At the beginning of the year we received approval from the school authorities in Raja Ampat and the Ministry of Education in Jakarta to run an official high school in our education and environmental center. We are now certified to teach young people between the ages of 12 and 18. The timetable includes all the necessary subjects so that the students can receive the official school leaving certificate from the Department of Education. We are starting next August with two students who have been going to school in our education and environmental center since the beginning. With this small class we can gain experience and our team can continue to operate the existing school classes without having to make many changes.
Our goal is to provide the young people in our high school with an education that is tailored to their needs. Gathering practical experience is an important part of this. Thanks to an optimal network in the region, students have the opportunity to complete internships in resorts, diving centers and other tourism providers. In this way, our students can apply what they have learned in practice and at the same time gain further valuable experience. This is an optimal preparation for their later life in the Raja Ampat region.
For the school year 2021-2022 we will also add a junior high school class for 13 to 16 year old children and teenagers.
Thanks to the collaboration with a Dutch foundation, a garden project was started in Sawinggrai in January 2020. The aim is to give the locals access to healthy food and to prevent food shortages. In the first weeks of the project, the locals were able to count on the professional support of two permaculture specialists who worked out the concept and trained the islanders. About 2400m2 was planted, which makes sense in this climatic region. The main problem with this project is the prolonged periods of drought that are common in Raja Ampat. This problem can be counteracted a little with the help of water tanks and other water collection stations. Nevertheless, we hope that there will be enough rain so that the harvest will be good and the people will have the confidence they need in the project. The foundation finances wages and purchases for two years. According to this, the garden should be financially self-sustaining by selling the harvested products to resorts, homestays and families in the surrounding villages. The project is led by a local from Sawinggrai and enables 3-5 people to have a regular, sustainable income.