Corporate Responsibility - 01/11/2019

Books on wheels

How do you support lifelong education in an area where books and modern learning facilities are hard to come by? To ECCO in Indonesia, the solution was creative. A small mobile library was constructed in a manner perfectly suited to deliver books and learning technology to kindergartens and schools in the local Sidoarjo district. Since March 2018, the mobile library has reached practically all corners of the 600 km2 district.

Developing the mind and gaining knowledge of the world around us is an essential part of growing up. According to the UN, obtaining a quality education is the foundation to creating sustainable development, but even in countries that do offer proper schooling to children, it can be a challenge to make up-to-date books and teaching facilities available to all students. This is the case, for example, in some parts of Sidoarjo, Indonesia, where ECCO operates a shoe factory and tannery. With more than 7,000 employees located in the surroundings of ECCO’s premises, ECCO is a well-known employer in the area. Considering itself a guest in the countries it operates in, ECCO is determined to be an active and supportive member of the local community.

A mobile library meets the students’ needs

ECCO was quick to take action when learning that there was a lack of availability of educational equipment in some of the areas surrounding ECCO’s facilities. Unwilling to accept the fact that some students were in need of access to books and other educational equipment, ECCO decided to support in a very practical way: by buying a so-called SIMOKOS (short of Information and Communication Media Facility). This vehicle functions as a mobile learning centre and is equipped with a sound system, big screen TV, laptop, and books. It even has an generator to provide power for the electrical devices.

Small initiatives can make a big difference

As part of their responsibilities, local military officials operate the mobile library and make sure that it is maintained and reaches as many locations as possible. In March 2018, Sidoarjo’s new mobile library made its first trip to a local school, and since then, it has visited more than 80% of the 600 km2 district’s  kindergartens and elementary schools. President Director of ECCO’s shoe factory in Indonesia, Gary Smale, appreciates the difference which initiatives like this can do for the development of the local community.

“We are very happy that we can support and contribute to the community of Sidoarjo. We have great respect for the local communities, and we are pleased to be able to make a small contribution to the development of young minds,” says Gary Smale.

You can read more about Corporate Responsibility at ECCO at ECCO's website.

About ECCO

ECCO is one of the world’s leading shoe brands, combining style and comfort. ECCO’s success is built on products with a great fit and top-quality leathers. ECCO is a highly responsible company that owns and manages every aspect of the value chain from leather and shoe manufacturing to wholesale and retail activities. ECCO’s products are sold in 99 countries from over 2,250 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points. ECCO is family-owned, founded in Denmark in 1963, and employs 21,300 people worldwide.