by Petricia A. Hutasoit
We would like to send you a very warm greeting from the Sebangau River. Also known as the black river, when someone gets close to it, the river actually looks a bit reddish and brown. Under the sun, the river resembles the giant dark pearl that attracts everyone to jump and swim into it. From Palangka Raya, the Sebangau River is the only access to the Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest that is 7 times the size of Singapore which becomes the home for the largest wild orangutan population in the lowland forest of Borneo.
Not only that the river becomes the source of income for the local people, but it also serves as a big swimming pool for children who live in the village of Kereng Bangkirai and Sabaru. Being born in the riverside where the river is just a few walks away from their door, the children have been learning to swim at a very early age. However, it seems to be like these children lack the proper techniques and knowledge while swimming. Learning proper techniques of swimming from the expert will prevent injury while in the water.
Swimdo spent one full week with the Anak Sebangau members. The children look very enthusiastic to learn fun swimming techniques from Swimdo. Most of the children like it, when it came to a role-play session that split the group of the children into a victim and a rescuer. The role-play allows children to practice what they got from Swimdo when facing the unwanted condition such as what to do when finding somebody that was drowning.
Rahmat, a male member of Anak Sebangau from Kereng village, told us “I’m so happy to have given the opportunity with Swimdo. I benefitted from several techniques being taught such as floating and saving more energy in the water”.
As for Swimdo, getting in touch with the children and spend a full week giving them training is somehow unforgettable. “BNF is such a great organization, I met a full team of super-passionate people who are willing to dedicate their time and energy to the environment and these (Anak Sebangau) children,” said Agus, a Swimdo teacher.
It was not only the Anak Sebangau members who benefitted from this one-week programme but some staff from BNF also got involved with the activity to learn the proper swimming and rescue techniques.
In the end, we are so glad to have the opportunity with Swimdo. They have invested great work for the Anak Sebangau Education Programme. And, we would love to see and share our experience with them in the future.