"Alone, we are just a drop of seawater, together, we are oceans."
On the 21st April, fifty female students from Nusa Lembongan came together to celebrate Earth Day and Kartini Day. Hari Kartini, is a day on the Indonesian calendar recognising women, so only girls from the local schools were invited to participate.
We started with an early morning beach clean up followed by a delicious breakfast provided by Bali Hai. Each participating organisation gave presentations and ran games with a marine sustainability focus, aiming to raise awareness of the issues facing Lembongan’s natural environment, in particular plastic rubbish and marine debris. For example, researchers at the Marine Megafauna Foundation are particularly interested in the impact of plastic waste on Manta Ray populations; did you know that one manta ray could be eating as many as 90 pieces of plastic per hour? Students learned about how they can combat these problems to help solve the issues facing their community.
Local leaders, Nusa Lembongan Village Head I Ketut Gede Arjaya and Nusa Penida Management Unit Suwarbawa Malimali joined us in recognising the crucial role youth play in protecting their natural environment. “Our school children have a role to play in keeping our island clean. We should work together to make sure that our island is free from trash, our environment is clean and tourists will keep coming to the island,” I Ketut Gede Arjaya told the school children.
The day culminated in a presentation where prizes were given for the most amount of rubbish collected on the beach and the best artwork. We had such a lovely day and our students were really excited to join in the fun.