Can you believe it’s December and Christmas is just around the corner? For me, 2017 has been a year full of adventure, travel, growth and experiences shared with my family.
Being based in Bali for the last 18 months and learning Bahasa – the official language of Indonesia (although my level is very basic, my 12 year old daughter can speak fluently) – and being immersed in the Indonesian way of life, has given me a better understanding why the country’s environmental issues are at a critical stage and why education is essential in making a sustainable difference to these areas.
As the year draws to a close, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the hard work that the team at A Perfect Foundation has put in.
We have had a huge year at our Mentawai Education and Environmental Centre, which is all thanks to our wonderfully dedicated Project Coordinators, Tom and Karen. They do an amazing job running operations on a daily basis, while tackling the never ending hurdles you experience in a remote island community.
Some of the highlights we’ve achieved throughout 2017, which is all made possible by you guys, are:
– Nurturing over 100 students aged from 6 to 60 learn English with the emphasis on speaking, listening, gaining confidence and having fun!
– Forming a partnership with a local motorcycle repair shop that sends recyclable material back to the mainland. This is a milestone for us!!
– Introduced a fun rewards initiative for the youth in the local village by offering prizes for those who get involved in keeping the environment clean.
– Welcomed various guests who have joined us as part of our Raw Immersion Experience, providing a great opportunity to see first-hand how their money is being used to help these local communities. We have been fortunate enough to utilise the guests skills- renovating two guest rooms for our lovely supportive neighbour, Ibu Mama, and completing first aid courses for our adult students, local surf boys and staff at the local health clinic.
– Enjoyed the support of two English teaching volunteers who have enabled us to concentrate more on the recycling program.
– Collaborating with the local government by running a stand at the busiest local festival of the year, the 5 day Mentawai Cultural Festival, which provided a great opportunity to spread the word on our environmental programme and raise awareness on the dangers of plastic pollution.
– As a result of our campaigns and education programme throughout October, we collected a record batch of recyclable plastic. The majority of this is saved from the beach which is then collected, sorted, washed, weighed and bagged before being sent off to the Recycling Centre in Padang.
As you can see the team work tirelessly on trying to reduce the plastic in the community so it won’t find its way into the rivers and ocean. Although it’s a small dent on what is a huge problem worldwide, it is good to know we are constantly increasing the amount of plastic we remove from the islands each month, while also increasing our knowledge, gaining followers and expanding our reach.
The ground work is now set for continuing success in 2018, and we have some great plans moving forward to raise further awareness through local schools and government.
From all of us here at A Perfect Foundation we hope you have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and thanks again for your support throughout 2017!