School of The Arts supporting buffer zone programme.

A small village situated near to the border of the famous Gunung Leuser National Park is taking unconventional step to conserve and protect the biodiversity of the forest.

With the help of 38 students and teachers from SOTA Singapore, they planted native fruit trees along the buffer zone between the forest and farmland.

The head of the coordinator, Darma Pinem, called Nature For Change (NFC) shared that he has seen the gradual destruction of the forest. Not only the size of the forest is shrinking but animals and people conflicts are on the rise. He believes that with the support of the farmland’s owners, the conflict could be minimised if not eliminated and also the expansion range of the animals extended.

For 10 days, the participants learnt
basic techniques of plant propagation from Ahmad Azahari or Ari as his best known. They also helped to build nursery and permaculture garden.
Fruit trees like durian, jengkol and petai were planted on a farmland owned by a villager. He was interested to join in the effort as he felt that it was a noble and sincere effort by the foreignors who are willing to come to village and help the forest. It will also benefit the village in the long run.

The students were happy to visit the village and joined in this project. They enjoyed going back to basic. The friendships that were forged between the community and the students were evident as they performed with the village kids to an astounding audiences, mainly the parents of the village children.

They hope to come back again and continue with their work.

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