• Courtney Saville

The Island Foundation April 2020 Newsletter


Highlights - April 2020


Home Learning


The Island Foundation's survey in March found that the majority of our students' parents would prefer their children to learn with hard copy materials, rather than online, during the Covid-19 school closures.


Our Education Program team quickly adapted to facilitate at home learning through the printing and safe distribution of hard copy materials to each and every student across six of our eight Learning Centres, while the remaining two Learning Centres proceeded with online learning due to local travel restrictions. The learning materials are based on The Island Foundation curriculum and seek to build confidence, critical thinking and collaboration through content-based language learning.


We have received such positive feedback from our students and parents, and a lot of requests for new enrolments in the program! Click here to watch our video about home learning.


Training and Capacity Building


Throughout April, The Island Foundation team embarked on a number of online training courses including: Green School's Foundational course in 'The Green School Way' which puts sustainability at the centre of teaching and learning; Human Centred Design course by IDEO.org; and Introduction to Data Wise: A Collaborative Process to Improve Learning & Teaching by Harvard University. We are excited to put the teachings into practice as we review and improve The Island Foundation's program.


Community Farm


We have broken ground on our community farm which we hope will inspire our partner communities to farm food locally. As the economic impacts of the pandemic take hold, food security for small island communities may be compromised, particularly agriculture. More to come next month..!


Teacher Dani - Kelong Learning Centre


Teacher Dani is a third generation Kelong resident – a small island village off the southeast coast of Bintan with a population of approximately 1,000 people. Being a larger population, Kelong has primary, middle and senior schools on the island. The eldest of three children, Dani completed his schooling in Kelong before leaving the island for further study.

Dani’s father is a fisherman who regularly goes out to sea for fishing and to collect coconuts. The coconuts are brought back to Kelong for his mother to sell in the village as much of their island has been degraded due to unregulated mining. Having grown up the son of a fisherman, Dani dreamt of being a boat captain. However, there were no locally available training programs, and the costs of learning in Semarang, Java, were prohibitive. So, Dani switched to focus on his second passion – people, particularly his own community. Dani left Kelong to study sociology in Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Bintan, and was the only alumni of his school year to complete a tertiary education.


Because Dani had been away for much of the five years it took to complete the degree, he did not know about The Island Foundation’s Learning Centre in Kelong. So, when he posted on Facebook, “I want to be a teacher”, he was surprised to find out there was an opportunity available in his village with The Island Foundation.

Dani was hesitant though – he lacked confidence about his English language skills, but thankfully his passion for the community and for shaping better futures for the next generations spurred him on. Two years ago, Dani took on the role as Teacher at the Kelong Learning Centre.


What Dani feels as sometimes lacking in English language skills he makes up with unwavering commitment to his role, his community, and most importantly his students. Dani is dedicated to self-learning and is currently completing several courses with the program team, and works on his English independently.


Through his experiences with The Island Foundation, Dani is directly contributing to improving children’s futures and advocating for more sustainable development of his village. Dani is regularly invited to village meetings for his input, and many parents regard Dani as a great support to their children and the broader community.


Dani can’t wait for the Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted – the past few weeks of reflection, learning and evaluation have ignited new dreams for Dani, that include socio-environmental interventions to reduce pollution and improve waste management in his village and beyond. He also can’t wait to catch up with his friends over a coffee, to chat and plan for the future.


The Island Foundation is very grateful to have Dani working with us to deliver the program in Kelong – his commitment and determination are inspiring, not only for his students but for our team as well. We are excited to see what will unfold in Dani’s future!

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