If someone asks me at the end of my portrait project, who is the most impressive and memorable person that I have taken photograph of this year, this special lady, Butet Manurung, would be one of my top five. If you meet Butet in person without knowing her story, it would be hard to imagine the huge foot-prints of goodness that this pint-size lady has left in her trail. She is a force to be reckoned with.
She has tracked through the jungle in Sumatra and has survived the bee attacks, a jealous tribe wife, wild jungle and all the ‘exotic animals’ in it (which includes a bear, snakes etc), learning a local dialect and customs; all that to connect with people who live inside the deepest jungle in tribes to teach them how to read and write, to introduce to them the wonders of letters and numbers. Her work with Sokola Rimba is now expanding to other islands in Indonesia.
She is one amazing lady, and truly inspirational. Find out more about Sokola Rimba here.