Written by Jesica and Dwi Riyan (Education team)
We are Sebangau Ranger, a group of teenagers living in and around Kereng Bengkirai, just outside Palangka Raya the capital of Central Kalimantan province. We are trained and constantly receive mentoring from Borneo Nature Foundation’s education team about the environment surrounding our home and our village, and how to take good care of it. In our activities with BNF, we receive a lot of new knowledge and we get to understand the real issues threatening our environment. And not only that, we participate in activities and we implement small projects to practise what we learned. There are a number of small projects and activities that we implement around our villages, where all aims to enable us to take care of our environment. Even more! BNF is supporting us in designing, developing and implementing small projects in our schools, so we can study in an environmentally friendly atmosphere.
As Sebangau Ranger, we get many opportunities and also facilitation to get answers to our curiosity, particularly regarding the environment where we live. Most importantly, BNF trains us to have an open mind and to be able to have critical thinking on how to have a perspective of an issue that relates to our immediate environment and what we can do to prevent those issues from happening again. We were trained to observe the environment around us, for example, we conduct this activity where we have to count and categorize trash and waste that we can find in our environment. This activity made us aware of the trash problem we are experiencing as a community, and we now realize the amount of trash that we produce. We feel very lucky to be able to learn the skill to observe, and it gives us ideas in finding a good solution to reduce the amount of trash and garbage littering our environment.
One of the most important things we get from our activities is not only knowledge about our environment and skills to contribute to solving a problem being experienced by our environment. We also learn life skills, the kind that will be important for us to embrace the future. For example; we learn about leadership skills, how to be a good leader, and how to communicate well and effectively. We learn that through fun learning activities in the research camp inside the Sebangau National Park where we were involved in so many fun games, and we found a lesson to learn in each game. In one of the fun games, which is the Communications game, we realized that Communications, and communicating something is not as easy as we thought it would be. To communicate is not just about saying something, but it is about saying something clearly like when we give instruction, we need to make sure it is clear, properly delivered, and can be understood easily.
It is our hope that this program can prepare us so, later on, we can be environmental activist, and we can collaborate with BNF in protecting our environment and biodiversity.
*This article was written based on the review from Sebangau Ranger member during the reflection period with education staff BNF to show their support to the youth for our planet movement.