Learning by doing in the village of Galibi
We organized two summer vacation activities in Galibi, an indigenous village in the East of our country. One in September and one in October. The GHFS summer vacation activities aimed to educate the children on the importance of water, soil, mangroves, and sea turtles and teach them fun and easy experiments that they could do at home. To educate the children on the importance of climate change, we partnered with the Suriname Red Cross.
The children were excited to see us, and we realized that it had been two years since we last saw them. Due to COVID restrictions, we could not travel to Galibi, and the teachers explained that the school had been closed for most of the year, leaving the children with much free time and limited educational activities. We were all excited to come together to learn and have fun.
Since the Saturday in September was World Cleanup day, we started the weekend with a beach cleanup. All the children and adults came together to clean the beach and their village. We filled more than 60 bags with trash, a lot of it plastic.
The next day we started with a story about a water droplet called Drupke and his journey through the hydrological cycle, from the mountains to the rivers, sea, clouds, and back. After the story, the children shared their experiences with water, how they use it, why it is essential, and where they can find it. Through a story about mangroves the children learned about their role and importance for our coast and the sea turtles. They also learned about the different mangrove trees we have in Suriname. They then had to paint a Mangrove ecosystem on a T-shirt. We were impressed by the artistry of these children! In just 1 hour, they created beautiful Mangrove ecosystems consisting of mangrove trees, land, sea, and different animals. You can view a short movie about the cleanup and the educational activities on our YouTube channel.
The next day we started with a soil filtration experiment during which the children saw how different soil substrates help filter water and learned about the importance of soil for water. Next, we read a story about an olive ridley sea turtle called Olijfje and her journey out of the nest and to the sea. We talked about the dangers sea turtles face on the nesting beaches and the sea and highlighted why it is vital that we keep the nests safe because most eggs will not make it to adulthood. The children then got the opportunity to paint or draw a sea turtle on a canvas bag that we had made for them. After this activity, the Red Cross played a few games with the children that helped them understand climate change.
We love working with children, and it is even more impressive when the children you are working with are so eager to learn! Conservation work is not always easy, but when you look into the eyes of children filled with hope and excitement for the future, it is easy to remember why we need to push forward!
At the end of this year, with the holiday season upon us, we send YOU best wishes for the season and a happy 2022! Thank you for supporting us; we could not do our work without you!
Learning and conservation through art
Playing educational games about the water cycle