The Child Aid Papua High School is very popular in the region. In addition to the two senior high school (9-12 school year) students who started their first school year with us last summer 2020, eight more students will start the Child Aid Papua High School program in summer 2021. Five girls and three boys started the preparatory course for Junior High School with us in January 2021. These eight children attended elementary school and other teaching programs of Child Aid Papua last year.
Thanks to great zeal and a tireless thirst for knowledge, these eight young people now have the chance to complete the next 6 years of school in Child Aid Papua High School. Our goal is to provide the young people in our high school with an education tailored to their needs. The focus of the Junior High School is, in addition to theoretical lessons, practical experience. Thanks to an optimal network in the region, our students have the opportunity to complete internships in resorts, diving centers and other tourism providers in Indonesia. Every child should have the opportunity to get to know each other better through the development of their skills and thus to go their own personal path. Of course, the focus of the knowledge transfer is still on learning the English language, as well as the correct, sustainable interaction with people and nature. The interaction between the junior and senior high schools is the ideal preparation to later be able to take on a responsible position in the region and, in the best case, to positively influence the future of Raja Ampat.
In order to ensure a smooth transition from elementary school to junior high school, the parents of these pupils were informed in detail about the Child Aid Papua High School at the end of November. This information event was very important for the parents because our school cannot be compared in any way with the other schools in the region. Entry into our high school is only possible if we have the support of our parents.
We are pleased about this step and look forward to this great and responsible task with joy and respect.
Expansion of the school infrastructure
Child Aid Papua became a nationally recognized school in January of this year and is entitled to train students from 7-12 school years with a national qualification in "Marine Conservation and Sustainable Tourism".
Due to the rapidly growing demand for our high school program, an expansion of the school infrastructure is inevitable. In order to guarantee high-quality teaching, we were able to expand our teaching team in addition to the school infrastructure. The Child Aid Papua Team has succeeded in hiring another teacher, Brizinsky Juneanto (32 years old from Jakarta). Convincing a good teacher to work in a remote place like here in Sawinggrai is not easy. We are convinced that we have found a committed and motivated teacher in Brizinsky and we very much hope that he likes this special place of work and that he feels comfortable in our team.
Our school is growing faster than expected. That is why the construction of an additional school building started in November. Classes for our high school students should take place there and one room for each of our teachers should be available. The school building includes a 42m2 classroom. Three more rooms are planned for school work and accommodation. The construction work should be finished by spring 2021, so that the rooms can be occupied around May.
Exchange project with a 6th grade class in Switzerland
At the beginning of January we were asked by a 6th class in Mollis whether we were interested in a “video exchange project” with our children. Of course, our students were immediately enthusiastic about this idea. The common goal was to use short video messages to convey everyday life to the children in the other country and thus create awareness of other countries and cultures. Due to the videos sent, the children from the other country were able to ask questions, which were answered in another video. Our students enjoyed this exchange as well as creating the videos very much. This video project was a great way to apply your English skills while benefiting from a cultural exchange.
You can access one of the videos at the following link on the Child Aid Papua YouTube channel:
Huge amounts of litter in the sea
Raja Ampat has been plagued by huge amounts of debris floating in the sea for almost a month. These are very unusual images for this region that are otherwise only seen on television from heavily industrialized places around the world. The waste amounts form carpets, some of which are up to 200 meters long and 20 to 30 meters wide. They are washed here with the current from far away and probably from the big cities. The manta rays and various species of whales that are looking for food swim in the midst of these amounts of waste. Because it is precisely in this amount of waste that this drives the plankton, the food for these animals.
Our students work for the environment every day as part of the “Ocean Warrior” program. They have been in the water almost every day for weeks, fishing out the floating debris. This is then sorted out and disposed of as well as possible. Collecting this rubbish is probably just a drop in the bucket. But it is very nice to see how our students have understood the problem and are committed to a better environment with a lot of initiative.