We organized a 3D2N programme for the students of People-To-People-International (PTPI) from Sri KDU Secondary School in conjunction with their annual Global Youth Service Day. Our activities included a gotong-royong (community service) and a Turtle Awareness Programme, and it was facilitated by two teachers, Ms. Chuah and Mr. Davey.
The PTPI group arrived at the Turtle Sanctuary in Cherating on Friday afternoon. After a quick lunch, we visited the Turtle Information Center, which has on display, numerous turtle-related posters and taxidermied specimens. Pelf gave a short briefing on the differences between sea turtles, river terrapins and tortoises; the threats that these turtles face; and some of the conservation initiatives currently being undertaken by various agencies in Malaysia. The students were also taught how to differentiate a green and a hawksbill turtle; as well as checked out some of the turtles on display in the ponds in the center.
We left the Turtle Sanctuary for Kampung Pasir Gajah, and immediately started the community project. We were all split into two smaller groups — one group was in charge of painting a low-cost house and planting a few potted plants by the roadside, while the other group assisted in the construction of a shelter for kindergartners while they wait for their parents after school.
After dinner, we proceeded to Pantai Teluk Mak Nik (Monica Bay) for turtle-watching. Pelf gave another short briefing on the life cycle and nesting process of a sea turtle. The green turtle that we were lucky enough to see laid a total of 113 eggs!
The next day, we conducted a Turtle Awareness Programme with the students of S.M.K. Ayer Puteh. PTPI students prepared various team-building games and activities such as making turtle collages, turtle origami and info boards. All the students had a great time socializing with and learning from each other :) In the evening, we went on a fireflies-watching trip in Sg. Cherating. Hafiz, the owner of Hafiz’s Cherating Activities briefed the students about the life cycle of a firefly; the different types of fireflies; and reminded everybody to not take flash photography so as to not disturb the fireflies.
On the final day of the programme, we proceeded to Kg. Pasir Gajah again, this time to learn about the River Terrapin Research and Conservation Project carried out by TCS. The students learned to marked the terrapins using a unique numbering system, as well as weigh and measure the terrapins. They were also shown a sample of the terrapin eggs that were undergoing incubation in the hatchery.
After being served some light refreshments, the PTPI group returned to their school.
The following photos (all taken by Wei Li) show the activities that took place during the 3D2N annual Global Youth Service Day programme. We thank Ms. Chuah and Mr. Davey for initiating the trip and facilitating most of the activities, the Kg. Pasir Gajah Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK Kg. Pasir Gajah), the Headmaster and teachers from S.M.K. Ayer Puteh, and fellow TCS representatives for a meaningful activity.