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Indonesian Slum Transformed into Rainbow Wonderland Through Paint

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A splash of color has changed the slums of Indonesia’s Kampung Pelangi village into a Rainbow Village — and burgeoning tourist attraction.

The small neighborhood, consisting of over 300 crumbling homes packed closely together, have been an eyesore for a long time now. Other residents in the village often avoid the area if they can.

Slamet Widodo, a local teacher, then proposed a novel idea to brighten up the dreary part of town.

The idea gained steam quickly and through corporate sponsorship and the generosity of individuals, the project managed to raise $200,000. After a month, the whole neighborhood was painted bright shades of red, yellow, blue and pastels.

However, it was not just the look that’s changed. The paint project apparently was exactly what the community needed, since the project has reportedly given the local economy a much needed boost. It’s becoming one of the area’s newest must-see tourist spots.

“In the future it will bring benefits to our community, especially economic empowerment,” the 54-year-old Widodo said. “The project will be supported by the activity and creativity (of the people) in the village so the local community has a sense of belonging.”

The visits quickly spiked when a photo of the “Rainbow Village”, as the place has come to be known, was shared on Facebook and Instagram. The interest quickly skyrocketed after online news sites and tourists alike shared video clips of the project on YouTube.

According to reports, the residents gained a positive new outlook on their hometown as well. In fact, they have become direct ambassadors of the project by making sure to welcome tourists and offer tours.

The effort was by no means unique. Rio de Janeiro’s famous slum (favela) was also given a colorful makeover back in 2010 with the collaboration of two Dutch artists and local residents. Las Palmitas in Mexico’s Pachutas was also painted with bright colors in the effort by the Mexican government to beautify the neighborhood.

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