BOSF: Environmental Education for School Children Living Near Orangutan Release Sites

Text by: BOS Foundation’s Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program Community Development Team

November 28, 2018 — Our Community Development (ComDev) team from BOS Foundation’s Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Nyaru Menteng recently conducted a series of environmental education lessons at schools in three villages located around the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (which carries the Indonesian language acronym of TNBBBR)—one of our orangutan release sites. The idea behind the lessons was to improve knowledge and awareness about orangutans and their habitats.

Students from Tumbang Tundu village participate in an environmental education lesson

Students who participated in the lessons joined our BOS Kids community, and were introduced to orangutans through pictures and stories. Our team started the lesson with some singing and fun games.

BOS Kids play prior to beginning of lesson

After the games, each student received a picture outline of a wild animal or plant to colour in. When the students were satisfied with their masterpieces, our ComDev team members recounted wonderful stories and facts about each animal or plant. As the lesson progressed, it quickly became clear that that most of students had little awareness of the dangers of destroying our forests and what it could mean for their futures.

BOS Kids listen to stories told by the ComDev team

Our ComDev team then mixed things up by taking the BOS Kids outside to garden in their school yards; preparing soil mixed with organic fertiliser in polybags, planting long beans and chilli seeds, and watering their new plants. These activities were aimed at encouraging the children to get some tactile and hands-on experience with what plants need to grow, while also encouraging them to care for plants, soil, and nature. The BOS Kids loved this activity the most!

BOS Kids prepare the soil for their school garden

BOS Kids water the prepared soil

To close the lesson, our ComDev team reminded the BOS Kids to protect forest environments and their orangutan inhabitants. They were encouraged to share their new knowledge with their families and friends, and to practice environmentally-friendly organic gardening at homes. After all, these children are the future caretakers our planet!

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