RSS Entries ATOM Entries

Posts Tagged ‘Indonesia’

CERES Global: Travel with Purpose

Posted in Events, Seeking, Visions by ceres on May 2nd, 2012

3 May , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm
24 May , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

CERES Global is offering the opportunity for students and professionals interested in areas of environment, sustainability, community development, global equity, health and education to travel to Indonesia in July this year and contribute to local village societies by sharing skills in a range of community engagement areas.

To find out more attend and Information Session

Thursday 3rd May 6.30pm
Thursday 24th May 6.30pm

All information sessions are held in the CERES Eco house, Crn Roberts and Stewarts Streets, East Brunswick.

Alternatively, you can read more information below.

Background to CERES
CERES is an environmental community organisation in East Brunswick, Melbourne. It has become an icon of locally based education and action on environmental and social justice issues. CERES aims to create awareness and action on issues of environmental sustainability and social equity – engaging the community in the process and celebrating the diversity of cultures making up our local community and world.

Background to CERES Global
CERES Global is a project within CERES aiming to engage with the issue of global inequities and the well being of all people on the planet and the environments in which they live. CERES Global runs trips India, Indonesia and Arnhem Land with the aim to engage Australian people with the issues of developing countries whilst enjoying the richness of their cultures and the wisdoms they can add to our understanding of sustainable wellbeing. The trips are also valuable in establishing ongoing relationships and links between remote communities and the resources and skills of our part of the world.

Indonesia 1 – 17th July 2012
This cultural volunteer program offers interested people the opportunity to take part in a socio-environmental and cultural journey focused on mutual learning and exchange. The aim of the trip is to harness connections and build cross cultural friendships, share ideas, skills and experiences, and create understanding between people from diverse backgrounds. Travellers will experience daily village life and work alongside community organisations implementing fresh approaches to sustainability and community development.

Most of our time in Indonesia will be spent working alongside the organisation Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM)

“Yum’s community based projects aim to provide a better standard of living for those families living in poverty. They work in a number of sectors including water and sanitation, agriculture and microcredit for women. YUM aims to create a foundation for long-term stability and growth by promoting cooperation between members of each community and show communities what can be achieved when they work together.” 

How participants can get involved:

  • English teaching (kindergarten to adult)
  • English teacher training
  • Organic/permaculture farming/training
  • Community Library activities
  • Environmental/outdoor education
  • Art, drama, dance, sport, music classes
  • Waste Education (project development and implementation with staff)
  • Maternal Health
  • Recycling program
  • Possibly – researching the implementation of hydro electricity generation (they already have the site and plans, but no funding or feasibility study)
  • Organise activities and workshops with the local community (mostly children) or with the YUM staff
  • Undertaking maintenance around the grounds

CERES provides a fully supported program including pre-trip information sessions and post-trip debriefs. We organise all internal transport, accommodation, and food and facilitate projects with the groups we visit. We will even help you raise funds to get over there.

Please note that there is a cost to participate in this program of $2000 including all internal food, accommodation and transport. This does not include flights to and from Indonesia.

How to express interest

To get involved and for more information please contact Sophie with your area of interest:


Phone: 03 9389 0183

Or visit our website:

Sugar Palms for Biofuel and Ongoing Community Benefit

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on January 18th, 2012

(L) Masarang’s ‘Village Hub': a modular processing plant for sugar palm fuel.

Climate Spectator have posted a great article from china dialogue about the work of Willie Smits on the potential of sugar palms for the biofuel industry.  The growing environment of the sugar palm means that its cultivation can provide regular local work and that production can stay in the control of small co-operatives.  The sugar palm is a highly regarded plant in Indonesia and other areas of South-East Asia, with multiple benefits during its growing cycle and after harvest:

“We met in Hong Kong, where Smits had been talking to potential investors. He opened up his laptop to run one of many PowerPoint presentations that chart a 30-year voyage of discovery. When he married his Indonesian wife in 1980, Smits was surprised to learn that the expected dowry in North Sulawesi was six sugar palms. “I wondered why,” he told chinadialogue, “and I discovered that just six sugar palms could support a young family.”

After years of research, Smits today is a sugar palm evangelist, eager to list the tree’s virtues. “It doesn’t need pesticides or fertiliser, and once it starts producing, it has to be tapped twice a day, which gives employment to local people,” he explained, “so it creates 20 times more permanent jobs per hectare than oil palm. It is highly efficient in converting sunlight to energy and, because it cannot thrive in monoculture, it preserves biodiversity. It has very deep roots, so it never dries out, and it improves the soil by bringing nutrients up. It stores carbon very deep, and it only needs half the water of similar trees because of its waxy leaves. And, it produces 60 useful products, including a wood that is harder than oak.”

As if that were not enough, he continued, it survives fire and volcanic eruption, flood and salt water, can prevent landslides by stabilising slopes, and improves conditions for agriculture downstream. Perhaps most importantly for the global climate: one tree can produce enough ethanol each day to keep a car running year round.”

Read the full article by Isabel Hilton to find out more and check out Willie Smits’ website.