James Ogilvie – England
Today was my first day back to work in Surabaya after my trip to Pacet last week. We spent the day visiting two schools in the city; SDK St Theresia 1 and SMP 27. This morning we headed over to SDK St Theresia 1 to run another environmental workshop with a group of children there. Firstly, we spoke to the children about the activities that we have run with them so far and asked them for their opinions. We discussed these activities and how the children feel they are are progressing with them. In their school we have carried out practical activities including making compost, biopori, water filters, terarriums and recycled paper, all of which the children really enjoyed.
We then asked them each to write a letter to students of a similar age in Japan, explaining the environmental activities that they have been working on. SDK St Theresia 1 has a partnership with a primary school in Japan, and they share their environmental experiences and knowledge with the children over there. I think it’s great that they do this, as they learn a lot from each other and seem to find it really exciting to hear about the children in Japan and to send letters to them. Each student had to write a letter, in English, about the environmental activities that we have run in their school, and explain why they are important.
I was really impressed with the English of some of the children who managed to write nice letters about the projects that we have run and ask if they do similar things in Japan. Bearing in mind that they are only around ten years old, it is very impressive that they can communicate so well in English. Others however were less proficient, but with our help everyone in the class managed to write a nice letter to send to the children in Japan. We then started typing some of the letters up to submit them on the online forum that they use to share their experiences, and some will be scanned in and emailed to the school as well.
The second school we visited today was SMP 27, a junior high school in Surabaya. We came to discuss the environmental programs that the school will run over the next few weeks with a group of children and also the principal. When we arrived we saw a huge banner on the front of the school which said something to the effect of “SMP 27 will be running environmental workshops with Tunas Hijau and a volunteer from England” which was cool! I had a few photos taken under the banner!
It was decided that SMP 27 would run four main programs: planting trees, planting mangroves, cleaning up the school and composting. We worked on a time frame for these activities with the principal, who seemed very excited about the programs. The children were also very interested in running these programs and started looking for locations to plant trees in their school.