Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: Human Force Camp December 2017

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: the Human Force Camp last December

The 10 day camp experience began with a Dayak welcome to country ritual and blessing for the group, an orientation to the local dayak and Indonesian culture and customs, an introduction to permaculture, as well as YPK’s programs and the human force camp concept.

Last December we hosted the Human Force Volunteer camp which attracted one of the largest Human Force groups, 14 participants (9 international & 5 local) and was reported to be one of the most successful camps to date. Some of the  local participants were given a scholarship to attend upon request of YPK, in order to build the capacity of local youth in the region. This also helped to create a unique cross cultural camp experience for all participants involved. The international camp participants came from France, Britain, and Canada ages ranging from 15 to 51 years old.

The Human Force volunteer tasks focused mainly on implementing the BCU school kitchen garden project. The tasks of the camp were implementing the school kitchen garden utilising sustainable land management strategies, designing and painting the school mural as well as documenting the whole process. The group learnt how to measure contours using a hand made A frame, they measured contours on the school garden, made garden beds on contours, swales, raised layered garden beds, compost, they learnt about companion planting and utilising pioneering nitrogen fixing plants.

One of the camp days focused on working with the BCU school students  and another day combined the community Permaculture Learning Day with the Human Force camp team, working on the school garden together as a community. Towards the end of the camp the HFC team ran sport, music and dance workshops with over 50 children from the local Panti Asuhan Agape orphanage. They international HFC group also learnt a local dayak mythical story and performed this for the orphanage youth on one occasion (see video footage: Human Force performs traditional folklore story of ‘Tangkiling’ for orphanage children )

The Human Force team worked incredibly hard in very hot tropical conditions and this hard work was offset with cultural activities such as a conservation trip to the one million tree project site, a dayak klotok (motorised canoe) ride as well as a larger boat ride, hiking up the Bukit Banama hill at sunrise, learning dayak cane weaving and learning and performing dayak dance. An open community cultural celebration for the Human Force camp marked the end of an amazing 10 day experience, held at the YPK Sukamulya site.

Feedback from the HFC participants highlighted that this was an amazing experience for everyone involved. This is evident through witnessing the group cohesion and teamwork, the verbal daily feedback sessions during the camp and witnessing the ongoing impact via social media of the camp as the participants continue to share what they have learnt with their local communities and advocate for sustainable pathways to land management and conservation in their own communities. For a small grassroots organisation like YPK, the impact of the camp was extremely valuable. As YPK operates on a very limited budget, having a group of motivated volunteers enabled a great amount of work to be done in a very short amount of time.

Human Force Camp December 2016

So successful was this camp, that we will run another one mid to late July 2017. Deadline to register is June 10 so find out more via the following link: Human Force Camp 17-30 July 2017