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A group of three girls from British School Jakarta in Jakarta, Indonesia have been crowned the 2020 Changemakers Challenge winners for their project Restoring Borneo Wildlife. This entirely student-led initiative aims to promote environmental conservation in Borneo Kalimantan.  

The originality, impact and exceptional online presence of their project made it the stand out submission in this global competition with entries received from all over the world. 

What started out as a small social media awareness campaign in response to the wildfires in Borneo, grew into a collaboration with children all over Jakarta, and a long-term partnership with environmental NGO Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF).

“Winning this challenge means a great deal to us because it is an opportunity for us to share what we love with the world. Being Changemakers Challenge winners gave us the exposure to like-minded individuals and organisations worldwide who share the same passions and concerns for the environment as we do. 

“We had always planned to expand our initiative beyond Indonesia, so this award is a huge stepping stone to achieving that goal and playing our part in creating a more sustainable global environment”, the winners Gracelynne, Qanita and Sascha told us. 

During their trip to Borneo, the girls were able to visit BOSF’s orangutan conservation where they gained new insight into the devastating impacts that deforestation and palm oil industries have had on the local environment. 

They learned that indigenous communities in Kalimantan (Dayak community) are reliant upon forest wildlife for farming and cultural practices. Understanding the urgency of the situation, the project team hosted multiple fundraisers raising over 2,100 USD for BOSF’s wildfire relief program. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, Gracelynne, Qanita and Sascha also formed a club to encourage young children to conduct independent research and learn to spread awareness through creative means.

“One of our favorite moments on the project was working with younger children and hosting a storytelling competition in which students prepared presentations and monologues about deforestation and environmental conservation in Indonesia, said the 2020 Changemakers Challenge winners. 

“Through this competition, we hoped to foster the advocacy spirit within children and teach them how to present their research in creative yet meaningful ways”.

As part of their prize, the group of girls won an all expenses paid trip to one of our Global Student Conferences in either Singapore, Edinburgh or Boston. Here they will have the opportunity to present their project to like-minded young changemakers. Due to the uncertainty of how travel will evolve in the next year, the winners will be able to attend any Global Student Conference before 2023. 

We commend the team on a truly inspirational project! To find out more and to continue following their journey, you can follow them on Instagram here

We would also like to take a moment to thank all participants and share the shortlisted winners for the Changemakers Challenge 2020. Check out this YouTube playlist to discover more original student-led initiatives from Switzerland, Panama, India and Bahrain. 

In what has been a considerably challenging year for community Service projects, it is incredibly heartening to see these students making a hugely positive impact on their local communities and we congratulate them all.

Each year, CAS Trips aims to inspire students from around the world to participate in the Changemakers Challenge to invent or campaign for something that will make a positive impact in their community. 

Teachers – if you have a group of students who have already started an impressive collaborative project, or you feel a particular team could use some guidance, motivation and inspiration, please review the guidelines for entry into 2021’s competition here and encourage them to submit their CAS Project any time between now and December 20th 2021! 

Note: The Changemakers Challenge is currently undergoing a revamp, and will return as the CAS Project Challenge 2021 next month. Stay tuned for information on how to participate with a meaningful CAS Project this year, and win an all expenses trip for you and your friends.