South of the city center in Malang, Indonesia, rows upon rows of monotonous white houses with brown roofs suddenly transform into a rainbow of vibrant colors bursting at every corner. What was formerly an impoverished village was transformed into an oasis of color and art, a project that has delighted visitors and revitalized the local community.
The village of Kampung Warna-Warni (Indonesian for “Village of Color”) was once drab and polluted, lacking the economic resources required to build a healthy community. But eight event management students from a nearby university lent a helping hand by applying their class skills to the real world. The students partnered with a local paint company looking to do a social responsibility project, which donated over 6,000 pounds of colorful paint, and voila, a hueless city got a brilliant new paint job.
Inspired by the favelas of Rio, every square inch of the rainbow village is coated in color, ranging from pastels of green and orange to pink and yellow. The bridge nearby the village is also painted, its beams erupting in magnificent blues and purples.
Although it may seem like the paint job would benefit visitors more than those actually living in the village, the makeover has revitalized the community. The beautiful colors improved the village’s standard of living by drawing in new tourist dollars, and the beauty of the colorful houses has inspired many community members to improve the sanitation of their river.