother to reassure her that everything was alright.

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