Since March we have been very busy hosting interns and volunteers at the LATC in North Bali, and in our field project on Banggai Island. Our Indonesian interns, Adam and Karina, have been diving and helping with our marine conservation program on the coral restoration site at Les village. Karina is focusing on the monitoring of the growth of the corals we transplanted onto the artificial reef structures, while Adam is helping with our aquaculture activities.
We have been very lucky to have Jonathan from the UK, helping us to understand more about technical aspects of aquaculture. It is always good to have fresh input from the outside world, and Jonathan has given us much useful information and food for thought.
Vany, from West Sumatra, has been volunteering in Banggai Island since March. She has been helping in the training and mentoring of the local communities of Bone Baru village, and learning how to breed the endangered Banggai cardinalfish (BCF). In Bone Baru, LINI is helping the local community to set up a community-based breeding program for BCF, to help to reduce the collection of BCF from their natural habitats. We still have a long way to go, but the people of Bone Baru are keen to learn and support the conservation of this rare fish that lives in their area.
In May 15, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries visited the community-breeding in Bone Baru, and learned that the people of Banggai have been working hard towards conservation of the endemic species and marine habitat.
We have been very busy in the last six months, hosting many interns and volunteers. Three fresh graduate University students, Nyka from Jogjakarta, Hani from Purwokerto, (both in Central Java). and Vany from Padang (West Sumatra) spent three months, from June to August, conducting internships at our Centre. Currently, we have Anthony from Jakarta, Stephanie from Bandung and Dewi from Bali.
The Indonesian interns helped with our marine and environment education program for local schools, also with breeding ornamental shrimps and clownfish. The purpose of the internships was for the interns to gain work experience, and also to learn about various aspects of our community development program, which is one of the main focus programs of our Centre.
In July the Centre hosted three Australian volunteers from the Universities of Murdoch and Western Australia. And this month, until 23 December, we are hosting two volunteers, both from Murdoch University. In addition, there were four students from the University of Cendana, Kupang, Timor. The interns and volunteers are working with the nine women workers who come from Les village, and who work at the Centre. This has been a wonderful opportunity for all of them to interact and learn about each other’s lives, as they all came from very different backgrounds.
One activity which was initiated by Nyka and Karis, an intern from Murdoch University, was the painting of a mural with an underwater theme on the walls of the Centre. The activity created an opportunity for a wonderful collaboration, and the beautiful mural has been used as one of the awareness materials at the Centre, where people come to learn about marine life.