Smiles, smiles, smiles. I don’t know that it is possible for Indonesians’ smiles to get even bigger but those on the faces of the locals in Morotai seemed to when they heard we had received funding from the U.S. Consulate General Small Grants Awards to run our Action Communication Programmes.
Comprising a syllabus centred on leading students from middle school to adult age groups on a journey of discovery we are aiming to develop a relationship and identity with the ocean as a diverse and dynamic group. We choose to approach this endeavour with creative tools; photography, underwater photography, stop-motion animation, video, art, murals that bring inskill acquisition with media and technology and through the interactive creative media programmes we introduce English. Self-expression and discovery are wonderful ways to learn, empower and share. They bring impact. If it’s yourself and your dream you are following, you are passionate about it, you commit to it and you don’t give up easily. We believe a social approach, translatable at the grass roots level is vital to addressing issues of environmental degradation, climate change and developing tourism along sustainable lines from the community up. We hope our students will be proactive designers of their island’s future. Through various media tools we learn the value they see in protecting their marine environment and the ideas they have for its sustainable development as a tourism zone and how they would promote sustainable tourism for local and regional benefit.
Local people are shy, many adults over the age of 40 may not be able to read or write, their day to day life, what they have been exposed to and experienced and are therefore aware of are quite different to someone from a western lifestyle. To gain insight to their dreams, wants and needs and when asking them to share their knowledge and ideas using a creative, group, playful means enables them to feel calm, respected, understood, unafraid and confident to put forward their ideas and the wealth of knowledge they have about the environment and that it will be understood by those on the receiving end. It means they will take action.
Take 1. ACTION!