The Indonesian Environmentalist Using Fairytales to Educate on Nature

Samsudin hopes that the children he meets through his travelling workshop will 'become heroes for their environment.'

A 50-year-old Indonesian environment and mangrove activist is travelling through his local villages teaching school children about coastal erosion and conservation using “dongeng keliling” which means fairy tales in Bahasa Indonesia.

Samsudin, who was previously a school teacher himself, wears a rhino hat and uses puppets to illustrate issues that impact the area, and encourages the children to participate in the stories – pretending to be mangrove trees standing up to the strong sea waves to defend Indonesia’s coast.

Speaking to Reuters, Samsudin said: “When I decided to make this travelling fairy tale, it was my hope that the children I meet could become heroes for their environment, heroes for saving Indonesian rare animals, Indonesian forests and preserving mangroves in our country.”

“One of the functions of mangroves is that it can act as a barrier to the strong waves from the ocean when it grows up, so waves will not destroy the land, as there can be a lot of damage on land caused by those big waves.”

The world certainly needs more Samsudins!

Posted by Claire Edwards 12 April 2021

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