Children expression to save river

Every individual has the right to basic health knowledge and health care.For that, space should be opened for children to be able to see alternative pathways to live.developed more an more at the next stage of their life so they expected to have bigger awareness to protect their environment at earlier stage.

1. Background

Surabaya River is main source of raw water for regional drinking water supply company. The water of Surabaya River was polluted by heavy metals and this heavy metal pollutants could be accumulated in the estuarine of Surabaya East Coast. Heavy metal poisoning puts children in the higher risk and it can seriously impair normal development. Our children are specially at risk. Their growing bodies are more vulnerable to be harmed by the environment pollution. Small amount of water pollution that may have little or no influence in adult¡¦s health can make children, especially newborn, will be seriously ill. Children are not little adults. Children are at greter risk than adult for exposure to and possible illness from enviromental hazards due to their immune system to detoxify substance is not fully developed; in turn it will have impact on children due to their greater sensitivity during development and growth process.
At the estuarine of Surabaya River, 80 % children at first and second grade at elementary level were categorized as slow learner student (Yuliandari, Triwijati & Suhardono, 2000). This condition linked with the food they consumed much i.e fish that contaminated by heavymetal pollution. According to BTKL (1997) the fishermen and their family have risk to be contaminated by heavymetal 7,8 times greater than non-fisherman does, The fish that they consume is contaminated with heavy metal such as; cadmium, plumbum and mercury. The enviromental effects on enviromental degradation cause lowered learning capacity as a result of lead exposures cannot be reserved no matter how high the future investment to improve it.
The UN Convention on the Right of the Child, article 6 about survival & development, point out that the child¡¦s inherent right to life; the state should ensure the survival and maximum development of the child. Regarding this article, a conducive enviroment for the child¡¥s development is one of the requirements. We all hope for our children to grow up healthy and happy. We wish them to live in a productive and stimulating life. We expect them to live in an enviroment which save from all kinds of contamination and exploitation.
Every individual has the right to basic health knowledge and health care. The health in a community depends to a very great degree upon whether the citizen are passive or active towards their own health condition. We belief that one of the effort to live in a healthy way is through living in a healthy and unpolluted enviroment, and it can be started through empowering the children to recognize the life style of their surrounding, and that they can participate to make changes really happen. For that, space should be opened for children to be able to see alternative pathways to live. They should have a change to involve in activities with their peers to protect their own health and their own enviroment. Through doing a kind of action research to their local enviroment, children will get pure ecological understanding and how it relates to the health condition of their relevant surrounding.
Local action may lead the children to conclude that the solution to a local enviromental problems lies beyond changes in their own enviromental action and requires them to build network with another group or to raise enviromental awareness and mobilize others

2. Objectives:

1. To grow children¡¦s awareness regarding to their right to enjoy standard of living which enable them to live healthy physically, mentally and socially.
2. To develop awareness regarding the relation ship betwen healthy enviroment condition with pollution¡¦s effect toward their health.
3. To raise children¡¥s awareness that they have right to express their thoughts and feelings through many ways.
4. To establish non-discriminative awareness, inter-gender, religion and ethnic.
5. To build strong confidence on their ability to take a role in socialing the kowledge, understanding and spirit to their peers an the society.

3. Overview

The target of this program is junior high school students in Surabaya and Gresik Municipality. The students were chosen by the teacher to participate in the extracurricular program. The student be chosen by their leadership, big attention to the environment and intelligence. At the first meeting there are 6 students from each school that will attend the students 3 days workshop and after the workshop they have to invite at least 1 friend to join the extracurricular meeting at school. On the next meeting the participants should invite another friend, so the students join the program increase. The students first observe the river and then they be given some knowledge about river ecosystem and its threats then they arrange regular observation to the river condition in the rive investigation. The students then asked to express their knowledge and their hope about the river in any kind of media such as making poetry, letter, paintings, song, etc. that will be presented in cultural exhibition.

Capacity Building through River Investigation

a.  What was innovative in the use of this instrument?
The children will directly make interaction with the river and the people near the river to know the river ecosystem condition and human activity that give impact to the river ecosystem. They trained to conduct water quality monitoring and make assessment on biodiversity of benthic macroinvertebrate. They also investigate the pollution source of the river and how should the pollution source be managed. They have knowledge about environment at earlier stage that will be developed more an more at the next stage of their life so they expected to have bigger awareness to protect their environment at earlier stage.
b. Why and how did this instrument contribute to success?
Most of the student get knowledge about nature only by listening the lecture without directly observe the object they learned and they only imagine about the object since they only use their hearing. The river investigation optimize the use of their senses i.e. hearing, sight, smell and feel the river, They directly can touch and feel the river condition that will make a connection and increase their awareness to protect the river. They can see beautiful birds, amazing insects and human activity that polluted the river and they know that something wrong and they have to say or do something about it.

Capacity Building Through Children Expression of The River

c. What was innovative in the use of this instrument?
This program encourage the children to express their feeling about the environment especially river in any form of media. They can express their knowledge and hope by making song, poetry, paintings, poster, letter to the government and the mass media or they can looking for answer of their curious through doing research.
Why and how did this instrument contribute to success
This children expression will reveal what the children wants about their environment. The children expression about the environment expected to receive more attention from their parents and .the governments. They expression show that they as children are aware to their environment so the adults should be more aware and should support the children wants about their environment.

4. Impact

4.1 Impact to the participants:
1. the children have more understanding and knowledge about their environment form their experience on river investigation and information from program facilitator. They also disperse their knowledge to friends and familiy and ask them to monitor and protect the river
2. creation of river guard team that monitor the river condition and disperse the information to the network between schools
3. the children dare to express what they feel and what they want in a letter to local newspaper and they protest the government policy that give priority to economic development without give appropriate priority to the environmental protection
4. The children try to make effort to protect the environment through implementing activity in an environmental friendly way such as reduce garbage, use the water efficiently, reuse things etc.
4.2. Impact to the schools:
1. Some school still maintain the environment extracurricular after this program had finished
2. The school actively join another environmental program

5. Lessons Learned

some lessons to be learned from this program are.
a. Support from school is important component of this program since this extracurricular activity need special time of the students that might have planned for other school program such as final examination preparation etc.
b. Field interpretation is an effective method for environmental education: The observation to the real environment allow the children to observe, to touch and feel the environment. They can study in the natural laboratory and enjoy to play with friends in their team. They study in a relax condition because they study through nature games and play as detective who make investigation on environmental pollution case,.
c. The education material should be design to be easily understood by the children.Some difficult termination in environmental material should be simplified and described with some examples that the children familiar with. The material also should be limited to assure that all of the information are absorbed by the children. They already have too many lessons they have to study, so this extracurricular activity should not give more burden to the children. They should do more observation and they take lesson from the nature not from the theory.
d. Facilitators play an important role for the success of the programme: Increasing the capacity of facilitators is important, considering the role they play in the programme.
e. Using visualized educating media such as video and posters to give more realistic description to the children

6.Potential for Application

This program could be apply in any school with various topics not limited in river ecosystem. The pressure should be given to direct observation to the natural ecosystem to let the children take lessons from nature to stimulate their curiosity to learn more about the environment.
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