All the forest edge communities we work in and near along the Leuser Ecosystem experience poverty and live in very basic conditions. Most rely on oil palm or rubber for income, supplemented with subsistence farming and cash crops and other activities, some of which are harmful to wildlife. Through community engagement sessions as part of monthly patrols, our team has formed positive relationships with the communities and their leaders and where practical and possible, we provide additional support that has benefits that reach throughout the community. Examples include providing fruit trees for a school, fencing around the same school, school supplies to a school in another community after learning the locals set snares to help pay for school supplies, and predator-proof livestock corrals to reduce livestock predation. We have reconstructed a kindergarten that was flood damaged and more recently in early 2022 we constructed a community bathroom in the village of Sumber Waras, to enable kids to bath safely without fear of encountering wild elephants far from home. We have provided mobile phones to growers and farmers living alongside the National Park, to try and reduce retaliatory snares and purposeful injury of wildlife such as elephants and orangutans. The phones are provided with the expectation that locals will call our team to help mitigate human-wildlife conflict events instead of taking matters into their own hands. Sumatran Ranger Project has also renovated a kindergarten and has identified a need for a community bathroom that our team will build with help from Sumatra Community and Conservation Trust.
Sumatran Ranger Project also supports communities through the Days for Girls program - transporting and donating (on behalf of) re-usable feminine hygiene kits to women and girls to help keep them in work and school and ensure less waste ends up in waterways. In 2019 we collaborated with MODIBODI to provide reusable period underwear to these communities, which require significantly fewer resources to make and distribute to these remote communities. To participate in their giving program and help the women and girls in the Leuser Ecosystem, visit MODIBODI
In addition we provide employment to locals, some of whom were poachers and loggers prior to becoming rangers for Sumatran Ranger Project. When working on bigger projects we offer temporary employment to locals of communities we work with.