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.

Sep 25, 2020

Active Learning Innovations During Covid-19 Pandemic

All EBPP schools are still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but thanks to ourteachers’ creative solutions, all students continue learning effectively from their homes.

Primary school students are still learning offline with all teachers preparing the materials and delivering to their respective homes, joined by a local tutor, with question and answer sessions relating to the previous learning material, ensuring that teachers who monitor students always apply the Covid-19 health protocols. Life is difficult though for our young students, as recounted by 11 year old 5th grade student Ni Luh A in Jatituhu, who doesthough remainpositive about her future:

Happy to help parents at home during the Covid-19 pandemic

“My name is Ni Luh A. I’m 11 years old and a fifth grade elementary student at EBPP Jatituhu School. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak when EBPP schools had to close, my friends and I have to study at home.

I live with my father and brother as my mother died two years ago during the August 2018 Lombok earthquakes. Initially studying at home was a little difficult for me because I had no friends to discuss with because our house very far from other houses. Fortunately our teachers come every few days to deliver study material, when I can ask questions about the subject materials given earlier. Besides, studying at home, I also need to help my fatherwith domestic chores.

Every morning after waking up and cutting grass for the cows that my father and I keep, I have to find firewood to cook and help my father harvest chillies in the garden. The condition of our fields is very dry, steep and difficult to get water, and we can only grow food such as corn, cassava and beans during the rainy season!

Hopefully this Covid-19 virus will soon pass so that my friends andI can study again at school like before! I also thank EBPP and all donors who have helped especially in Education program. Without the help of EBPP, all students in Jatituhu hamlet could not continuing school. I hope to learn a lot at school so that later I can be successful and help my family to have a better life.”

Junior and senior high students 

Junior and senior high school students continue learning online through the WhatsApp groups,even though many having to trek very far to find an internet signal so they can receive online materials and communicate directly with the teachers for solutions to learning problems – any time of day though!

Four graduates to University

At the same time that the new school year started in July, four of our students who graduated high school in June - 2 from Pengalusan and 2 from Jatituhu - started their sponsored university education, with online introductory classes. The two from Pengalusan School studying Accounting and Culinary Cook, and the two from Jatituhu, majoring in Accounting and EducationCounselling respectively. To prepare them for this new and challenging university life, EBPP’s dedicated teachers prepared and delivered intensive computer and English courses, with individual guidance and mentoring, because they have never carried out activities like this before.

Monthly food, hygiene and sanitation supplies 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the current dry season, all students and their families have difficulty sourcing suitable food supplies, but thanks to generousdonors,especially those who donated during our GlobalGiving July Bonus Day campaign, EBPP can continue providing monthly nutritious food packages of rice, green beans, cooking oil and dried fish for all students so that students can study in peace at home withfull nutrition intake, and ease the burden on their families during this pandemic. EBPP MUSTcontinue providing food aid – subject to sufficient donor funds – until December as the government has confirmed that schools cannot open before 2021!

In addition to food aid, we continue distributing hygiene and sanitation supplies to all students while educating on health protocols to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and ensure that students are always healthy and can continue to learn well.

Sep 25, 2020

EBPP TEACHERS' SUCESS STORIES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Covid-19 pandemic is still a very serious problem in Indonesia and so all schools remain closed and students continue learning remotely from home, requiring EBPP teachers to always think creatively and innovatively; whatever problems the students face, they must be able to find the best solution quickly.

In these difficult remote learning situations, after adapting and improving the WhatsApp group learning process for the last 6 months, it is the best solution. In teaching with this system, students can easily ask about subject topics they do not understand, even though some have to walk quite a distance to find internet signal. As EBPP teachers, we must be ready to respond to questions from students, anytime and anywhere. Often our teachers work late into the night in order to provide comprehensive learning materials that are suitable for their students’ home study.

What our Teachers say

Wayan S, an EBPP teacher who and the principal of the Pengalusan School, said, "During this pandemic, as a teacher, I am responsible for motivating all students so that they can join together fighting for their education. Even though I have to go to higher ground or places far from high school students’ homes to meet them for study, I’m also responsible for bringing print outs of lesson material for elementary students studying offline. Three times a week I walk around to the students' houses to monitor their progress and ensure that none of them have problems in learning.I also communicate with their parents, so they understand how important it is for their children to learn every day, especially during this pandemic. Many parents don’t want their children to leave the house to study, but after I explained that they left the house because they had to look for internet signals to study, their parents finally understood.”

"As Coordinator of the EBPP Education Program, I feel very proud of all my teaching friends who go every day to students' houses to teach, they never complain or feel tired, even though they have to travel through steep, dry and rocky roads,” said Made S.

Proud to be keeping students nourished and safe

All EBPP teachers are very pleased and proud when they can provide the monthly supplementary food packages of rice, green beans, cooking oil and dried fish to all students so that none go hungry and can enjoy studying at home, even during the long and hot dry season like now.We really hope that we are able to continue this until the end of this year and that no students feel the need to drop out of school to seek work to supplement their parents’ income! We are also very pleased that all teachers and students received donations of bottles of good hand sanitizer last week, accompanied by educational hygiene posters which we fixed to the school walls.Hopefully, these extra precautionary measures will prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 Virus so that students are always healthy and can still follow learning well.

Thank you to the donors, especially those who helped through the crowd funding of GlobalGiving, so that we can still carry out learning activities well – and keep up the spirit of ourteacher!!

 
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