BSJ Donates to Kalimantan

The Sekonyer River School in central Kalimantan sits on the edge of the Tanjung Puting National Park. Teaching resources are minimal and classrooms are basic, but the small, rural school is operational, with enthusiastic teachers and students from six to 16 years old attending from local farming villages.

In June 2017, BSJ collected a donation of stationery items and teaching resources to give to the Sekonyer River School. Organised by the School Council, our students responded overwhelmingly with an abundance of essential educational gifts, from pencils and pencil cases, to notebooks, scissors and rubbers. Bagged in sets for each individual child, they weighed 100kg in total.

BSJ's School Shop donated hats, bags and rulers; the Library gave posters; and teachers donated paints, pastels, glue and chalk. Funds were pledged for a set of children's Indonesian-English dictionaries, and the School Council ran fundraising events to buy adult bilingual dictionaries for the teachers. As well as donating to the school, sun hats and fabric bags were collected for older members of the Sekonyer community, to help them in their daily work in the searing tropical heat.

A month later, in July, Primary EAL teacher Mrs Dall'Oglio and her family travelled to the remote Indonesian school to hand-deliver the gifts; by plane from the megatropolis of Jakarta to the small, airport town of Pangkalan Bun, by car to the riverside town of Kumai and six hours by boat to the rural village of Songai Sekonyer. They were warmly received by the children and teachers, who gave a traditional song and dance.

On her return from the trip, Mrs Dall'Oglio said, 'The local people of Sekonyer Village face many social and environmental challenges due to deforestation and the ever-increasing expansion of oil palm plantations. However, sitting on the edge of the beautiful Tanjung Puting National Park, home to rainforest wildlife including orangutans and with prioritising education for all, we hope for a positive future for the children of Songai Sekonyer School'.