James Ogilvie – England
Today, my penultimate day in Surabaya with Tunas Hijau, was spent running environmental workshops in two different schools. This morning we went to SD Johannes Gabriel where we ran a workshop called ‘For Kids By Kids’, just as we did yesterday at SD Kristus Raja. Like yesterday, the workshop was based on children from other schools coming to Johannes Gabriel to be taught by the children there about the environmental activities that they have been doing in their school. This time there were three activities that they discussed and demonstrated to the other children; these were composting, biopori and recycling paper.
The first task was to introduce everyone in the workshop and divide the visiting children into groups so each could work on a different activity. The children then led their groups outside to teach them about their activity. Like in Kristus Raja, the children here had made large posters with writing and diagrams to help illustrate each task, and they were all very enthusiastic about each activity and showing the visiting students how it works.
Just like yesterday at Kristus Raja, I think the workshop today was also very successful as all the children seemed to have a great time and learnt a lot about the environment. By the end of the workshop, all the visiting children were doing the activities themselves and everyone seemed to have grasped how to do everything. I think workshops like this are great fun for everyone and a good way for the children to learn about the environment.
The second school we visited today was SMP Cita Hati, which was a junior high school in Surabaya that I had not visited before. It was a brand new school that only opened this academic year and the school buildings were amazing; definitely the nicest school I have ever been to! The principal and all the teachers and the children were really nice and friendly too.
We went there to run an environmental workshop where I spoke to a group of children about Eco-Schools in England and discussed many other environmental issues with them. The children spoke English incredibly well for their age and were very knowledgeable about the environment, which I thought was great. It was amazing for me to run the workshop in English as it meant I understood everything that was said, and more importantly they understood me, which meant I had much more input than usual.
After discussing global environmental issues and the Eco-Schools program in England, I helped set up an Eco-School Action Team in their school. We split the children into three groups to survey their school and consider water usage, energy usage, waste management, paper usage and trees and vegetation. Afterwards we discussed what they found, with the aim of implementing some environmental programs in their school to improve the school environment.
It is a shame that I am leaving so soon and will be unable to return to SMP Cita Hati, as it was the nicest school I have been to in my time in Surabaya and I would have liked to have been able to return and see how they are progressing with their environmental work.