Written by Petricia A. Hutasoit (BNF’s Education Staff)
BNF’s Education Team recently went to Mungku Baru, a village in the Rungan Landscape where Borneo Nature Foundation is developing a new conservation programme. The Education Team have been visiting Mungku Baru to carry out educational activities since 2016.
During this recent visit, we brought a box of children’s books and opened a book corner at one of the local schools. For the children who can not read, we read to them, and for the English storybooks, we translated for the children. The children did their best to pronounce some of the vocabulary and we explained the meaning.
On the second day, the Education Team carried our environmental education with the Junior High School. The aim was to deliver information about the importance of the forest around them and the unique biodiversity found inside. The children were encouraged to protect the forest, so people could feel it, see it and enjoy it in the future.
The information that was shared with the children is based on the results of BNF’s research carried out in the Rungan Landscape since 2016.
The activities were firstly a discussion about the forest, then the children divided into small groups and every group had to make a tree. Every part of the tree represented what they think about the forest, in the roots they had to write why their forest is special, on the trunk they had to write what they think about how to keep their forest, and on the leaves, they had to write about the functions and uses of their forest.
At the end of the activities every class was invited to play calibri, it’s a game about threats to the forest and biodiversity, and solutions to protect the environment. Through this fun learning method, the children shared information, discussed their opinions and learnt about the importance of conserving the forest. All the children were excited and happy as it was a new experience for them. The Education Team have plans to also carry out education activities with senior and elementary school in the near future.
We do believe through education, people can change their perspective, mindset and behaviour. As Nelson Mandala said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”