We’ve started our talks at high schools!

Our Yaki Pride Campaign is on a roll, with the high school talks well underway and the Yaki Youth Camp coming up! Read what Yunita has to say about the first of the talks in Langowan!

Kampanye Kebanggaan Yaki kami sudah mulai bergulir! Sosialisasi di SMA-SMA sementara berjalan, dan Yaki Youth Camp akan diselenggarakan dalam waktu dekat ini! Mari baca apa pendapat Yunita mengenai sosialisasi pertama di Langowan!

Yunita gave the main talk, about why yaki conservation is important. | Yunita menyampaikan materi utama, mengenai pentingnya konservasi yaki.

Yunita gave the main talk, about why yaki conservation is important. | Yunita menyampaikan materi utama, mengenai pentingnya konservasi yaki.

Our talks at the high schools in Tomohon and Langowan have finally begun! We started with SMA Kr Schwartz Langowan. This high school reminds me of my childhood when I was at elementary school. This high school is located in my elementary school area, so makes me go back in time! But anyway… happy to be here, especially since we received a warm welcome from the Principal. It was quite a long time since our talk at the GMIM Youth and Teenage camp with this wonderful young public again!

Some students had to sit outside because there wasn't enough room! | Ada siswa yang harus duduk di luar karena ruangan tidak cukup!

Some students had to sit outside because there wasn’t enough room! | Ada siswa yang harus duduk di luar karena ruangan tidak cukup!

Sosialisasi kami di SMA-SMA di Tomohon dan Langowan akhirnya dimulai! Kami membukanya dengan SMA Kr. Schwartz Langowan. SMA ini mengingatkan saya akan masa kecil saya di SD. Gedung SMA ini merupakan gedung SD lama saya, sehingga saya pun bernostalgia! But anyway… saya senang bisa kembali di sini, terutama karena kami disambut Kepala Sekolah dengan baik. Sudah lama sejak Perkemahan Pemuda dan Remaja GMIM, kali terakhir kami berbicara dengan anak-anak muda yang bersemangat ini!

Caroline started off with introductions! | Caroline mengawali sosialisasi kami dengan perkenalan!

Caroline started off with introductions! | Caroline mengawali sosialisasi kami dengan perkenalan!

We were started the talks after talking about our program with the principal. During our super-fast preparation, we heard a teacher announce our talk through the speakers, and instruct the students to gather in the Laboratory where the talk will be held. Interesting! Many students attended the talks, from 10th to 12th Grade. That’s what we are looking for: as many students as possible.

Kami memulai sosialisasi setelah membahas program kami dengan kepala sekolah. Kami mempersiapkan diri secepat kilat, dan kami mendengar seorang guru mengumumkan sosialisasi kami melalui speaker, dan mengarahkan siswa untuk berkumpul di Laboratorium tempat kami akan mengadakan sosialisasi. Banyak yang menghadiri sosialisasi kami, dari kelas 10 hingga 12. Itulah yang kami cari: siswa sebanyak mungkin.

DSC_0091We delivered the talks in three parts; the first part was introductions by Caroline, I delivered the second part, starting with why Sulawesi was important, and the third part was the quiz session by Caroline. We tried to hold the students’ attention by shifting roles.  During the talks, we really had fun!  The students were very active; even while I was speaking they’d finish my sentences, and some made jokes, but it was OK! They were paying attention and still on track.

 

The students were very interactive and responded well to questions during the talk. | Para siswa sangat interaktif dan tanggap terhadap pertanyaan-pertanyaan dalam sosialisasi.

The students were very interactive and responded well to questions during the talk. | Para siswa sangat interaktif dan tanggap terhadap pertanyaan-pertanyaan dalam sosialisasi.

Kami membagi sosialisasi menjadi tiga bagian; bagian pertama adalah perkenalan oleh Caroline, saya menyampaikan materi pada bagian kedua, dimulai dengan mengapa Sulawesi penting, dan bagian ketiga adalah sesi quiz bersama Caroline. Kami berusaha mempertahankan perhatian mereka dengan bertukar peran sebagai pembicara. Saat sosialisasi, kami banyak bersenang-senang! Para siswa sangat aktif; saat saya berbicara, kadang mereka akan melengkapi kalimat saya, ada beberapa yang bercanda, tapi tidak apa-apa! Yang penting, mereka memperhatikan jalannya sosialisasi.

Here's the lucky winner of our first question! | Inilah pemenang beruntung dari pertanyaan pertama kami!

Here’s the lucky winner of our first question! | Inilah pemenang beruntung dari pertanyaan pertama kami!

After the talk, we continued with the quiz. The quiz started on a very funny note because, in the few seconds before the question appeared on the screen, someone already called out the correct answer! It made the other students laugh, so we tried to make them wonder whether the answer was right or wrong before we revealed the question, and… the students went wild when they saw that their friend’s guess was 100% right! The students showed equal enthusiasm for the second and third question. Congratulations to Ira who answered the Golden Ticket question very calmly and confidently!

The winner of the second question! | Pemenang pertanyaan kedua!

The winner of the second question! | Pemenang pertanyaan kedua!

Setelah materi, kami mengadakan quiz. Quiz ini diawali dengan kejadian lucu, karena beberapa detik sebelum pertanyaan pertama muncul, sudah ada yang memberikan jawaban yang benar! Semua siswa pun tertawa, jadi kami membuat mereka penasaran sebelum kami menunjukkan pertanyaan pertama, apakah jawaban tersebut benar… dan para siswa langsung heboh ketika mereka melihat tebakan teman mereka 100% benar! Para siswa menunjukkan semangat yang serupa untuk pertanyaan kedua dan ketiga. Selamat kepada Ira yang menjawab pertanyaan Golden Ticket dengan tenang dan percaya diri!

Congratulations to the winner of the third question! We'll see you at Yaki Youth Camp! | Selamat kepada pemenang pertanyaan ketiga! Sampai jumpa di Yaki Youth Camp!

Congratulations to the winner of the third question! We’ll see you at Yaki Youth Camp! | Selamat kepada pemenang pertanyaan ketiga! Sampai jumpa di Yaki Youth Camp!

It was a great first talk! Caroline and I were really happy and enjoyed the trip, even if we did have to go around by another road back to Manado.  Big thanks to the principal, teachers and lovely students for the lovely meeting. We hope that our message will spread to the families, friends and neighbors of the students! Langowan, you are awesome!

Sosialisasi pertama kami sukses! Saya dan Caroline sangat senang dan menikmati perjalanan ini, meski kami harus berputar melalui jalan lain untuk kembali ke Manado. Terima kasih banyak kepada Kepala Sekolah, para guru, dan siswa-siswa luar biasa untuk responnya. Kami berharap pesan kami bisa menyebar pada keluarga, teman, dan tetangga para siswa! Langowan, you are awesome!

Well done to the three winners! | Selamat kepada ketiga pemenang!

Well done to the three winners! | Selamat kepada ketiga pemenang!

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The floods in Manado – Banjir di Manado

Waste washed to the alley by the flood is piled up to the side to make way for people to pass. | Sampah yang terbawa banjir untuk sementara ditumpuk di sisi lorong agar bisa dilalui.

Waste washed to the alley by the flood is piled up to the side to make way for people to pass. | Sampah yang terbawa banjir untuk sementara ditumpuk di sisi lorong agar bisa dilalui.

On January 15th, Manado was struck by a flash flood like the city has never known before. During the previous days Manado and Minahasa had continuous rain, with only 30-60 minute breaks between each bout, and on the fateful day the waters rushed in to Manado through two of its biggest rivers, rising to a height of 3 metres in places nearest the rivers. The people were lucky that the water rose gradually, so most had time to leave their homes. Some were not so lucky and were trapped in the upper floors of homes and offices, or worse, rooftops and trees. When the flood receded, the damage was appalling. Homes were buried in mud – some in a light layer several inches thick, most in a generous foot of mud, while others were buried entirely. Whole walls collapsed in some houses; others were gone altogether. Everything left inside homes were rendered useless after such a thorough submersion. The damage was also felt in other, more public facilities. Bridge barriers snapped, and a bridge vital to transportation inside town cracked clean across after taking a pounding from the flood waters. Another bridge connecting a gated community to the main road crumbled altogether.  A portion of the highway connecting Tomohon and Manado collapsed and until this moment is impassable.

One of the schools we visited. The first floor was cleaned up to be used as classrooms, while refugees stayed on the second floor. | Salah satu sekolah yang kami kunjungi. Lantai pertama dibersihkan seadanya untuk digunakan sebagai ruang kelas, sementara lantai dua digunakan pengungsi.

One of the schools flooded with mud. | Salah satu sekolah yang dibanjiri lumpur.

Pada 15 Januari lalu, Manado dihantam banjir bandang dahsyat, berbeda dengan banjir-banjir sebelumnya. Beberapa hari sebelumnya, hujan turun terus menerus di Manado dan Minahasa, dengan jeda hanya 30-60 menit , dan pada hari naas itu air mengalir membanjiri Manado melalui dua sungai besar, hingga ketinggian 3 meter di tempat-tempat yang bersebelahan dengan sungai. Masyarakat masih bisa dikatakan beruntung karena air naik perlahan, sehingga sebagian besar sempat mengungsi. Beberapa tidak begitu beruntung dan terjebak di lantai dua rumah atau kantor, atau lebih buruk lagi, di atap dan pohon. Ketika air surut, kerusakan tampak luar biasa. Rumah-rumah tertutup lumpur – beberapa ditutupi lapisan tipis, sebagian besar terkubur lumpur hingga sebetis, sementara sisanya terkubur total. Semua yang ditinggalkan di rumah menjadi tidak berguna. Kerusakan pun terlihat di beberapa fasilitas public. Pagar jembatan patah, dan jembatan Mantos, urat nadi transportasi di jalan Boulevard, retak karena tidak mampu menahan beban kendaraan, setelah terus menerus dihantam air banjir. Jembatan lain yang menghubungkan perumahan ke jalan utama rubuh sama sekali. Sebagian jalan raya yang menghubungkan Tomohon dan Manado longsor dan runtuh, dan hingga saat ini tidak dapat dilalui.

Caroline, helping prepare ready-to-eat food to distribute to refugees. | Caroline membantu menyiapkan makanan bungkus untuk dibagikan pada para pengungsi.

Caroline, helping prepare ready-to-eat food to distribute to refugees. | Caroline membantu menyiapkan makanan bungkus untuk dibagikan pada para pengungsi.

In SY, we are thankful that none of our team members were affected by the flood. However, many were not as fortunate as we were, and we felt compelled to help them. So we began by accepting donations, both from people in Indonesia and overseas. We spent weekdays handling our programs, and the weekends were dedicated to helping out wherever we could. The weekend immediately after the floods we joined Michael Rahamis and his friends, who were cooking ready-to-eat meals to be distributed to the people in refugee shelters. We also distributed necessary daily items for the people at the shelters, such as diapers, soaps, sanitary napkins, medicine, etc.

SY team with Michael and some of our kind donators. | Tim SY bersama Michael dan beberapa donatur baik hati.

SY team with Michael and some of our kind donators. | Tim SY bersama Michael dan beberapa donatur baik hati.

Kami di SY bersyukur tidak ada anggota tim yang terkena banjir. Akan tetapi, banyak yang tidak seberuntung kami, dan kami merasa terdorong untuk membantu. Kami memulai dengan menerima sumbangan, baik dari teman-teman di Indonesia maupun di luar negeri. Setelah mengerjakan program kami selama 5 hari kerja, kami mengisi akhir pekan dengan membantu. Pada weekend pertama setelah banjir kami bergabung dengan Michael Rahamis dan teman-temannya, yang memasak makanan untuk dibungkus dan dibagikan pada para korban di posko pengungsian. Kami juga membagikan beberapa kebutuhan dasar untuk warga, seperti popok bayi, obat, pembalut wanita, dsb.

Child Protection Services and Bakudapa Kawanua Sedunia, along with the SY team, pose with Kak Seto. | Tim Komda Perlindungan Anak dan Bakudapa Kawanua Sedunia, bersama tim SY, berpose dengan Kak Seto.

Child Protection Services and Bakudapa Kawanua Sedunia, along with the SY team, pose with Kak Seto. | Tim Komda Perlindungan Anak dan Bakudapa Kawanua Sedunia, bersama tim SY, berpose dengan Kak Seto.

The next weekend we joined Vanda, who is one of the people in charge of the posko set up by Child Protection Services and Bakudapa Kawanua Sedunia (World Kawanua Gathering). Vanda and Jull, her co-coordinator, are focusing their fundraising and distribution on children affected by the flood. This disaster also took its toll on schools, and they wanted to make sure that despite the obstacles these children could still pursue their education, and have the motivation to do so. The donations they received were directed to providing stationery and clothes in the short term, and assistance to schools wrecked by the flood waters as well as counseling to traumatized children in the long term. They were also visited by Kak Seto, a famous child psychologist and children’s rights activist, and together we visited several shelters to distribute necessary school items to children, as well as to play with them and cheer them up in the stressful aftermath of the disaster.

One of the schools we visited. The first floor was cleaned up to be used as classrooms, while refugees stayed on the second floor. | Salah satu sekolah yang kami kunjungi. Lantai pertama dibersihkan seadanya untuk digunakan sebagai ruang kelas, sementara lantai dua digunakan pengungsi.

One of the schools we visited. The first floor was cleaned up to be used as classrooms, while refugees stayed on the second floor. | Salah satu sekolah yang kami kunjungi. Lantai pertama dibersihkan seadanya untuk digunakan sebagai ruang kelas, sementara lantai dua digunakan pengungsi.

Weekend berikut kami bergabung dengan Vanda, yang merupakan salah satu coordinator posko Komda Perlindungan Anak dan Bakudapa Kawanua Sedunia. Vanda dan Jull, rekan koordinatornya, fokus pada pencarian dan penyaluran dana untuk keperluan anak-anak yang terkena banjir. Musibah ini juga merusak sekolah-sekolah, dan mereka ingin memastikan bahwa anak-anak ini bisa tetap belajar, dan termotivasi untuk terus masuk sekolah. Sumbangan yang mereka terima digunakan untuk menyediakan alat tulis dan pakaian dalam jangka pendek, dan bantuan bagi sekolah yang rusak karena banjir serta konseling untuk anak-anak yang trauma dalam jangka panjang. Mereka juga dikunjungi Kak Seto, psikolog anak dan aktivis hak anak terkenal, dan kami mengunjungi beberapa posko pengungsi untuk membagikan keperluan sekolah untuk anak-anak, juga untuk bermain bersama dan menghibur anak-anak yang tertekan dalam menghadapi bencana.

Yaki coloring sheets to cheer up children! | Lembar mewarnai yaki untuk menghibur anak-anak!

Yaki coloring sheets to cheer up children! | Lembar mewarnai yaki untuk menghibur anak-anak!

This experience has really opened our eyes – and hopefully, the public’s eyes – on how the environment is very much overlooked in today’s race to development. While our communities needs to grow and develop to accommodate its ever-increasing needs, human necessity alone does not justify the apparent conquest we can see being done in the name of development. A need for homes does not trump the need for trees. Retaining walls may reshape hills and rivers, but they do not have the power to control sudden, unexpected shifts of these natural features. Being a part of the environment, we should grow by also respecting the needs of our environment, instead of forcing nature to comply with our habits. When we recognize the importance of forests and urban green areas, not only as a source of fresh air and water, but also as reservoirs of such, our natural barricade against floods and landslides, then these disasters may be prevented.

With some of the children taking shelter in a church. | Bersama beberapa anak yang mengungsi di gereja.

With some of the children taking shelter in a church. | Bersama beberapa anak yang mengungsi di gereja.

Pengalaman ini membuka mata kami – dan semoga juga mata masyarakat – mengenai betapa lingkungan dikesampingkan dalam lomba pembangunan masa kini. Masyarakat kita memang harus berkembang untuk memenuhi kebutuhan-kebutuhan kita, namun kepentingan manusia tidak membenarkan penjajahan alam yang mengatasnamakan pembangunan. Kebutuhan akan rumah tidak melebihi kebutuhan akan pohon. Tanggul mungkin bisa membentuk ulang bukit dan sungai, namun tidak memiliki kemampuan untuk mengendalikan perubahan mendadak pada rupa-rupa bumi ini. Sebagai bagian dari alam, perkembangan kita seharusnya menghormati kepentingan lingkungan, bukannya memaksa alam untuk mengikuti kebiasaan-kebiasaan kita. Ketika kita paham akan pentingnya hutan dan ruang terbuka hijau, bukan hanya sebagai sumber air dan udara, tapi juga sebagai penyimpan air dan pertahanan alami manusia terhadap banjir dan longsor, bencana seperti ini bisa dihindari.

Shopping for formulated milk to distribute to babies. | Belanja susu formula untuk dibagikan pada anak bayi.

Shopping for formulated milk to distribute to babies. | Belanja susu formula untuk dibagikan pada anak bayi.

At SY, our main focus may be conservation and education, but the welfare of the communities we’re trying to educate is also important to us, both personally and professionally. As we go on helping disaster victims in our free time, we hope we can raise awareness of how important it is to take the environment into consideration in every decision we take. The yaki, who disperses seeds throughout the forest and thus assisting forest regeneration, is one among many aspects of the environment we can help protect. When we protect our environment, we protect our community!

Even in these troubled times, the people still manage to smile! | Bahkan ketika ditimpa musibah, mereka masih bisa tersenyum!

Even in these troubled times, the people still manage to smile! | Bahkan ketika ditimpa musibah, mereka masih bisa tersenyum!

Di SY, fokus utama kami memang konservasi dan pendidikan, namun kesejahteraan masyarakat yang menjadi sasaran pendidikan kami juga sangat penting bagi kami, baik secara pribadi maupun professional. Sambil kami berusaha membantu korban banjir dalam waktu luang kami, kami berharap kami bisa meningkatkan kesadaran masyarakat akan pentingnya mempertimbangkan segi lingkungan dalam setiap keputusan kami. Yaki, yang menyebarkan biji-bijian pohon dan membantu regenerasi hutan, adalah satu dari banyak aspek lingkungan yang bisa kita lindungi. Ketika kita melindungi lingkungan, kita melindungi masyarakat!

 

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Say hi to another new team member: Caroline!

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Save the Earth. It’s the only planet with coffee.
Selamatkan Bumi. Cuma di sini ada kopi.

Hi everyone! My name is Caroline Tasirin, though some people call me Dea. Feel free to use whichever one you can pronounce correctly. I’ve just earned my Bachelor’s in Forestry. I enjoy losing myself in a good book, chatting with friends over coffee, and roaming the wilderness, from misty mountains cold to twenty thousand leagues under the sea.

Hai semuanya! Nama saya Caroline Tasirin, kadang-kadang dipanggil Dea. Silahkan menggunakan nama manapun yang bisa kalian ucapkan dengan benar. Belum lama ini saya meraih gelar Sarjana Kehutanan. Saya suka keasyikan baca buku, bercerita dengan teman-teman sambil minum kopi, dan berkelana di alam bebas, dari puncak gunung berkabut hingga ke dasar lautan.

My passion in the environment had been instilled since I was a toddler. It was never prominent, but it was constant and didn’t come and go like some of my other hobbies. When I finished high school, I had to single one out of my many interests for my undergraduate studies. It was a tricky choice, but when it came down to what I was willing to continuously study, and ultimately what kind of career I wanted to pursue, I chose environment.

Ketertarikan saya akan lingkungan telah tertanam sejak masih kecil. Memang tidak menonjol, tapi ketertarikan itu konstan dan tidak datang-pergi seperti beberapa hobi saya yang lain. Ketika saya tamat SMA, saya harus memilih satu antara sekian banyak minat saya untuk dipelajari lebih mendalam di bangku kuliah. Saya memang kesulitan memilih, tapi ketika mempertimbangkan apa yang ingin saya pelajari terus menerus, dan akhirnya karir apa yang ingin saya kejar, saya memilih lingkungan.

I'm quite comfortable talking to all age groups... Especially if it's about something I love!

I’m quite comfortable talking to all age groups… Especially if it’s about something I love! This photo was taken when I gave an environmental education talk on behalf of Mapala Areca Vestiaria for primary school kids in Pangolombian, Tomohon.
Saya cukup nyaman berbicara dengan semua kelompok usia… Terutama mengenai sesuatu yang sangat saya sukai! Foto ini diambil ketika saya menyampaikan materi pendidikan lingkungan dalam kegiatan Mapala Areca Vestiaria untuk siswa SD di Pangolombian, Tomohon.

I enrolled in the Forestry program at the University of Sam Ratulangi. As much as I enjoyed classes, I wasn’t the type to just attend classes. I had to do something in between, preferably something constructive that would contribute to my studies. That’s why I joined Mapala Areca Vestiaria, a nature lovers’ club run by the students of our faculty. Through our activities I gained a lot of experience that conventional classroom lessons couldn’t supply, and it made my studies much more interesting. I had my first taste of volunteering and fund-raising for conservation through the activities we organized, which ranged from simple tree-planting to more complicated scientific expeditions.

Saya mendaftar di Program Studi Ilmu Kehutanan di Universitas Sam Ratulangi (UNSRAT). Meski saya menikmati kuliah, saya bukan tipe orang yang puas dengan “sekedar” kuliah. Saya ingin melakukan sesuatu yang konstruktif di sela-sela kuliah, yang akan melengkapi materi kuliah saya. Karena itulah saya bergabung dengan Mapala Areca Vestiaria Fakultas Pertanian UNSRAT. Melalui kegiatan-kegiatan kami, saya mendapat banyak pengalaman yang tidak saya peroleh di ruang kelas, dan membuat studi saya menjadi jauh lebih menarik. Di situlah pengalaman pertama saya menjadi sukarelawan dan mencari dana, salah satunya untuk kegiatan konservasi, yang berkisar antara penanaman pohon yang sederhana dan ekspedisi ilmiah yang rumit.

Above all else, I love doing field work with my friends. This photo was taken when I collected data for my undergraduate research.

Above all else, I love doing field work with my friends. This photo was taken when I collected data for my undergraduate research.
Kegiatan yang paling saya sukai adalah turun lapangan bersama teman-teman. Foto ini diambil ketika saya mengumpulkan data untuk skripsi.

I first came to learn about Selamatkan Yaki and its projects when they gave a talk about yaki conservation at an English Camp I was volunteering in, then we met again when they gave a talk at our Mapala about a year later. I was juggling my studies and running most of our club’s activities at the time, so I couldn’t be as involved as I wanted to. However, I did stay in touch with the team for a year or so, and when I completed my research things really kicked off.  So here I am, four months in, and really enjoying myself! I’m excited at the prospect of reaching out to other people and making a difference, and I hope that my love of the environment can move others to love it like I do. We only have one planet! If we don’t take care of it, who will?

Saya pertama kali mendengar tentang kegiatan Selamatkan Yaki dalam presentasi mereka mengenai konservasi yaki di English Camp di mana saya menjadi sukarelawan, kemudian kami bertemu lagi ketika mereka berkunjung ke Mapala kami sekitar setahun kemudian. Saat itu saya cukup kerepotan membagi waktu antara kuliah dan mengontrol kegiatan organisasi, sehingga saya tidak bisa terlalu terlibat. Akan tetapi, saya tetap stay in touch dengan tim selama kira-kira setahun, dan saya bergabung tidak lama setelah saya menyelesaikan penelitian. Saya sudah bekerja di sini selama empat bulan, dan saya sangat menikmatinya! Saya sangat senang bisa berinteraksi dengan masyarakat dan membuat perubahan, dan saya berharap kecintaan saya akan lingkungan bisa menggerakkan orang lain untuk turut mencintainya. Bumi kita hanya ada satu! Kalo bukan torang yang jaga, siapa dang?