Childhood memories destroyed

In 2010 I visited my birthplace, Jayapura, the provincial capital of Papua and went my favorite spot, a childhood sanctuary, the beach. Our father took us, my siblings and me, to the beach to swim in Pacific Ocean and have fun almost everyday when we were growing up.

But to my disappointment, the place was filthy and full of waste. I was so devastated by the environmental degradation but vowed to go back there to clean up the place.

Go back I did, after putting together resources. With the help of my little sisters, we formed an environmental education organization with the purpose of reducing plastic waste. We spent time in Jayapura, targeting elementary school children to reduce consumption of plastic-package food and drinks and dispose of waste properly.

But after our parents retired from civil service, they sold of their property in Jayapura and returned to Jogja. House had moved away and we had to travel to Jayapura and stayed at either an inn or someone’s home. This traveling put strain not only on our bodies but also our budget. And thus we decided to concentrate our activities on our immediate surrounding, Jogja.

While in Jogja, the pull of the ocean was still so strong that I often visited the beaches of Gunung Kidul. During one of these frequent visits, I got the wind of a sale of a property near overlooking the Indian Ocean. I was able to secure the property located in Kapen beach in Kelor Kidul hamlet of Kemadang village, and started developing the place for a center for environmental education.

The first structure that we put on was a Joglo, a traditional javanese house. This structure came from a house that was empty because its inhabitants had all moved out. This residential building was supported with two water tanks for rain catchment, a grey water filtration system, and a biogas reactor.

Slowly, our small organization have been working to promote reduction of plastic waste in our new facilities. Our activities have been funded by occassional grants but almost entirely private funding. After operating several years, I noticed that this was insufficient and decided to change course.

I want to explore a social business venture in which the profit will not be used for business expansion but for social and environmental activities.

There are so many resources that are under managed and can be optimized. With the help of a team consisting people who share the same ideas, I want to be involved directly with my neighbors by developing the available human and natural resources. I am starting a social business that focuses on optimizing employments for our neighbors and responsible utilization of local natural resources to fund our environmental activities.

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