The Sebangau Rangers Program and the New Normal

Outreach Blog

The ‘Sebangau Rangers’ is one of the BNF Education Program, and in July 2020 activities were resumed after three months of carrying out online learning activities. Since April 2020, the Sebangau Rangers program stopped its group activities in accordance with government COVID-19 regulations, and instead, studied and worked from home. During the pandemic the Sebangau Ranger activities took place online, the learning activities were carried out in the form of discussions, quizzes, and through sound recordings, all conducted through the Sebangau Ranger chat group.

Sebangau Rangers is one of the BNF youth community programs under supervision from BNF’s education department, focussing on environmental education and youth movement in the area of Kereng Bangkirai or around Sebangau. Sebangau Ranger members are from various schools around Kereng Bangkirai, such as SMK 5 Palangka Raya, SMPN 7 Palangka Raya, and MTs Raudhatul Jannah. The activities conducted by the Sebangau Rangers include conservation projects, field trips at the Natural Laboratory of Peatswamp Forest (LAHG), and other youth activities that can promote green lifestyles.

The activities and topics discussed are related to environmental issues and self-development. We also recently discussed information about COVID-19 and how to keep healthy during the pandemic. Environmental topics that have previously been discussed include how to include gardening into our lifestyle, and the local animals in the peat swamp forest such as orangutans, hornbills and slow lorises. For the topic of self-development we teach them about public speaking, how to stay productive during the pandemic, and provide information about student exchanges. Other topics are based on the interests of the Sebangau Ranger members. At the end of the month there are questionnaires and evaluations related to online learning materials and processes. The purpose is to measure their understanding of the online learning topics they have done.

BNF Education Team check the Sebangau Ranger member before starting their activity
Photo by Aloysius Germia Dinora | BNF

Following the government’s new regulations regarding the ‘new normal’ period, the Sebangau Rangers’ activities began again with a physical meeting. Before the outbreak, Sebangau Rangers’ meetings lasted for two hours and were interspersed with observational activities or learning in the field.

During the new normal period the activities must be changed to adapt to the situation. Every Sebangau Ranger member must make sure that they are in good health to attend the weekly meeting, and they also need to get permission from their guardian or parents. Before entering the place where the activity is held, their temperature will be checked with a non-contact body thermometer (infrared thermometer), if their temperature is below 37.5° C then they are welcome to join the activity. Sebangau Ranger members must also wash their hands with soap and running water before and after the activity. Social distancing is managed to at least 1 meter between participants, and the number of participants attending the meeting is also limited. The activity length is only around 15-30 minutes, to enable a short discussion about the topic of the day, then small tasks are continued at home. July’s activity is focused on the podcast’s topics that were shared in the Sebangau Ranger group chat. The activities carried out included planting water spinach, writing about their learning experiences during the pandemic, interviewing the local wisdom of the Dayak and Banjar tribes about nature and conservation, and practising public speaking activities.

Sebangau Ranger participants who can not attend the meeting, due to constraints in permission, or were at home, still had the opportunity to participate by doing their assignments online. This was done in order to continue to be able to facilitate the desire of Sebangau Ranger’s members to learn about environmental issues. The Sebangau Ranger learning activities during this new normal era combine learning with physical meetings and online activities. The Sebangau Ranger Program will also continue to be developed in accordance with the COVID-19 progress and the needs of its members. Hopefully, the outbreak will be over soon so Sebangau Rangers can return to their normal activities and continue their campaign about environment and conservation.

BNF is implementing health protocol during the Sebangau Ranger activity

Written by Aloysius Germia Dinora & Jessica Ririhatuela