We are grateful that LINI has taken part in the New Colombo Plan scholarships during the last three years. Since 2017, we hosted ten Australian students from Murdoch University and the University of Australia. The students came to our Centre to help us with various programs, in order to apply their university knowledge. They assisted us in aquaculture, teaching English to local communities, environmental education in local primary schools, and setting up a permaculture garden. This year, we had three students from Murdoch University. They were Saskia, who was helping us to re-design our LINI website, Nikki who was teaching the local children to swim, and Holy, who was creating some LATC program videos. Thanks to them, we now have an updated website, swimming goggles for the inventory of the swimming classes, and videos for marketing materials about our Centre
Collaborations like this are very important to the success of our work because they benefit not only our organization but also the fisher community, whose children have learned to swim for the first time! It is important to note that, in Les village, many people do not know how to swim, even though they live close to the beach, and they/their families are fishers.
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.