Millennium Kids Australia, Program Director, Catrina-Luz Aniere, has spent the last week (11-18 January 2003) as guest of Tunas Hijau Club in Surabaya, Indonesia. During of the week of her stay Ms Aniere visited many sites with Tunas Hijau Cub as part of series of environmental experiences for children. Her visited included tours of local school, wastewater treatment processes, rubbish tips and river. Ms Aniere also took part in a tree-planting program at several school and rivers in Surabaya. But, the highlight of her tour was meeting the children of Surabaya.
“I met so many children in Surabaya. They are so enthusiastic about the environmental future of Surabaya. The children are keen to learn new way of looking after our air, our water and our native habitat. They are also keen to learn how to manage our waste issues better,” Ms Aniere said.
Ms Aniere said that she applauded the work being done by the children of the Tunas Hijau Club.
Ms Aniere visited many school supported by the Tunas Hijau Club environmental program. She was impressed with the introduction of environmental education in several of the school she visited.
School that undertake the Tunas Hijau Club have undertaken projects to green their school space. In Australia, Millennium Kids also undertake this type of program. The children plan how they can green their school garden. Children draw a plan of action and then take part in tree planting activities within the school ground. From the school, the children can develop a similar project in the wider community. In this way the children can take the message of tree planting into the community as trees can help with providing shade, air quality and also drainage caused by an abundance of water.
Ms Aniere commented on the cleanliness of the school. The Millennium Kids program also addresses waste management through the school curriculum. Children survey the rubbish accumulated at the school. They take part in activities that reduce, reuse and recycle waste.
Millennium Kids also take part in clean up activities outside the school in an effort to help the community understand that the waste belongs to everyone. If no one attempt to clean it up it will sit in the streets creating health and pollution issues.
“The children where very concerned about waste in city of Surabaya, but they had many ideas that could be implemented through the science and society and the environmental curriculum,” she said. “There are many ideas we can share from our experiences in Australia school. Teachers from Surabaya many be interested in using these ideas in their school.”
After her visited, Ms Aniere will return to Australia to begin planning the next step to the program with Tunas Hijau Club. Ms Aniere plans to return to Surabaya to share her environmental education experience with teachers in Surabaya. She will also bring Australian children with her to learn about Indonesia. It will be the beginning of an environmental exchange program between Tunas Hijau Club and Millennium Kids, Australia.
THIS IS OUR EARTH sponsored by Project Aware Padi Asia Pasific, Jawa Pos, Erwin Haricahyo’s family, Mataram Paint Co.Ltd., PT. Terminal Petikemas Surabaya, Perum Jasa Tirta I, Surabaya’s Government, Kwarda Jatim, Kosmonita Radio, Suara Surabaya Radio and Hyatt Regency Surabaya.