On Aug. 17, employees from GuildMaster, a company based in Springfield, MO, that manufacturers lighting and home accents in China and Indonesia and imports them to the United States, traveled to Bantul, Indonesia, a village that was struck by a powerful earthquake in 2006.
The employees were from GuildMaster's manufacturing facility, located in Merapi, Indonesia, which is located near Bantul.
In cooperation with village leaders, GuildMaster employees planted more than 150 mahogany and mango trees in a heavily damaged area. The visit, which occurred on Indonesia’s national independence day, was part of a goodwill effort by GuildMaster. The firm has worked to rebuild the economy and infrastructure in Bantul since 2006.
The earthquake devastated the local economy, but GuildMaster stepped in with food and water in the days immediately following the crisis. The company also rebuilt its own factory near Mount Merapi, helping to stabilize the local economy by remaining an important employer. The factory employs about 400 craftsmen.
GuildMaster has a policy of planting one mahogany tree for each one used to produce furniture. Vik Karode, GuildMaster’s Vice President of Operations, says the company expects to plant about 1,200 trees by the end of 2008.