English Teacher in Yenbeser – A project from Raja Ampat Biodiversity Eco Resort
Many of us take holidays to see new places, to relax and to forget the stresses of our daily life at home. When traveling we often do not see the real life of the local communities at our destination. For many of us, choosing a good school for the best education available is orderly. Life in Raja Ampat and here in Gam Island does not have the luxury of this choice. There is only one school with teachers that have not always had formal training at a level. Our local village – Yenbeser has only one school. It is the sole educational source for over 90 children aged between 6 and 12 years old. These children receive a basic level of education with very little learning materials. Also, there is no electric and then, no computers or technical training.
Rey and Patricia of Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort turned recently into parents. So, they understand the concern each parent has and feels for their child’s future. Every parent always wants the best for their children. With this in their hearts, the Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort has been formally trained to teacher at the local school.
La-Ode Saudinis from South Silawasi had his teacher training at the University Muhammadiyah in Sorong. La-Ode is an employee of the Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort. They pay him a salary and provide food for him. The local owner of the land provides him with accommodation in the village. La-Ode teaches English to the school children in the mornings. In the evenings he teaches their parents and other locals of the village English.
The importance of the English language
Raja Ampat is becoming a more and more recognized diving and holiday location. With government support and tax reliefs for locals, there are more and more home-stays in the area. This adds a new form of income for local families. Biodiversity Eco Resort has three home-stays very close by. Many guests have said how welcomed they felt. But at the same time, the communication was very difficult since no one speaks any English.
The aim of our English teacher in Yenbeser is to train adults and children. Through learning the English language, they are able to help their family businesses. The children are our future. Therefore, it is vital to educate them not only in English but also in the importance of the environment. Especially in an eco-friendly form of tourism and in the importance of conservation. Raja Ampat is one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in the world. Thus, it is important to the worlds environmental balance.
It is important to teach children the importance of the reef eco-system around them. That will help them understand the different methods of damaging and non-damaging fishing. Also, they learn to not catch reef fish since they are vital to the balance of the reef system. Besides that, they will learn that line, hook and pelagic fish species are less damaging to the environment. All this is important, so these children can learn how to ensure a long-term sustainability.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.”
This saying that sums it up for us. We want to teach future generations in Raja Ampat how to live well with a minimal or no impact on the environment. If there are no reefs, forests or mangroves, there will be no reason for tourists to visit. We want to start lessons and activity sessions on the environment with our resident marine biologist and our English teacher. Our aim is to teach children about the importance of each creature that makes up this ecosystem.
Education at the school in Yenbeser is basic and they have little to no materials. This Christmas we plan to make a donation to the school in form of books, pens, pencils, textbooks etc. We have developed some activities with our customers in the village.
In addition, more than 500 notebooks and 200 pencils’ boxes have been given to the community. This is one way we love to aid the community and reinforce our values. We are very hopeful that this project will be successful. Also, we plan to give updates every few months on how things are going.
If you are planning a visit and would like to help the school in Yenbeser, we request that you bring materials with you. Anything that you feel would have an educational value for 6 to 12 years old is helpful.