Our Senior High School students are now certified divers (April 2021)
An important part of our high school concept consist of offering young people opportunities for hands-on practice. This is the only way to ensure a smooth transition into the business world later on. If it were not for the challenges caused by COVID-19, our two senior high school students would probably already have had their first internship experience in the tourism sector. Unfortunately, this was not possible during the last 12 months. Nevertheless, it was now time for the fundamental knowledge of the two boys to be expanded and strengthened so that they will be able to work in tourism or environmental protection in the future.
Thanks to our good network, which now extends far beyond the borders of Raja Ampat, we found an internationally certified dive centre on Gili Trawangan. They were willing to train our two students to become SSI Advanced Open Water Divers in April 2021, free of charge. During the almost two-week course, Edy and Melando worked together with their dive instructor on their internationally recognised dive certification. In addition to this training, they also gained in-depth insights into the organisation of a professionally run dive centre. This allowed them to experience what the job of a dive instructor entails and that there is a lot more work besides the actual diving.
For Melando and Edy, the long journey to a foreign culture was a great challenge. For the first time in their lives, they came into contact with the "modern world" and had to leave their comfort zone at home. The two were surprised to see what the underwater world can look like in another place, albeit still in Indonesia. They were amazed to see the poorer underwater biodiversity compared to Raja Ampat. It is the fruits of hard work that Edy and Melando were now able to reap with this experience. Very few locals have ever been outside of West Papua. Most of the dive guides working here in Raja Ampat are unfortunately not from the region, the most important reason being that the locals do not speak English. In addition, many of them do not even have the opportunity to complete a diving course. So Edy and Melando are lucky to be able to communicate in English at the age of 17 and to hold two dive certificates.
These certificates and their English skills bring the two young people a significant step closer to their dream jobs. Edy would like to work as a dive guide or dive manager in the future and Melando's wish is to work as a marine researcher in the field of environmental protection.
We are proud to be able to continue supporting these two young people and help them realise their lifelong dream. We are already looking forward to releasing them into work life in the near future with a rucksack full of experiences..
Our Students made a brief video about their experiences outside of Papua. You can find the Video HERE
Progress in the construction of the new school building
Construction of the new school building for the Junior High School is progressing well, albeit with a bit of delay. The new Junior High School classroom is already completed and in use. The students who started Junior High School at Child Aid Papua this summer are very excited to move into their own well-equipped classroom. The electricity supply has also been provided for. Now the classroom needs to be equipped with the appropriate infrastructure (new desks, projector, etc.). All the furniture is made to measure on site and according to our needs. As always, during the construction of this building, we took great care to ensure that the environment was affected as little as possible. Thus, construction was only carried out where no mangroves or trees had to be felled, and 100% of the electricity used to operate the electrical construction machines was supplied by our solar system. In addition to the two classrooms, the new building also contains three rooms for our teachers. Our staff members share a 3x3 metre room in pairs. They also have a room for preparatory work or to withdraw from the general school routine.
Covid 19 - Delta variant outbreak in Raja Ampat (July 2021)
Unfortunately, the Delta variant has broken out in Raja Ampat over the last few weeks and our school is also affected. The situation in the whole region is very confusing. The hospitals are overloaded and there have been reportings of deaths. In a region that already does not have a good health system in normal times, this is bad news.
In our school as well, four employees have already tested positive and one person had to be taken to the hospital for treatment after suffering from severe symptoms. Fortunately, the person in question is already better and will hopefully be able to leave the hospital soon. However, the current situation has prompted us to close the school until further notice in order to break the infection chain.
Being an NGO, we would also like to assist the local villagers as much as possible. Unfortunately, our hands are rather tied with respect to this, as there are only few possibilities to help. The traffic routes in and around Raja Ampat are completely blocked and since the pandemic is also causing many victims in the regions around Java, the necessary medical supplies and medical support are difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, we would like to help everyone who needs and wants it to have access to a hospital in Waisai and receive treatment. In addition, we want to assist people with a milder course of the disease in the two villages Sawinggrai and Kapsawar to reiceive medication and advice.
If you would like to contribute financially to these expenses we would appreciate any support. You can use the link below to make a donation with the reference "Covid-19" and we will use this money to finance transportation, accommodation and medication.
We hope to be able to bring you more positive news in our next newsletter and thank you very much for your support..