Three students from British School Jakarta (BSJ) have won the 2020 Changemakers Challenge by CAS Trips for their project, Restoring Borneo Wildlife. The BSJ team, consisting of Gracelynne Danielle Kusuma, Sascha Putri and Qanita Zahara, becomes the first Indonesian team to win the global challenge.
CAS Trips is an educator and travel expert community that provide educational travel experiences locally, internationally and virtually. The 2020 Changemaker Challenge is kickstarted by CAS Trips to inspire young students worldwide to innovate or campaign for a project that will bring a positive impact to their community. The 2020 Changemakers Challenge was participated by a total of 2,169 students from 47 different nations.
A fully student-led initiative, the Restoring Borneo Wildlife project’s purpose is to promote and shed a light on environmental conservation in Borneo, Kalimantan. The project, which was initiated around six years ago, began as a small social media awareness campaign in response to the Borneo wildfires but then expanded into a collaboration with students across Jakarta. It subsequently developed into a long-term partnership with the environmental NGO, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF).
“I initiated this project out of love for the Indonesian community and deep concern for the things that were harming it. We seek ways to expand this project and involve more like-minded individuals who share the same concern about the future of Indonesia’s natural environment,” said Gracelynne Kusuma, Founder and Leader of Restoring Borneo Wildlife Project.
With the involvement of students around Jakarta, the team has organized a series of events throughout the years to raise funds and awareness about Indonesia’s environmental concerns. One of the team’s biggest events was when they organized a storytelling competition for young children, where participants had to come up with presentations and monologues regarding deforestation and environmental conservation in Indonesia.
The team aspired to uphold the advocacy spirit within the children and educate them on how to introduce their research in innovative yet significant methods. They have also established a club to inspire young children to manage independent research and learn to spread awareness through innovative ways.
Recently, the team has donated a total of IDR 30 million to BOSF to help the wildfire response, including acquiring safety equipment, BOSF’s running cost as an organization, and supporting BOSF’s rehabilitation funds.
“Winning this challenge demonstrates how much we care about our Earth. And equally important, it exposes us to get in touch and to fostering a meaningful relationship with like-minded individuals and organisations worldwide,” said Gracelynne, Qanita and Sascha. “We had always planned to expand our initiative beyond Indonesia, so this award is a huge stepping stone to achieving that goal and playing our part in creating a more sustainable global environment,” they continued.
David Butcher, Principal of British School Jakarta, said “We are very proud of our students’ achievement in winning the 2020 Changemaker Challenge by CAS Trips. The students have proved that you are never too young to come up with solutions to address real-world problems and bring meaningful impact. We hope that they would inspire many more students to think and start addressing global issues, starting from where they are.”
“The originality, impact and exceptional online presence of the Restoring Borneo Wildlife project had made it the standout submission in this global competition with entries received from all over the world,” stated CAS Trips Founder, Simon Armstrong.
One of their winning prizes is an all-expenses-paid trip to one of CAS Trips’ Global Student Conferences in either Singapore, Edinburgh or Boston. There, these students will have the chance to meet and present their project to fellow young changemakers.
BOSF CEO, Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, said “We are feeling elevated about the students’ achievements to win this international challenge. It is very encouraging to see the students’ commitment and dedication to supporting BOSF works on orangutan conservation in the past years.”
For more information on the Restoring Borneo Wildlife team’s achievement in the Changemaker Challenge, check out the video here!
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