I hope the new year is treating you well. Our new student cohort has been busy in Ternate with their composting project over the past few months. In addition to learning about the science of composting via our partners at Khairun University, they have also received training in start-up business managing to help give their composting endeavors long-term sustainability. Over the past few months, they have worked with local businesses to collect organic waste from farms, artisans, and street vendors, and process it into compost that they have been marketing at the local Ternate and Khairun University expos. They are currently working to teach their skills to local woman and young entrepreneurs to help tackle the waste problem in Ternate one community at a time.
We are very proud of what this cohort has accomplished and look forward to what our next batch of students will innovate!
As the COVID-19 pandemic has loosened its grip on Indonesia, I'm happy to report that our first cohort of students (from summer 2020) have successfully completed their Greenworks project! Erlena, Kurniawan, and Azzahra built six upcycled trashcans, color-coded for organic and plastic waste, which were donated to Runny’s School and SMK Pembangunan on their home island of Ternate in eastern Indonesia. They have been working with the elementary school students to teach them about waste management. They sent a detailed final report outlining their project, timelines, and accounting for funds spent to successfully complete the program.
We have also reviewed and approved a new project submitted by the successful spring 2021 Greenworks team. Faniran, Alfitri, and Fahriansyah will continue building upon Erlena's trashcan project by developing a more formal business-and-education project around composting. The project seeks to expand composting education to two more schools, establish a pipeline of waste-to-compost between the schools and Khairun University, and attempt to start a composting business so that the project can be self-sustaining. We are looking forward to working with them over the next few months!
As you begin thinking about your end-of-year giving, please keep Science Voices and projects such as this one in mind. We'll have more information about our Giving Tuesday campaign coming soon.
I hope you are having an enjoyable summer. This spring, we welcomed about a dozen new Indonesian students in the spring 2021 cohort for Greenworks, working with US and Brazilian students together in an environmental science and public policy curriculum and role-playing game. Unfortunately, only one group successfully completed. We're working with our in-country facilitators to better understand the sources of difficulty in completion. One thing that has become clear from early discussions is that an "active learning" classroom, where students interact with each other and with teachers, is a new concept for everyone involved. As a result, we are working this summer to develop a new curriculum for teachers, to help them both learn active learning classroom techniques and how to support students engaged in an active learning classroom setting. We expect to debut this curriculum, as well as a revamped Greenworks curriculum for students, this fall.
Unfortunately, student projects supported by your donations are currently paused because of a surge in COVID cases in Indonesia. Our thoughts and well-wishes are with our Indonesian colleagues as they battle this scourge of a disease.
During this pause, we are working with student volunteers at Science Voices to develop a new digital infrastructure for student projects to better manage them and help our students think through the entire lifecycle of their projects. This will help ensure that students develop good project management skills and the skills necessary to utilize your donations effectively as they implement successful community projects.
As always, thank you for supporting this project and our students in Indonesia!
I am happy to announce that the first student group has begun their Greenworks project. The student team of Erlena, Kurniawan, and Azzahra, completed their diplomacy curriculum in the summer and we have been working with them over the fall to refine their community project to be sustainable and have a long-term impact. The team is building upcycled trash cans that will be installed in local elementary schools and be accompanied by a curriculum to teach kids about waste management which will be developed by our faculty facilitators, Halik and Lily.
On March 22nd, we'll induct our next cohort. Eight new students have been recruited by Halik and Lily and will be completing the five-week program on science, governance, and diplomacy. Afterwards, we anticipate to be able to fund an additional three student group projects based on remaining funds. Students will continue building on Erlena's trash can project, with the goal of establishing pipelines to process the waste that is collected (composting for food waste and upcycling for plastic waste) to divert it from the local landfill and keep the waste out of local waters.
I anticipate a great future for this project and am happy to have Khairun University as a partner as we empower student-led community change. Thank you for all your support in helping bring this project to fruition!
I hope that you are all staying safe in these trying times as you prepare for the holiday season. Science Voices has been hard at work on a couple of major projects, including the Agavi digital learning platform and Greenworks, a program stemming from the Green Ambassadors trial run we conducted this summer with our Indonesian students.
This summer, we accepted four Indonesian student groups into the Green Ambassadors program. We were disappointed that only one group decided to participate in the summer session. However, we are happy to report the group who participated in the summer session was able to participate in the diplomacy games with American students at Arizona State University, where they connected over the problem of plastic pollution and were able to share stories and perspectives across the Pacific.
After the diplomacy games, the team submitted a proposal for dealing with plastic pollution in their community in Ternate. We are currently reviewing the proposal and working with the team to improve the project so that it is impactful and sustainable. More about how that project is going in the next update!
Until then, stay safe during this holiday season, with well wishes for the new year!
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