James Ogilvie – England
SD Johannes Gabriel was the first school we visited today, where we came to teach the children how to make recycled paper. They were really excited and very enthusiastic about the task! We began by taking lots of old newspaper and ripping it into small pieces, which strangely the children seemed to really enjoy. Then we had to clean up all the bits of newspaper lying around the playground that had missed the bucket due to their over enthusiasm!
We then blended the paper in a food blender to make a papery pulp, and added it to a big tub of water, which was used to make the paper. It was extremely hot in the school this morning and working outside was very difficult. However, the heat did not seem to deter the children and it meant the recycled paper dried very quickly!
The children got on really well with the task and made lots of sheets of recycled paper by the time we had finished the workshop. They all seemed to really enjoy it as well, which obviously is one of the main aims of practical activities like this. After we cleaned up the equipment, we headed back to the classroom to cool down and discuss the morning’s activity. Before we left, some of the children tried to teach me how to play some traditional songs on their vibraphones, which was really cool.
After leaving SD Johannes Gabriel we headed over to SMA Stanislaus, a senior high school in Surabaya. Two weeks ago we came to run a workshop with some students here about recycling, and today we came to discuss this with them further and come up with ideas about how their school can be improved. We talked to them about organic and non-organic rubbish and how organic rubbish can be used to make compost and non-organic can be recycled.
We discussed having a system in their school where they can separate their rubbish so it can be used for compost and recycling. I noticed when we arrived that they have large bins at the front of the school for organic and non-organic rubbish, but they were not being used properly.
The children were very keen to start a program in their school to separate the rubbish, but expressed concerns over the difficulties of getting everyone in the school to cooperate. Obviously they are just one class in a very large school, and getting everyone to separate the rubbish properly is a huge challenge. We came up with a number of ideas including rubbish competitions and making posters in order to raise awareness of recycling issues and encourage the whole school to work towards making it nicer.