A project for the future! Raja Ampat is undoubtedly one of our planet’s largest natural paradises – and that is what it should remain.
Our aim is to use education to establish the idea of environmental protection among the children, and to achieve this in all 23 villages of central Raja Ampat. This project will raise awareness for the importance of environmental and marine protection in Raja Ampat among more than 2,500 children and adolescents.
What is this project about?
Since the education center in Sawinggrai has been completed and is now frequently used, it makes me proud to notice how the children and adolescents have made a major step forward with the English language and also regarding the concept of environmental protection. This success provides hope and encouragement, and that is precisely why we would like to launch this project “for the future”. If this project can be implemented, all villages in central Raja Ampat (see above map) will be visited. During the course of one week, we will work to creatively and playfully familiarise the children and adolescents with the idea of environmental protection. The aim is for the local population to learn in a targeted way that it pays off to actively protect their oceans and coral reefs with their many different species.
In this project, we will primarily work together with children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 20. This generation is crucial for the future, and that is why it is very important that they understand how to protect their home environment. These people live in extremely remote locations without running water, telephone reception and, in most cases, electricity. Nevertheless, they have little to worry about because they are surrounded by some of the most pristine reefs in the world, which are also unsurpassed in terms of fishing. Fish can easily be caught and used as food – but how much longer will this be the case? The Papuans are more heavily dependent on an abundance of fish living on their reefs than most other populations in the world. Rapidly growing numbers of tourists (especially from Asia) are bringing many challenges and problems. Destroyed corals, plastic waste and careless exploitation of natural resources... to name just a few. It is high time to take action and educate the local population. The aim is to enable them to protect their home environment against further harmful effects. This is the only way to ensure that these people can enjoy a good life in the natural paradise of Raja Ampat for many more generations.
What is needed to carry out this project?
As one can see on the above map, all these island villages are distributed over a wide area of about 20,000 km2 in central Raja Ampat. These remote villages are only accessible by boat. Besides textbooks and school exercise books, the project also requires various learning materials covering topics such as the oceans, coral reefs and waste management. In this respect, it is very important to take a playful approach to familiarising the children with these topics and, accordingly, that we have appropriate materials to do so. Additionally, the aim is to set up a smaller or larger marine protection project in each village after working there for one week. The equipment needed to do this can vary. It may include things such as dustbins, cement and piping to construct a simple waste incineration facility. This would already prevent a lot of rubbish from being left on the beach or ending up in our oceans.
The aim is to use presentations, practical examples and playful activities to teach the children and adolescents the required skills concerning the following topics:
- cycle of life
- plastic waste
- coral reefs
- sharks and turtles
A total of EUR 20,000 will be needed to carry out this project. When considering the scope of the project, this amount seems quite modest. The reason, among other things, is that there are no personnel expenses. Because this money will already make it possible to implement great one-week environmental protection projects in 23 villages with approximately 2,500 children and adolescents, and to permanently establish the idea of environmental protection. Of course we would be happy to provide a detailed overview of the budget upon request.
Are the local islanders keen to take participate?
Definitely. The people in these villages know Maya and Jonas very well, and we are broadly trusted by the islanders. Several village “chiefs” have already been in touch to ask us to carry out these projects. We hope this will be possible, thanks to your help.
What is the objective?
The objective of this project is to make the children and adolescents of Raja Ampat aware of important topics associated with the environment. In addition, the villagers are to develop own ideas during the respective week as to what they can do as a contribution towards protecting the ocean. This project will then continue to receive my support as required, also financially, if possible.
Who benefits from this project?
Primarily the oceans, the coral reefs within them, and all the islanders of Raja Ampat. At the end of the day, however, it will be beneficial for both nature and humankind in all corners of our blue planet.