Early this year we visited high schools all over Langowan and picked a student from each school to be our Yaki Ambassador. Now, it’s these Ambassadors’ turn to talk in front of their juniors at junior high schools in Langowan and teach them to protect the environment and protect the yaki! Read more about their debut here!
In mid-April, our Ambassadors, fresh out of our Yaki Youth Camp, went to SMP N 1 Langowan to give a talk, with our team overseeing. This debut talk in Langowan was delivered by Debora Manopo, Yaki Ambassador from SMA N 1 Langowan. “I graduated from SMP N 1 Langowan, so I wasn’t too nervous,” Debora said. “I think the students were initially interested because the yaki looks cute. They didn’t know that the yaki is nearly extinct, so they looked surprised when they discovered how few were left in the wild.”
Junior high schools in Langowan are quite widespread. The furthest school we went to was in the village of Atep, a 30-minute car ride from Langowan . “I’ve never been to Atep, so I felt lucky to be able to go there to give a talk,” said Ira Manggribeth, Yaki Ambassador from SMA Kristen Schwarz Langowan. The people of Atep see the yaki quite often because the village is surrounded by relatively thick forests. “Even though the students have seen the yaki before, they seemed curious about our presentation. They’ve only ever seen yaki in passing, and don’t know the yaki’s daily habits. They also seemed surprised when they found out the yaki is almost extinct!”
After the intensive (but fun!) training in Yaki Youth Camp, we didn’t have to talk up front! Our team only accompanied and introduced the Ambassadors in the beginning of the presentation. The real talk, explaining the importance of protecting the environment and the yaki, was delivered by our Ambassadors. At SMP N 2 Langowan, The Ambassador who got the gig was Leyfi Kiling, from SMA N 2 Langowan. “I had mixed feelings during the presentation. My legs were shaking,” said Leyfi. “But talking in front of junior high school students was fun! They were noisy sometimes, but it was because they were interested in our topic. When we went into the Q&A and quiz session, they went wild trying to be the first hand in the air. Seeing them so enthusiastic and cheerful during my talk made me even more enthusiastic and cheerful!”
Apart from the talk, our Ambassadors motivated the students by telling them how conservation activities can be really fun, like what we did in Yaki Youth Camp, and of course we taught them our YYC Jingle! When the SY team visited SMP N 9 Langowan, the YYC Jingle was taught by Vanesa Tewuh, Yaki Ambassador from SMK N 1 Langowan. “The students laughed a lot when we taught them the jingle,” said Vanesa. “But when it was their turn to sing, they really bought it home!”
Talks didn’t always go smoothly. In several schools, venue became an issue since they didn’t have a hall that could fit the students. “I went to the talk at SMP N 2 Langowan. All the students, from grade 7 to grade 9 were present, while the talk was held in one classroom. Some of the students had to stand through the presentation,” said Alfano Piri, Yaki Ambassador from SMK Yadika Langowan. In other schools, the hiccup came in the form of electrical problems. Our Ambassadors had to improvise and talk without the help of a projector! Ivan Welang, our Ambassador from SMA Yadika Langowan, delivered the presentation at SMP N 6 Langowan. Because the power went out, Ivan had to talk while holding up the laptop, occasionally walking among the students so they can see the presentation. “I felt nervous when the power went out, but I tried to act normal,” Ivan said. “Even without the projector, the students were enthusiastic because they were curious about the yaki.”
We’re very proud of our Ambassadors in Langowan. In the space of a few months, their public speaking abilities increased noticeably! Stay tuned for news about our Ambassadors in Tomohon, who have also given talks at junior high schools in Tomohon! We hope that with more awareness within the young generation about the threats the yaki face, the greater their actions to protect the yaki from extinction!