In celebration of World Oceans Day, June 8, 2023, we bring you this remarkable story from our tree-planting community in Taman Daun Lembata, Indonesia.
John Batafor, our humanitarian friend from Lembata island, tells us about the projects he leads on his island and how he involves the local children to save the ocean.
John tells us that “Lembata island is known as the home of whales. We have been holding traditional and sacred whaling for 500 years. We respect our nature very much, and protect its habitat from extinction because for us, whales are sacred and we believe they are our ancestors. Our tradition is passed down from generation to generation. Our life is much dependent on our ocean. In this video, you can see how much we preserve the whales and dolphins.”
“The Taman Daun education program for children in Lembata already exists for more than three decades. Every day, my place is full of kids! Here, we try to educate the kids and encourage them to read books. We also teach them English.
Usually, we invite foreign volunteers to come and teach the children English, and we make sure that the content of teaching includes education about nature and cultural knowledge.
From my side, I try to educate the children not conventionally, but more interactive. We try not to depend on the usual attributes, such as paper, pencils, whiteboard, etc. because we should be able to explain things just by looking at nature, and then doing it. This is how we truly learn.
I take the children out to the beach and we make drawings in the sand. I also show kids what the world underwater looks like.” John says.
“Earlier in May month, we educated the children on how to prepare for the planting of coral reefs. They used cement and recycled pipe as mediums for coral reefs, while learning the importance of taking care of our ocean, our earth, and nature and creatures.
The work of these children has a big and positive impact on their environment, tourism, and other industries. These kids will continue to learn and plant corals on the coast of Lembata. Additionally, some children are also learning our traditional diving techniques, as seen in this video!
In this process, between 300 and 500 coral plantations have been made! The educational process is ongoing, as well as the monitoring of the coral planted.
Last but not least, I must thank all my children in Lembata. They are helping to heal the wounds of our earth and nature!” John remarks.
If you are interested in teaching English to the local children or want to plant coral with them, get in contact with John.
John says that volunteers can get free accommodation while having an unforgettable experience on their island!
Thank you for this incredible story, and for all the work you and the children are doing to save and preserve the ocean. We are truly inspired by you, and we look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work!