Written by Muhammad Juwaini
Thursday, July 21 2016, There are five foreign volunteers come to indonesia through IIWC (Indonesia International Workcamp), it is a non-profit non-governmental organization headquartered in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. They come from differerent country ; Marzia Farina and Malesa rinaldi (Italian), Musha Haruka (Japanese), Remy de bats (Netherland), Matteo Torreguitart (French). Nevertheless, the different culture doesn’t make the aim of the program seem to break down. Together they running every program that already planned by IIWC. Matteo said, “Because I really enjoyed my previous expereince as an international volunteer and I would like to do other workcamps.” The enthusiam shown by one of the volunteer as a reason why he decided to join in this program.
The activities generally come in the forms of work camps, the hosting of long-middle term volunteers, campaigns, social events, IIWC Cares, and internal activities. It is based on volunteerism and cooperates with a number of partners in the local, national, and international for the same purpose. Fortunatelly, the five foreign volunteers placed in Mangkang, West of Semarang City. They have 5 main programs ; mangrove planting, school visit, fundraising in CFD, making traditional stuffs (Batik, Poci cookies, Mangrove cookies) and playing with local children.
Through Reporting Sheet provided by IIWC, it can be seen how the program worked whether succed or not. Started by doing mangrove planting program. Anthony B. Rath from WWF organization states “like coral reefs, mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems that provide numerous good and services both to the marine environment and people.” It can be said that mangrove has a lot of benefit and advantage for marine environment and society. Thus, the existance of this program might would raising awareness and thoughtfulness toward the marine enviroment. Within 3000 mangrove seeds provide by IIWC, the volunteers were leaving by boat together with some local partner. Although there are some problem during planting process dealing with restrictiveness of planting area and rising the sea level, overall they enjoyed the mangrove planting program.
The second program is school visit. It is Introducing foreign culture toward elementary students in Mangkang Wetan & MI Al Hidayah. The volunteers also teach the students to improve understanding about the importance of environmental cleanliness. But unfortunatelly during the visit, less volunteers prepare the materialthat will be given to the students. It would be better if volunteer prepare the material or games that will be presented with several variations of carrying materials, tools appropriate, suitabled and fitted with a number of students.
The third program is Fundraising in Car Free Day Semarang. The purpose is for purchasing a mangrove seeds while campaign organization IIWC & Mangkang Work camp. In CFD, They are selling a pudding, splitting stickers and socialization. But, the problem is the CFD place far enough away from the camp site, then puddings unsold all, and also the volunteer lack the marketing skills. But, isn’t a huge problem, the most important is they learn a lot about fundraising for the shake of a better environment.
Another program is making traditional stuffs (Batik, Poci cookies, Mangrove cookies). The purpose is introducing Indonesian culture to the international volunteers, Familiarizing with local communities, and introducing the use of mangrove in everyday life as well. They really enjoyed and interested, even some volunteers intend to make a batik with complex patterns. But, they find difficulity to finish the batik. It sounds funny may be, because however making a batik requires a gradual exercise. It is impossible for beginners making kinds of batik with complex patterns.
The last one is playing with local children. It purely to help volunteers get along with local children, knowing the traditional game. For the local children, it will help them to know the simple english daily conversation. Indirectly, this program will change the habitual way thinking of local children in which less attention in education. Because in this chance, IIWC also applied program learning by doing. Then, the enthusiasm of local children in education automatically getting increase.
So, volunteers actually get many things in workcamp program, not only improving awareness in environmental, cultural and educational issue but also adding friends and knowledge . Through IIWC, they learn to hold the responsibility and continue to earnestly carry out every activity with a vengeance despite the problems dealing with. It might would increase the level of happiness of life ; play, learn, and share a laugh with people is priceless happiness. It is an incredible feeling when we can do things and provide good benefits for others.