For more than 10 years since I was a kid, my family and I used to move to different houses, because of not having a permanent residence. We have lived in a variety of residential environments: on top of a mountain, by the river, in the middle of a city, by the beach, and now live around rice fields and farms. Having this experience living in various landscapes, I was faced with various environmental conditions, both good and bad ones. This journey had grown my heartfelt love to nature, and since 2015, I try to dive-deep on the environmental issues.
Gajahlah Kebersihan is an environmental education project which based in Lampung, Indonesia, specifically focuses on marine debris and waste management issue. It was initiated in October 2017 by 4 co-founders from Lampung, Banten, and South Sumatera, who met through a nation-wide environmental event called Indonesian Youth Marine Debris Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The name - Gajahlah Kebersihan - is actually derived from the word 'Jagalah Kebersihan' in the Indonesian language which means 'Keep the environment clean', but we modified it and added the word 'Gajah' or elephant, so it formed 'Gajahlah Kebersihan' to make people easily identify that this project is running in Lampung, which is known for being the home of Sumatran elephant.
So our project is mostly revolving in environmental education activities, such as workshops in restaurants and cafés, environmental summit, online seminars, and institutional roadshows.
Our goal is to educate up to 10.000 people about marine debris and waste management issue in 2020 to raise their awareness, and until now we have educated more than 7.000 people throughout these 2 years, and is still counting.
Gajahlah Kebersihan was at first founded as a project, which we thought will only last within a year after being initiated. But it turns out it becomes a youth community that still keeps working on until now, with more than 150 volunteers spread all over Indonesia. That big enthusiasm of the youth not only from Lampung but also outside Lampung to help us is already a big achievement for us.
Through these 2 years, we also have educated more than 7.000 people, which is a big number for us. Other than that, we successfully held Lampung Youth Marine Debris Summit at early this year, a four-day program that empowers 30 passionate Lampung youths to become leaders in waste management project, through intensive environmental education in the class filled with various speakers expertise in environmental sustainability, recycling activities, coastal cleanup, also project design-making and presentation.
We are now willing to focus in Lampung because there are many waste-management-related problems happening here and the youth initiation to tackle this issue in Lampung has not been significantly seen, which makes us be the pioneer here in Lampung. For us, this is a responsibility as Lampung youths to solve the waste problem in Lampung by creating a notable solution for this particular issue. But it does not rule out that we want to work in other areas since the people's enthusiasm towards our work is actually huge.
Our project right now is conducted through bottom-up strategy, in which we want to raise people's awareness towards waste management issue. Then by collecting people's voices, we will approach the government in making a strategic policy that hopefully will benefit the environment.
But, aside from that, we are still working together with the government in some of our activities. Thus, this collaboration will become stronger in the future by involving one another in the policy-making that support environmental sustainability.
As a youth and environmentalist, I hope many people especially in Indonesia become more aware of the environmental issues that degrades our ecological system, simply by supporting environmental movement and in terms of waste issue, start implementing zero waste lifestyle by refusing to use the single-use products and choosing reusables products.
For the youths who hold the future, I hope to see bigger a movement towards environmental sustainability, so that we can share the value of it to the people around us.
My biggest hope is that people can put environmental sustainability on top priority, because every single activity that we do has an impact to the earth. This is a very simple sign of our love and gratitude for the nature that has given us so much for life.
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Web : www.gajahlahkebersihan.com