On 22 June 2021, a group of youth from Toba, North Sumatera, presents a virtual tour of their ancestral heritage, Ulos weaving and Gorga carving. The tour featured the young weaver Candro Sitorus and the young Gorga artist Manto Manurung at their workshop and the Batak philosophy behind the craft traditions.
The initiative is part of UNESCO-Citi Indonesia's Creative Youth at Indonesian Heritage Sites programme, alias Kita Muda Kreatif, nurturing young cultural entrepreneurs living around famous heritage destinations. Since 2017 the programme has mentored more than 450 youth from six different locations. About 65 of them are from five districts around the Toba Caldera Lake, North Sumatra Province, listed as UNESCO Global Geopark in 2020.
Last year, the programme supported Toba youth entrepreneurs to develop their product branding. The virtual tour and marketing is the next step in their business capacity building to overcome the pandemic and digital divide.
Hotman Simbolon (Head of Government Affairs, Citi Indonesia), who has been mentoring Toba youth as a Citi Volunteer since 2020 said, "Nowadays, the business competition between the traditional craft and fashion sectors is quite high. However, the artisans should keep the originality of their hand-made process and make it a great product value. While we cannot avoid such competition, we can be smarter in finding solutions. Citi Volunteers would be happy to engage in brainstorming with the artisans on finding new opportunities".
"I am grateful the Kita Muda Kreatif program is giving us comprehensive business support. After a brand development last year, the programme will guide us through digital marketing and legal business requirements this year. This would certainly allow my business to grow and reach out to big clients," said Manto Manurung, Gorga artist and owner of Gorga Batak Heritage.