Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Admiration for others...

It's probably obvious that I greatly admire that talents of many creative people.

But that admiration extends beyond people's creative abilities. I've been following the work of Cate Bolt for some time and her Project 18 and wanted to share a bit about what she is aiming to achieve in Indonesia.

Briefly, Cate is aiming to build an orphanage and wildlife refuge in Indonesia. Here's some of the amazing goals she and her team are developing (I'm quoting from her website):

Our program has three different levels:

Orphange/Village – The plan is to establish an orphanage on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. When complete the village will consist of 18 x 3 bedroom homes, each housing up to 8 children and a house mother. The system is based on effective plans in Africa, where the children are raised in a loving family environment, rather than in huge dormitories with 40+ children to a room. An investigation into the conditions in Indonesian orphanages in 2007 showed that most “childcare institutions” in Indo did not consider the emotional wellbeing of the children to be the responsibility of the institution. The first stage of the orphanage will consist of 4 cabins, increasing to 10 and then 18 over 5 years. The village will also include a school, community centre including a medical centre, and a staff residence. The orphanage will be built using sustainable methods using the principals of solar passive design. The entire village will also be solar powered with rain water collection. We hope to be able to employ local people for the construction and offer long term employment to some of those men for building maintenance and village expansion over the coming years. It is our hope that we will be able to place the first children at the village in early 2011.

Outreach Program – Given the number of children who end up in these institutions due to their families desperation for them to have a better life, we plan to run an outreach program which means approaching smaller villages with less prospects, liaising with the community and through consultation with their local authorities building them a school, we would then provide schooling for the village children, and one meal per day. We believe this would eradicate the need for the families in these villages to abandon their children, and lessen the burden on the already overflowing orphanages. We would also be able to offer medical assistance to those in need through the orphanage medical centre.

Wildlife Refuge & Reforestation program – I’m sure you’re aware of the dire situation in Indonesia at this given time due to the deforestation of the native habit for the local wildlife. This has seen the rapid decline in species such as the Sumatran Tiger and the Orang-utan over recent years. Our program intends to include a conservation program, whereby each child who schools with us will have wildlife conservation as a key learning outcome, and the children will be able to participate in a refuge program for displaced animals. We hope that by getting these children up-close and personal with this amazing wildlife, and instilling an understanding or the importance of wildlife conservation they will be more inclined to carry that with them into their future lives. In the short term, we would envisage providing refuge primarly for orphaned & injured orang-utans, possibly extending to include other animals in future. Eventually we would like to be able to buy up some of the land which has been destroyed by palm oil plantations, and commence a reforestation program to expand the corridors of native habitat that are remaining.

We will be negotiating with existing programs to offer a support role to them using our land and resources, as this is not our area of expertise and we will need direction from those established.

Find out more here about how you can contribute time, skills, money, materials to support such an exciting initiative!