Due to the spread of Coronavirus in Bali, Begawan Foundation, an NGO that is working towards the conservation of the critically endangered Bali Starlings in Melinggih Kelod village, Payangan, have temporarily closed all education activities at their Learning Centre and shifted into online and ‘At Home’ learning since mid March.
Besides a Breeding and Release Centre dedicated to the care of the birds, the Foundation also has a Learning Centre that provides educational activities for local students every afternoon from Monday to Friday. With a motto of “Learning by Doing”, the education team encourages students to express their opinions and ideas, and to actively participate in creating solutions for environmental issues around them, such as waste management. Since 2017, activities ranging from literacy and numeracy activities, science and conservation lessons, cooking, gardening, Balinese dance, karate, and English have all attracted a number of students who enjoy the variety of topics and the opportunity to learn with their friends.
How do they reduce physical contact with students? Students take the weekly lesson plans at the office every Sunday and submit their week’s previous homework. The Foundation also keep in touch through a Whatsapp group – not only with students, but also with parents. This is to make it easier to share information and updates with parents! Thus, lack of physical contact doesn’t mean that activities should be postponed!
Keeping the students busy and happy in their new method of learning has been a task for the education team. They have to ensure that students are still able to partake in activities at home. The Foundation’s education team have compiled learning activities and lessons at home, including science experiments, gardening at home, helping family do chores, and time for reflection.
Lesson plans given to students usually include explanation and details of materials needed, as well as steps for science experiments, to make it easier for students to follow and for parents to assist and participate in. These experiments can be applied in real life and are fun to do! Some fun science experiments involved constructing a volcano, making a compass and a sundial, creating magic ink with lemon juice, conducting a floating egg experiment to see how density works, and many more! One of their favorites of course, was the volcano. The students were happy when their volcanoes eventually erupted! If there is anything that they don’t understand about the experiments, they can ask questions on the online classes held every day during the week at 14.00 or through WA.
All their at-home activities count towards their attendance records. If they do a daily task that has been assigned to them, they are counted as “present”. Even though they don’t come to the Learning Centre, attendance can still be monitored through their homework, and the students are very keen to keep their own records. Parents are also active in supporting by taking the weekly activities and also submitting the homework each week to the office, sending documentation of activities, or enquiring about further information. Thank you parents for your support!
The students also receive reflection tasks. They are encouraged to do a short meditation (5 minutes) every morning and before they sleep. They learn how to observe their breath and set good intentions for the day. The students are encouraged to help others or themselves by assisting in cooking, helping their grandma to find wood, sweeping the compound, eating healthily, or exercising. At night, the students reflect by writing in their “diary” the things they are grateful for that day and the assistance they have given to others. They also say thanks to each of their body parts because they have been working hard during the day. Stay at home lessons are giving the students the opportunity to look at their blessings, taking away the stresses that can affect them at this unusual time in their lives.
When the Foundation’s education team checks their diaries, it is apparent that the students are happy because of simple things, such as helping grandma, gathering together with their families, and playing with their relatives in their compound. We can learn a lot from children and see that we can still be happy during these tough times!
Our staff have also been planning a new approach to the afternoon classes – more on that later. Let’s say there is no downtime for Begawan Foundation.
The Foundation relies on the support from its donors. If you are interested to assist us, please visit bit.ly/helpbegawan. We can also be found in social media channels such as Facebook at www.facebook.com/BegawanFoundation, Instagram at @begawanfoundation, or Twitter at @yayasanbegawan.
Seruni Soewondo (Marketing and Media Officer)
+6281295695011 (Whatsapp available)
Begawan Foundation was launched with a mission to give back to the people of Bali through conservation, education, and health. Begawan Foundation’s goals are to promote awareness of the threats to endangered birds in Indonesia, to provide education to the public on how they can assist in the project and to work with children to provide educational and cultural activities that will prepare them for a meaningful future in their community.The Bali Starling Conservation project, which commenced in 1999, was the foundation’s first initiative, aiming to reintroduce the highly endangered bird species back into its wild habitat.