A Perfect Foundation established the first Education and Conservation Centre in the Mentawai Islands in 2015. Located in the small coastal village of Mapadeget in North Sipora, we have been working together with local communities and its members to help reduce plastic waste ever since.
North Sipora covers an area of 383km2, 192km2 of which is still forested. It supports a population of just over 12,000, the most populated region in the Mentawai Islands, living in a total of 29 villages. The area’s infrastructure is improving with paved roads, electricity, a large public health Centre, a regular fast ferry passenger service from the mainland, regular goods ferries, internet and phone connectivity as well as 8 established resorts.
There is currently no plastic waste management system in place in North Sipora and the majority of households burn their plastic waste. Plastic waste that isn’t burnt is dumped and often finds its way into rivers or the ocean, especially after heavy rains or a storm. At its current population, North Sipora has a potential to produce 2.5 tons of rubbish a day, 60% of which is recyclable.
Education on the correct disposal of plastic waste is extremely limited, littering of the environment is a standard practise and continues on unchecked. There are 36 public and private schools in North Sipora, from Pre-school to Secondary age. On occasions, these schools have been seen to carry out clean-ups in their area however the resulting collection of waste is either burnt or dumped.
Single use plastics, such as plastic bags, drinking water cups, straws, bottles, are used in abundance throughout the community. A local shop has reported using 400kg of plastic bags per month, costing over 10 million rupiah.
From our Centre in Mapadegat, we run various programmes to highlight the growing problem of plastic waste. Activities include beach cleans, art competitions, cinema events, school workshops, social media campaigns and creating stands at local festivals. We use the English classes that are offered at our Centre to promote sustainable solutions to waste management as well as building a strong network of connections with key players in the community.
We have now expanded our environmental program to include a recycling collection depot for local businesses as well as sourced a reliable route back to the mainland to the Recycling Centre.
It costs approximately AUD$5,000 a month to operate the Mentawai Education and Conservation Centre which includes operational wages and expenses and includes our English and Conservation Programs. Our founding company, The Perfect Wave provides the overhead and administrative costs of our organisation, ensuring that 100% of all donations are used to sustain and grow our programs based on the needs of the local community.
As a donor, you initiate a partnership with our staff and volunteers helping the local Mentawai children create a better and more sustainable future for themselves and their families! By doing so, you are also developing a relationship with the children and communities involved with the Centre offering long term rewarding experiences available for you or your business colleagues.