After an empty gesture last Friday (because finally the school was closed), it is with enthusiasm that Agathe, scientific officer of the NGO, and Eléa, trainee in third year of License, are hitting the road to the Barangay Langogan on Monday 25 March 2019, for an educational intervention with pupils of Bukana, the main village of the Barangay. After a short break in the host family to pick up Melissa, a Filipino friend who greatly contributes to the interventions in Langogan, especially as a translator, they take the direction of the elementary school. There, students from 6th grade are making a repetition of the ceremony of graduation, but in a few minutes, they will be in the hands of our three interveners. Wise and disciplined, the children put themselves in a semicircle around Melissa and Agathe to watch a short documentary on the binturong. It is originally in French, but Agathe and Melissa have worked on a translation in Tagalog, that Melissa is reading to them as the images are scrolling. The children discover with excitement the binturong: although it is an animal that lives in the forests right next to their houses, they have never seen it! Once the film finished, everyone returns to its place and there starts the difficult time: Agathe distributes them pencils and paper so they have to write four sentences -in the language of their choice- about the binturong. Two Tagalog posters have also been exhibited in order to help them in this arduous task, because the final goal is much more important than a simple drafting… On May, 4th the Bearcat day will take place in Langogan and Agathe would like to gather the children’s writings to make a small song dedicated to the binturong that they could sing all together on this occasion. Huge program!
In the meantime, the students have done their homework very well, and some even have written everything in English. Before releasing them in the playground, Agathe launches a small quiz “Tama o Mali?”-“true or false?” to see what the pupils have retained of the lesson. Children are willing to play, shouting in unison the answer (good most often, victory!) and it is full of laughter and good humor that this short intervention in Langogan’s elementary school ends.
Many thanks to the school of Bukana and its Director who authorized us to come and do this intervention, and to Melissa for her help and involvement in ABConservation’s outreach activities.