Since the Indonesian Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) raised the danger status of Mount Agung in Bali to the highest level of four, starting from Sept. 22, Les village, where the LATC is situated, has been busy accommodating over 1800 refugees, of which 200 are children. The refugee camp is only a few kilometers away from the Centre. Due to the status of Mt. Agung, all of the planned school visits to the LATC have had to be cancelled for the time being. However, it does not mean that we have no work! We are busy planning and preparing how to seal the aquariums, concrete ponds, and equipment from the dust if the volcano erupts.
In terms of children’s education, we have moved our activities to the children’s tent in the refugee camp. We have set up marine environmental education games, drawing and colouring, and have carried our audio visual equipment to show films to the children at Camp. Generous donations from friends, colleagues, and families have been used to support our marine environmental education program at this difficult time. We hope the situation will get better, but there is a huge degree of uncertainty, which prevents the volcano activity status from being lowered again, and causes widespread stress. No one knows if and when the volcano will erupt, so the refugees could potentially be spending many weeks or even months in the refugee centres. In the mean time, we will continue to cheer up the children in the refugee camp with various fun activities. Next week, the matinee show in the refugee tent will be the “Finding Nemo” film, and “The land before time”. Support (not only donations, but also books, drawing materials, water bottles etc.) will always be welcome to help the children to have a less traumatic time!
The LINI team