by James Ogilvie – England
This morning we briefly visited a primary school near the Tunas Hijau office, called SD Semampir, to carry out a short survey of the school and see what projects might be suitable for it. I think the main project will be to plant trees in the playground and around the school, and we will also try to introduce a water recycling system to use greywater to water the trees so they stay alive during the long dry season. We will also look at sorting out the rubbish problem, as it was quite a dirty school and the children just throw their wrappers and drinks bottles on the ground!
We spent the rest of the day at SMP5, a junior high school, where the children were between the ages of 11 and 14. I made a presentation in the morning about rubbish, recycling and composting in England, which I went through during a workshop with a group of about thirty children. We discussed ways that materials are recycled in England and why it is so important to limit the amount of waste going to landfill sites and increase the amount of recycling.
We also talked about recycling in schools in England and what the children here can do to help; such as things like Litter Pick Days and having separate recycling bins in their school. The children were very perceptive to these suggestions but explained that the general Indonesian people, and in particular the adults, do not understand the need for recycling and do not encourage it at home or in their villages.
It is this mindset which needs to be changed in Indonesia, but this is by no means a small task! After the presentation, the children went around the school picking up rubbish from the playground and the school buildings, and later refilling their compost bins with the organic waste. It was nice to see that the children were so enthusiastic about this kind of thing; maybe they can go home and teach their parents about it!