by James Ogilvie
– England The students from SDK St Theresia 2 Surabaya, that we briefly visited on my first day working in Surabaya, were very excited when we returned to their school this morning. The school has been waiting for two years for Tunas Hijau to come and talk to the children and organise some environmental programs at the school. Today, we ran a workshop with a group of the children to talk about the environment. We were accompanied by Yusuke, a Japanese intern working with a similar charity in Malang, a town near Surabaya.
We both talked about recycling and water consumption in England and Japan and compared it to the situation in Indonesia. We set the children a challenge to start recycling in their homes, by separating their rubbish into five categories; organic waste, plastics, glass, paper and metals. We said if they can do this for two weeks they will receive a reward!
The children in SDK St Theresia 2 Surabaya school were very enthusiastic about learning about the environment, and the principal is very keen to introduce more programs about the environment. The school itself was already very clean and well kept, so I think further work will be beneficial. The principal wants to introduce an ‘Eco Student of the Week’ award to encourage the children to work hard on the environmental programs that we will be running with them over the next couple months.
After this we went to a different school, called SMP27, which was a stark contrast to the school we visited this morning. It was very dirty and messy and there was lots of rubbish all over the school. There was even a dead rat in the playground, that looked like it had been there for a while! The principal of SMP5, a nice school that we visited last week, is moving to this school to become principal and take on the challenge of improving it and the surrounding area.
Her task should not be underestimated; the school is definitely in need of some work. I would recommend starting with the rubbish situation and maybe tidying the place up. It looks like they are carrying out building work as there was lots of rubble and materials everywhere, though there was nobody working on it while we were there. Hopefully we will be able to help SMP27 become nicer over the next couple months.