Planting mangroves in the fishponds when it was raining (second planting)
Semarang, IIWC Indonesia - The IIWC Mangkang Winter/Spring Camp was held in the villages of Mangunharjo and Mangkang-Wetan (Tugu Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia) from 23 January to 5 February 2014. The main activities were planting mangroves and teaching the local children about environmental issues. The camp leaders of this work camp were Mitoriana Porusia (Indonesia) and Lea Sarah Kulick (Germany). Their task was to support and guide the participants of the work camp, especially the international volunteers: Wo Kyoun and Daeun from Korea, Ola Lansman from Finland and Faniza from Indonesia. In total, all the participants and work camp leaders were planting 6.000 baby mangroves in Mangunharjo.
Planting mangroves was a new experience for all of the participants of the work camp. They enjoyed this activity very much, although the planting areas were quite muddy and slippery. The planting took place in two different areas: the first one was at the fishponds directly located in the village of Mangunharjo and the second one at the sea shore. However, the weather appeared to be a problem. It was raining almost every day and every time when the volunteers were planting. However, this did not prevent any of the volunteers from continuing the planting with passion and spirit. Ola was one of the participants who got some scratches while planting, but Mr. and Mrs. Sururi, the local partners of the project, took care of it. They also helped with the preparation and Mr. Sururi always accompanied the planting of the mangroves.
Besides the planting activity, the volunteers went to the primary school in Mangunharjo (MI) and taught the 4th and 5th grade about the reduction, reuse and recycling of garbage. The focus was put on the simple learning about how to reduce the use of unnecessary plastic in the daily life. The students were very enthusiastic to join the class and they easily understood the content which was taught to them in a playful way. It was scheduled to visit another school, the MTs NU Nurul Huda, but unfortunately this activity had to be cancelled due to the flooding of the road to the school.
School visit in primary school (MI) in Mangunharjo, teaching about “3R”
On the first day of the work camp, all the areas around the campside and a lot of areas in Semarang were flooded which often occurs during the rainy season all over Indonesia. Therefore, the volunteers decided to raise money for the flood victims. During the car free day in Simpang Lima, one of the main squares in Semarang, the volunteers sold puddings and Finish pastry which resulted in donations of about Rp. 300.000,-. This amount was successfully delivered to the flood victims in Jepara. Unfortunately, the second fundraising had to be cancelled because of heavy rain and more flooding. It was therefore not possible to sell the delicious mangrove cakes that the volunteers baked with the help of Mrs. Sururi.
The neighborhood kids also interacted a lot with the volunteers; they were playing numerous games, mainly Indonesian and Korean ones. During the handicraft sessions, the children were taught how to turn useless plastic bottles into cute and colorful bracelets and how to sew their own shopping bags which are supposed to be used instead of plastic bags. It was a very happy and joyful moment during which the children learned how to reuse plastic bottles and reduce plastic bags. On another day, a children competition was held in front of Mr. Sururi’s house. Many children came and joined the competition, however it was not a tough competition as it consisted of children games. They were enjoying it very much and so were the volunteers. In the end, the kids received sweets and chocolates.
Although it was raining almost every day the atmosphere during the work camp did not at all resemble the weather outside, there was a lot of laughter and fun; especially during the intercultural night which was the part of the work camp best liked by all the volunteers. Korean games were played, Kebaya and Finland candy eaten and Indonesian traditional clothes tried on.
Written by : Lea Sarah Kulick & Mitoriana Porusia
Edited by : Tony Satria