Making The First Steps In Our Beach Project by Pasquelle van der Jagt

Before we got to the office today, we went to the flag ceremony for the National Day of Indonesia. Hereafter we went to the first school which will join in our project, SMPN 15. This is a school with approximately 40 students. Mandy and I gave a presentation about our countries and its environment. Just for an introduction about ourselves and our home country, but also to make them aware of the big difference between our clean(er) environment and that here in Indonesia. We told them about the garbage management in Malaysia and what the effect of Global Warming can mean for the Netherlands. Afterwards the children asked us a lot of questions, so they were really thinking about the problem of the environment here in Indonesia and what it should take to do something about it. Next week we’ll come back to this school do to some little activities with them. Mandy and I will work out a plan for these activities this week.

Next we went to the second school that will join in our project, SMPN 31. This school is lying in a Kampong in which many Madura people live. This is a quite undeveloped area and the kids are more difficult to handle. So we expected that the children were maybe sooner bored and not so interested in our presentation. But we had a very successful presentation I think. The children asked a lot and were really getting involved in the subject. When we asked if they would like it we’d come back next week for doing some little activities with them about the environment and the beach, they were very enthusiastic!

For closing the day, we went to the river which flows through Surabaya. Where the river enters Surabaya it’s already polluted, because it comes from a long way into Java already. But it’s really not so polluted with garbage and stuff as at the end of the river, near the coastal area.  We had a look from the beginning of the river till somewhere in the middle I think. And you can clearly see the difference; the more to the sea, the more the river is polluted. Still the poorest people of Surabaya use the water for their wastes, for showering and for cooking. Really not good of course!!

So I think Mandy and I have something to think about and that we’ll work out a good plan for the activities we want to do at the schools in the coastal areas. The first steps are made in making us aware of the problem and making the children in the coastal area aware of the problem.

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