Imagination is the start of creativity and the importance of fostering children’s imagination is one of the reasons Palangka Raya Children’s Festival, held this March, had the theme ‘Children’s World, World of Imagination’. The event was initiated by PlayGroup Al Ghazy Banin and Buah Hati Baby School, in collaboration with local NGOs, schools and communities, including the Borneo Nature Foundation, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), Robotic Palangka Raya Community, Palangka Raya Astronomy Club, the Islamic Educational Integrated Sahabat Alam and SAS Management.
The festival, which began with a costume parade, was attended by children from various kindergartens and primary schools in Palangka Raya. Costumes, created by participants, were made from recycled materials, like plastic bags, newspapers and cardboard boxes. This parade was officially opened by the Vice Mayor and local government education office of Palangka Raya. The opening of the festival was also enlivened by a Dayak dance performance by Anak Sabangau (part of the BNF Education Programme). The children were very enthusiastic to participate in this festival and show their dancing talents.
|Costume parade||Vice mayor opening speech||Anak Sabangau dance performance|
The festival committee provided booths with different themes for the children to visit, namely; environment, space, robotics and transport. Each booth prepared games and challenges for the children. BNF coordinated the environment booth with assistance from BOSF, preparing games such as puzzles, colouring, and making crafts from recycled materials. To add to the excitement we also provided a photo booth, forest backdrops and a large orangutan statue. The booth was filled with sounds of the forest. Guests also had the opportunity to join fun cooking, outbound games and buy goodies at other stalls.
A storytelling competition for parents and teachers was also held at the event. Riethma Yustiningtyas (our Education Officer) represented BNF as a judge in the competition. BNF was honored to have the wife of the Vice Mayor of Palangka Raya give a special appearance by reading our children’s storybook, ‘The Little Gibbon Who Lost His Song’. As we know, reading stories to children can have many positive effects on the development of their imagination.
BNF team were very excited to be involved in this event, as it was also an opportunity to celebrate World Wildlife Day, which falls on March 3rd and the International Day of Forests on 21 March this year. Through this event, BNF aimed to foster children’s imagination and also provide education about the importance of protecting wildlife and forests in the hope that many children will be inspired to become conservationists in the future.