Not Just Monkeying About

Bronwyn WilsonCommunity Action, Learning, Social issues

Fundraising for the Orangutans

One quality, out of many, that I am very proud of our students at St Peters Lutheran School is their philanthropy and compassion for others and the environment. This falls under the IB Learner Profile attribute of Caring, where learners ‘show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.’[i]

The students have been learning about endangered animals in their Indonesian lessons and the reasons why so many of our world’s beautiful species are close to extinction. Many students became very concerned about the plight of Indonesian endangered animals and thought of ways that they could take action to help to make a difference.  During November of last year and June of this year a large group of very enthusiastic students helped to organise two fundraising events with the aim of ‘adopting’ an orangutan through The Orangutan Project. This organisation ‘was formed with a key mission; to ensure that endangered wild orangutan species would be protected against extinction, and would continue to live in secure populations for generations to come.’[ii]

To raise money for the two fundraising days held last year, the students worked above and beyond what was required of them, designing and creating Indonesian themed show bags, baking a delicious array of treats and creating fun guessing games and lucky dip prizes to sell on their stalls. Many students also eagerly volunteered to give up their lunch breaks to enthusiastically set up and work on their stalls to sell their items to some very happy student customers. The students and I were so thrilled to announce that we raised a total of $460.00 over these two days! This was well over the amount that we needed to raise to ‘adopt’ the two orangutans, Rocky and Rickina. As a result we chose to donate the rest of the money to the Bali Children Foundation, which provides an educational pathway for disadvantaged Balinese children.

St Peters’ second fundraising event for The Orangutan Project held in Term 2 this year, was organised by a very passionate Year 6 student Action Group,  made up of Ella, Amelie and Olivia . They came up with the idea to hold a ‘Palm Oil Free Day’, where staff and students were encouraged to exclude any products containing un-sustainable palm oil from their lunch boxes. The girls even issued ‘fines’ to teachers who were wearing makeup containing palm oil! Ella, Amelie and Olivia worked tirelessly to organise this event, including approaching the Principal to speak about their plans, writing letters home, creating posters to display throughout the school and speaking in Whole School Meetings. Students from ELC to Year 7 were invited to dress in colours representing our furry friends and make a small donation to raise funds to ‘adopt’ more orangutans. On this day alone, we raised over $220 and were able to adopt the adorable orangutans; Sam, Cupcake and Cece.

In total, our school raised just over $660.00 for The Orangutan Project and Bali Children Foundation! We receive monthly updates about the orangutan orphans that we have ‘adopted’. Most of them were in very poor health when they arrived at the Rehabilitation Centre, but are now growing up to be the strong, healthy and cheeky orangutans that they should be.

Thank you so much to all of the hard working and generous students and parents for your support of these important causes. I am so proud of the kind, giving natures of our students at St Peters Lutheran School.

Terima kasih banyak! (Thank you so much!)

Bu Thomas (Megan Thomas – Indonesian Teacher)

‘The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.’[iii]