A Visit From Gießen University In August 2015, 18 German students, accompanied by their Professor, visited Project Child. These students were studying education with a focus on geography, and their visit to Sekolah Sungai – the River School – was an integral case study on how geography and poverty can impact learning.
During the visit, Professor Ulrich Scholz gave a general lecture on development at Gadjah Mada University for the Project Child volunteers, his students, and UGM students from the Geography Department. This lecture outlined why development is so important, and how geography plays a huge role in a society’s ability to develop.
After the lecture, the 18 German students came to Kricak Kidul and visited the Sekolah Sungai. These students met with the children there and kindly generously donated a lunch to all of the children and team at Project Child.
Finally, Project Child’s Director, Aya, gave a lecture on social work and how any professional skill set can aid underserved communities. She discussed her specialization in coastal and riverside communities, which are often the poorest geographic areas in both rural and urban contexts. Her research particularly pertained to ‘sea gypsies,’ traditionally nomadic peoples in Sulawesi who were forced into a sedentary lifestyle by a decrease in available land, and thus built houses on the sea. Their access to drinking water, sanitation, and education were extremely low. Development typically focuses on these lower-rungs of economic development, and any professional skill set can be beneficial in these communities, particularly those skills sets which pertain to education and teaching.
Hopefully, this visit by Gießen University will help these German students develop their understanding of how geography and education correlates with alleviating poverty. Project Child thanks Professor Ulrich Scholz for his lecture, and for his students visit to Sekolah Sungai and Project Child Indonesia, we hope it will be beneficial to his students education.