Dec 30, 2020

Students Home Learning Success during Covid-19 Pandemic

As we reach the end of the semester for the 2020-2021 school year, EBPP students are still learning from home both offline and online during the Covid-19 Pandemic. For elementary school students learning offline, they were given photocopies of lesson material at their respective homes and fortunately our local tutors from both Pengalusan and Jatituhu schools were available to help if they had difficulty understanding the materials. Meanwhile, junior and senior high school students continued learning online with smartphones (none have computers) using both Google and WhatsApp groups. They can ask the teacher directly if they are having difficulties. To support the smoothness of their online learning, EBPP was able to install an internet antenna at Jatituhu School (no available internet signal for Pengalusan due to their remote Mount Agung location), so that students no longer experience interference with signal problems while studying, and each class has a special learning schedule made by the teachers.

When we held semester exams in mid-December, all students answered all the exam questions from their homes – but that did not deter them from all succeeding!  

Nengah, a Pengalusan 12th grade high school girl said, “Every day I wait for the teacher to deliver the question sheets to my house. When I worked on the questions, I felt joy and sorrow. I am happy because at the time I was working on it I was flexible and I was able to do it after helping my parents’ work. The sadness is that I cannot ask the teacher directly about questions that I don't understand, so I feel confused about answering them.”

In November, it was it is an honor for two of our Pengalusan students who are the most talented young artists when they represented their school in a Bali map painting competition, against two students each from EBPP’s other 5 schools. The criteria for the winner are those who can paint the most accurate copy of the Bali map. It was a very proud moment when the two Pengalusan boys, Nengah, 12th grade student, won 3rd place and, Gede, a 6th Grade elementary student, won First Prize! Gede’s map will be featured in the new culinary book "Bali Kita-Bali Kamu" (Our Bali – Your Bali) written by Mr. Dean, chef-proprietor of two Bali restaurants, to raise funds for EBPP and 4 other Bali charities. As an appreciation, the winners get a special certificate and prize. Congratulations to the students who are doing well!

For EMpower extracurricular lessons, students learnt about Nutrition, taught by EBPP Health Team for seven weeks, key topics being: guidelines for regulating dietary nutrition, the first 1000 days of life, exclusive breastfeeding, introduction to solid food, malnutrition and posyandu. "I am very happy studying in the EMpower class”, said Wayan, a 10th grade high school girl, “because the learning is very fun and I can learn about malnutrition and posyandu. I can practice directly how to fill in the baby’s growth chart health card (KMS). In this lesson I also gained knowledge on how to give babies the right diet according to their age. This information is also very important because I can educate my family at home.”

The learning experience at home is a challenge for all students because they have to struggle independently at home and they must try to find a stable signal to be able to access online learning. Thank you to all donors who have helped so far. In the end all the students said "Merry Christmas and happy new year 2021".

We hope you enjoy THANK YOU and Season Greeting video from our Pengalusan children link here.


Dec 24, 2020

EBPP Teachers' Hard Work at the End of 2020

Teachers preparing final test/learning evaluation
Teachers preparing final test/learning evaluation

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the home learning system for students is still being implemented. All EBPP teachers still have to deliver learning materials for students to their respective homes, especially for students at the elementary level, while for junior and senior high school levels an online learning system is implemented via their WhatsApp group. This of course requires teachers to think more creatively in preparing subject matter; some lessons are currently presented in the form of multimedia as instructional videos, so that lessons are easier for students to understand.

The start of the rainy season, is a new challenge for EBPP teachers, where the steep, sandy sloping paths leading to students' houses is getting damaged by rainwater and is very difficult to pass by motorbikes, with teachers often have to stop by the side of the road, even have to walk, to deliver learning material to the student's house

Now ending the ninth month of students learning from home and the end of the 1st semester of the 2020-2021 school year, students have their final test/learning evaluation. All teachers prepared exams for all subjects and then distributed to each student at their home. The first day of exams was December 7th for one week. This exam took a long time because the road to some of the students' houses was very difficult, especially the road leading to the Jatituhu School, was very difficult for motorbikes to pass.

The students’ test results are input to report cards which will later be distributed to students. This pandemic situation makes teachers work extra hard because the learning process is not centred in one place.

Towards the end of this year, EBPP teachers also participated in several workshops organized by the district level Government Education Department that were held specifically about implementing new teaching methods during the Covid-19 pandemic, and discuss new techniques that will be applied in teaching.

To increase motivation and fulfil the nutritional intake of all students and their families, EBPP distributed nutritious staple food aid every month, from May to December, which played a key role in reducing student dropout rate to zero.

EBPP teachers’ other activities included making reports on the progress of student activities during 2020 in six EBPP schools, as well as preparing year-end presentation reports for education programs carried out on December 18.

The last activities to be carried out at the end of this year are: compiling a work plan for next year. Hopefully next year the situation will be better and free from the Covid-19 pandemic, so that all teachers will find it easier to deliver all learning materials for students at school. In conclusion, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a New Year, and thank you for all your help, so that we can continue our activities in providing a better education for all students in remote areas for a better future.

We hope you enjoy THANK YOU and Season Greeting video from our Pengalusan children here.


Nov 3, 2020

Activities Continue during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Our hopes last July that the Covid-19 pandemic would be quickly controlled and allow activities to return to normal by now have been dashed and although we’ve had no income, we could not lay off our dedicated small team of artisans who all have families to support. We are though pleased to report that we’ve all adapted to the “new normal”, life has continued and by following strict coronavirus protocols, our bamboo team, students in our 6 EBPP schools and our 19 Ban village communities remain safe and healthy.

A huge disappointment has been the recent upsurge of Covid infections in the UK since we sent our custom bike frames to our UK partner, Netham Bamboo, who were starting to fill their order book – but they’ve had to return to lockdown and no further orders yet. However, on the positive side, our bamboo team have kept busy with various activities summarised below.

Bamboo Marine Animals

In preparation for business opening in Germany, our team have made 20 sets of the beautiful marine life bamboo toys that our former interns had designed and started researching and promoting in Germany, which has not taken off due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March. We remain optimistic and are ready!

Children’s Skimboard Prototype

We were recently contacted by a new customer, and potential partner, (British) who lives in Bali and talked about the idea of making children's skimboards. Searching on the internet, we didn’t find any made from bamboo, yet. Therefore, we have been designing and are currently building prototypes for the skimboards and seeing if they work! If it does, then our customer will be helping us to put this product on the market. Our challenge is to minimise the weight and we hope that the Styrofoam ‘sandwich’ we’re piloting will achieve our goals. Wait for updates in our next report.

Supporting EBPP Health and Education Teams Monthly Food Supplement Distribution

Since school and community health posts closures in March, our bamboo team have played a key role in distribution of monthly food supplement packages to our 171 students and their families in the 6 remote mountain hamlets and nutritional food supplement for the dozens of malnourished infants that we support through our health outreach programmes. Thanks to this food support, no children have dropped out from school and many of the malnourished infants have improved body weight and health!

Komang and our bamboo team are using this quiet period to optimise non-productive land in and around our Tianyar workshop, including harvesting and planting Vetiver Grass (Chrysopogen zizanioides) in Tianyar nursery, preparing a vacant plot as an organic fruit and vegetable farm and improving ground water resources.

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