Exchange programme Raja Ampat – Switzerland: «and what chocolate is really made of»:
We had an international start into our second quarter. For the 4th time, our pupils had the opportunity to exchange ideas with pupils from Switzerland in a video message. The children first introduced themselves in a portrait and then interviewed each other with different questions about their hobbies and school. Of course, the focus was on speaking English. But cultural exchange is also an important part of the exchange programme. It quickly became clear to both classes that they were living in two completely different worlds. However, the topic of chocolate shows that they do have things in common. Moti - one of the Indonesian students - countered a Swiss student's statement "chocolate is made of milk" with a creative video message. It showed not only his climbing skills but also the cocoa fruit and explained that this is the basis of chocolate and not (only) milk.
From theory to practice: Edy is becoming a professional tour guide...
During the past few months, Edy in particular has proven that our high school students are not only very diligent at school, but they also put what they have learned into practice. His business as a tour guide is flourishing. He has successfully conducted several excursions. His offer includes, for example, a visit to the Pianemo Islands, a tour of the waterfalls in Batanta or an encounter with the friendly sea creatures, the Dugongs. In our environmental school, he learns about marketing strategies for his trips, how to deal with guests, how to organise a trip efficiently and how to draw up a profitable budget.
....and shows his commitment to work under water as well
During the school holidays, Edy also managed to get himself a job in one of the most established dive centres. The owner of the dive school, who would like to hire more local workers, was thrilled and raved about Edy's English skills and his way with the customers. In addition, Edy had already completed a reef check and therefore knows most fish and corals by name. As it is Edy's dream to work as a dive guide one day, the two-week assignment at the dive school, even before finishing his school education, was an important milestone and a great recognition of his achievements. Bravo Edy! We are looking forward to accompanying him on his way and to stimulating his potential.
After our teacher Sari recovered from her first bout of Malaria, she tested positive for Malaria again a short time later. After a two-week recovery period, she is fortunately doing well now. The vacuum caused by her absence was a challenge for the small team of teachers at the Environmental School, but thanks to the energetic commitment of everyone, that we never take for granted, we managed to fill the gap the best we could. We are glad that Sari has fully recovered and that our team is complete again.
Practice early – success at the national writing contest!
In July, two of our students took part in a writing competition that was announced throughout West Papua. Culture and faith were to be addressed in the form of a story about their own ancestors.
Our 13-year-old pupil Natan wrote a story from a needlefish’s point of view which not only impressed the readers, but also won first place. As the winner, he was invited to Jayapura, where he was allowed to read his story on national radio. Needless to say, for Natan - who has never even been to the nearby city of Sorong, let alone travelled in an aeroplane or stayed in a hotel with running water - it was an extraordinary experience. We are incredibly proud of Natan and congratulate him on his great success.
TV documentary about our environmental school with international reach
On the occasion of Indonesia's Independence Day on 17th August, the Asian broadcaster "Sea Today News" aired a TV documentary on the topic of education. The episode "The Light of The East" focused on the fact that many children in remote areas of Indonesia still have no access to education. In this context, the channel accompanied Child Aid Papua's environmental school in its everyday school life and reported on its pioneering role. It is a great achievement for us that our work is recognised far beyond the borders of Raja Ampat. If you are interested, you can watch the report on Youtube: https://youtu.be/gsb9woVDmSQ.
Our Junior High School is growing – off to the new school year
We started our second Junior High School class with nine children and had a good start into the new school year. With the addition of the new kids, our environmental school now has 17 students in high school and 25 in primary school. This means that the number has almost doubled compared to the previous year. This is why we had to expand our infrastructure and purchase more laptops so that we can introduce our students to digitalization, a topic that is currently still unfamiliar, yet omnipresent. We are very happy about our new students and the trust of their parents.