The main purpose of my visit to Bangka
island is to visit RRI Sungailiat and to meet with the
2010 AIYEP participants, both Indonesian and Australian
participants. AIYEP is funded by the Australia Indonesia
Institute with co-operation from Cultural Affairs within
the Australia Embassy in Jakarta. AIYEP has been running
for over 25 years and has involved hundreds of young
people from both countries mixing together and learning
from each other - a real people to people activity.
My first day in Bangka was to visit RRI Sungailiat.
It took 50 minutes to go to Sungailiat from Pangkal
Pinang. I arrived at RRI half an hour earlier and met
with Pak Iswandi ,the director of RRI Sungailiat. He
took to the hall where about 20 high school students
were waiting. RRI organized a live interactive show
with Kang Guru for half an hour followed by a discussion.
Not only students were enthusiastic to know more about
KGI and the radio programs but also the teachers who
came that day.
The Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP)
this year was hosted in Bangka island. Just like the
previous programs the AIYEP involves 36 selected Indonesians
and Australians youth. The program commenced in October
2009 where the Indonesian group was given the opportunity
to go to Australia for 2 months. They spent three weeks
in the capital city of Perth and three weeks in the
country area of Margaret River.
Indonesian host province chosen was Bangka Belitung
(Babel). After their visit to Australia the Indonesian
group together with their Australian counterparts were
placed in two different villages in Bangka; Desa Air
Anyir and Desa Matras. They stayed in the village with
local families for 4 weeks and they also did a work
placement in Pangkal Pinang for 10 days. The two different
groups did a series of community development programs
in the village.
When I was there the participants have completed their
placement in the two villages and they were doing their
ten day work experience in Pangkal Pinang.
After my visit to RRI Sungailiat I met some of the AIYEP
participants who accompanied me to go to the Desa Air
Anyir and Matras to show KGI some of the works they
have done in the village. The car was pretty cramped
with Brent ( Adelaide), Andin (Medan), Gei (Manado),
Jessica (NSW), Jacinta (NSW) and Lenny (Papua) and myself.
Our first stop was in Matras village, it is located
on the coast of Sungailiat , in the north west of Bangka
island. It took us about one and a half hour to get
there by car. First Brent took us straight to the beach.
It was breathtaking! Then we went straight to the village
to see some of their projects.
AIYEP Projects in Matras village:
• Set up English classes for children, teenagers
• Built a community well for clean water
• Established a small business for the women (decorating
Jilbabs and then they facilitated a warung in which
they could sell the jIlbabs).
• Held a community festival on Matras beach.
Our next destination was Air Anyir village where Jacinta,
Lenny and Jessica were placed. Air Anyir village is
also located on the coast. Just like in Matras, first
we went to Air Anyir beach. Not for swimming, the participant
showed me the new playground they built for the local
community at the beach. Then we were heading to see
the community library the participants have set up as
AIYEP projects in Air Anyir village:
• established a small library with donated books
• made a public playground on the beach.
• taught English in the primary schools during
the school holidays.
• ran a number of teeth cleaning seminars to promote
dental hygiene in the schools.
• a beach clean up with the school children from
two primary schools in the village.
• Conducted a ‘Clean House’ competition
with the winners receiving garbage bins for their houses.
(The AIYEP received the donation of 40 garbage bins
to use in public areas)
We arrived back in Pangkal Pinang at 9 pm. Everybody
was feeling tired and hungry, so we stopped and had
dinner in town.
The next morning I visited SMP 2 Pangkal Pinang. I
particularly wanted to visit SMP2 because the students
have been very active corresponding with Kang Guru via
email. I came to the school with Jessica (one of the
AIYEP participants). We met with the English teacher
and there were about 50 students waiting for us in the
hall. We did some games and Question & Answer session.
I was impressed by the students’ proficiency in
English and their enthusiasm. SMP 2 Pangkal Pinang is
one of the RSBI schools where English is used as the
Our last visit was MTsN Pangkal Pinang where Lenny
and Shannon did their work placement. When we arrived,
there were about 300 students waiting in the hall. I
(together with the AIYEP participants) did some fun
games in English. After the meeting with the students
I was interviewed by the school journalists who were
really keen to know more about KGI.
That was the end of my visit to Bangka. I said goodbye
to the AIYEP participants 2010 and went straight to