As with many emerging nations, Indonesia and in this case, Bali, has its own challenges in terms of balancing economic growth with sustainable practices. One of these notable challenges, is preserving and protecting the environment from harm.
In days of old, it was common practice to wrap all edible, raw or cooked foods in banana leaves, which to this day are in plentiful supply. One merely unfolded the green wrapping, ate the contents and threw away the biodegradable leaf, which soon became compost. The process is the same today, unfold, eat and throw away the container, accept in place of leafy green material, food now comes in plastic bags or polystyrene and therein lies the problem.
In the outer regions and some of the more inhabited areas, where the infrastructure for rubbish collection is minimal or non-existent, the build-up of discarded plastics, polystyrene and other petrochemical by- products has reached alarming levels. As you are probably aware, depending on the size and type of plastic, it can take 450 years or more to degrade. Not only is it an eyesore, but also the chemicals added through processing, are causing an inordinate amount of damage to the surface and waterways of our precious home, Mother Earth, while the products themselves are causing injury and death to numerous wildlife, fish, other species and the very ecosystems that sustains us.
There are consequences which we label good or bad, for all of our actions and the foremost question we need to think about as a throwaway society is, where is away? There is no “away”. We all inhabit just one planet, so what we do in terms of environmental degradation to our Mother Earth, we will all bear the consequences of our actions, along with our children and our children’s children ad nauseam.
Clearly, if we are to survive as a human species, who is totally dependent on what Nature provides for us, then something has to change and that change has to come from within each and every one of us!
Whoa!! You mean we can’t point a finger at our local authorities, governments or anyone else and absolve ourselves from any responsibility?
No dear friends, we cannot!
With this alarming news in mind, a group of caring individuals belonging to the newly emerging Taman Petanu Eco-Neighbourhood, decided to give the gift of paying forward to the future generations who will inherit whatever legacies we leave behind, in the form of The Living Classroom Program.
The Living Classroom Program in Bali was initiated by two permaculture experts, Dan & Aaron of Elemental Permaculture and is to emulate that which is proving to be successful in Australia.
What is the Living Classroom Program?
Bali’s first “Living Classroom”, is a model or example school for piloting eco-literacy, healthful living, good nutrition, environmental protection and rehabilitation, as part of the school’s standard local curriculum.
What the Living Classroom Delivers
Training and resources for schoolteachers, so that they can be motivated and able to deliver vital environmental education. These teachers, when supported and motivated, will play a major role in developing the capacity and awareness of the local community, for environmental protection. Local communities need to re-learn how to grow organic food at home, how to manage wastes and how to protect the rapidly reducing resources of the island before it’s too late.
Bali’s youth also very much need to learn about eco-systems and how they, who will inherit many of the impacts of Bali’s current unchecked, rapid development can address increasing environmental impacts over time. There is an urgent need for developing model schools that can provide eco-literacy and environmental education solutions for the island in both the short and longer terms and the Living Classroom Program fills this need.
To be able to make this program a reality your help and support is very much needed.
We have commenced our fundraising, which currently stands at US$ 650 from the Living Classroom Project’s supporters, with another US$1,000 pledged by the Taman Petanu Eco Neighbourhood . What is needed is another US$5,000 to support the purchase of schoolbooks, games and tools for the program’s implementation. The funds are needed to allow the team to be able to be here in Bali working with the school and empowering the project into fruition. Also very much needed is in-kind donations of books and volunteer support for teaching English to the eager-to-learn children.
When we have raised the funds needed to make this project happen, the initiators of the Living Classroom Global Project, Aaron Sorensen and Dan Deighton, will come to Bali to set up the baseline for the program, in cooperation with their local counterparts here.
Over time, as the project unfolds, opportunities will be established for teachers and or students of Australian Living Classroom projects to come to Bali and share their personal experience, knowledge and skills with their Balinese counterpart Living Classroom schools.
This wonderful program provides opportunities for building life long friendships, and cross-cultural sharing, filling in some of the gaps that rapid globalization has created with mutual, shared vision for a better, healthier, more understanding and caring world of inspired global citizens.
The community of Kemenuh, just south of Ubud, is very enthusiastic about this opportunity for the development of their local school as Indonesia’s pioneering Living Classroom. They have high hopes for their children and also many stories, traditions and ideas to share.
Please help us realise this vital and worthwhile program, by making a donation at: “Namaste – The Spiritual Shop”, Jalan Hanoman #64, Ubud, or please contact Rick at email@example.com for details of how you can contribute from overseas.
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Thank you for caring and making a difference