Project Oceania: English Training for Raja Ampat Tour Guides
We have officially been assigned by the Tourism Department to provide English training for the state-employed Raja Ampat guides. Until now, the guides had completed their training in Bali, but apparently, the desired results had not been achieved. With the available infrastructure we can provide and the reputation of our environmental school – which has also reached the authorities in the meantime – the government has chosen to switch this training to Child Aid Papua. So, our students shared classroom space with approximately 20 new Raja Ampat tour guides for a week. The new program, "Oceania," was inaugurated on-site by the Head of Tourism. In order to improve the new tour guides' english skills in the short time available - especially in personal communication - we adopted an interactive training methodology in smaller divided groups. And the tour-guides-to-be showed significant progress, also recognized by the autorities. We have received assurance that we will be entrusted with the training of Raja Ampat tour guides next year as well. This not only promotes further collaboration with the government but also provides a valuable contribution to our foundation's funds.
Sports Ground: Community Project and Crowdfunding Success
After having extensive experience with creating infrastructure for our environmental school, we never would have thought that "building" a flat, concrete piece of "land" would pose such a significant logistical and organizational challenge. Once again, we were taught otherwise by the quirks of Raja Ampat. What eventually became our new sports field demanded quite a lot: 300 bags of cement had to find their way from the city to the remote Sawinggrai, for which we chartered a special logistics boat. Furthermore, we transported 2,600 buckets of sand from the sea to land and mixed it with 2,000 buckets of groundwater. Several hundred more buckets of gravel were necessary for the foundation. Lastly, many hours of evening and weekend work were invested by volunteers, and even our students. The result is truly remarkable. Finally, there is a sports field that withstands the harsh weather conditions and that brings joy to the sport-loving (volleyball) hearts of our students. We were able to finance this new project thanks to the valuable crowdfunding efforts of Mantahari Oceancare. An incredible 14,480 EUR was raised. A heartfelt and enormous thank you to the Mantahari team and all the donors!
Health Team in Action: Tetanus Vaccinations for Our Students
There's also news from our Health Care Team. Angel, our in-house nurse, continues to work tirelessly to improve the cooperation with local health department authorities. She has now managed to secure access to numerous doses of tetanus vaccines – a still very real threat in Raja Ampat. All parents have agreed to have their children vaccinated. This is a significant relief for us, as Western medicine, including vaccinations, is still relatively unfamiliar to the local population and often clashes with indigenous beliefs. With Angel's assistance, we are increasingly successful in striking a balance between accessing medications from the authorities and gaining local acceptance.
Ocean Blue – Training in Marine and Ecotourism: Further Milestones
In our previous news blog, we already reported on the planning of the new school building. This will enable us to expand our offerings and provide training opportunities in the field of "Marine and Ecotourism." The new project has in the meantinem been named Ocean Blue and has gained more supporters and followers. For instance, in August, we had the pleasure of welcoming the architect from the organization Journeyman International in the United States and the general contractor from Jakarta to Sawinggrai. Both spent a week in Sawinggrai, fully bearing their own expenses, to discuss the sustainable and professional realization of the building in greater detail. The architect also took soil samples to align the material selection as closely as possible with local conditions, including earthquake and tsunami risks.
An essential component for the project's success is, of course, the socialization and the unanimous approval of the island residents and local authorities. This support is of great importance to us. Therefore, we organized public presentations and discussions where the building plans were transparently revealed, and all participants, such as the architect and the general contractor were formally introduced. Additionally, the community was able to contribute their ideas and examine the building in a 3D-printed version at a 1:100 scale.
These further successes in the planning of the building, along with the unanimous approval of the island residents, represent significant milestones on the path to realizing the new school building. We will, of course, continue to keep you updated on future developments here: Funding projects | childaidpapua.org.
Outlook - The End of the Year is Approaching
Speaking of the future: Even though one may not want to think about it, given the almost summery autumn days, yes, the holiday season is just a few weeks away. This year, we will be present at the Glarner Christmas market (December 1st and 2nd), and we're also making our debut in Cham on December 8th. We would be delighted to welcome as many members of the Child Aid Papua community as possible. This year, as well, there will be a yearly calendar with beautiful pictures from Raja Ampat, our children's book featuring the adventures of Mira and Edo, and other fantastic Christmas gift ideas. Please stop by. We look forward to seeing you.