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Christmas with Lembeh Foundation

This Christmas the Lembeh Foundation has been busy!! North Sulawesi is the largest Christian Province in Indonesia and Christmas is taken very seriously here. Our Christmas preparations began in our local village of Pintu Kota Kecil on Lembeh Island when we started making sustainable Christmas decorations. The villagers collected plastic bottle caps (snowman decoration above), Bintang beer bottle caps (Christmas Bintang wreath decoration) and used coffee machine capsules (Christmas tree bells, below right).

Sustainable Christmas decorations
Beautiful and sustainable Christmas decorations made from waste items

One of the carpenters from Lembeh Resort even made a sustainable Christmas tree for his family home (above left). Christmas is a time when plastic waste is extremely high and it’s been wonderful to see that a village can have beautiful decorations without the need for store-bought plastic decorations – which use large amounts of single-use plastics in their packaging too.

Bitung less plastic
Lembeh Foundation members Kathrin Heussner, Roy Pelealu and Julia Sangi in Bitung

Christmas in North Sulawesi is a time of giving and in the last week our Lembeh Foundation team headed over to the harbor town of Bitung to visit an orphanage and share a little Christmas cheer with the orphanage's 50 children. The children were all given gift bags which included donated items and items bought using funds donated to the Lembeh Foundation.

Children at the Children of Hope orphanage receiving their gift bags

Gift bags included toothbrushes, reusable water bottles, crayons, and other stationery items, and because it’s Christmas, some chocolate too! The children were thrilled with their gifts and it was a wonderful experience to share Christmas with them. We were even treated to the children singing the song "throw your rubbish in the bin.." for us!

Thank you to everyone who has donated and made these Christmas gift bags possible

Back on Lembeh Island, as part of a Lembeh Foundation Green Library lesson, the children from Pintu Kota Kecil were asked to create pictures that represented what they have learned so far about their natural environment on Lembeh, sustainability, and conservation. Their amazing drawings were displayed in Lembeh Resort for guests to vote on and the 10 images with the most votes were uploaded to our FaceBook page for online voting.

A big thank you to everyone who voted! The winning three artists (images below) received prizes including crayons and stationery – we are already looking forward to seeing their next creations. Prizes were funded entirely through Lembeh Foundation donations – thank you!

Drawing competition winners with Helen Pananggung & Kathrin Heussner

These are just a few of the activities that have been taking place recently, but the Lembeh Foundation is constantly in action. Our local villages clean their beach every weekend and collected plastics and household waste plastic are taken to the Lembeh Foundation Trash Bank in exchange for cash. Our Green Library Learning Center has given the village of Pintu Kota Kecil a much needed teaching space for Green Library lessons and it’s also utilized by the village church Sunday School.

When we look back over the last 12 months we can’t help but feel a huge sense of pride over what’s been accomplished in such a short amount of time and we are looking forward to building even brighter, cleaner and more sustainable futures on Lembeh Island in 2020!

Drawing competition
The winning three images in the drawing competition

Thank you to everyone who has donated this year, donations enable us to keep moving forward and are very much appreciated. Next year we’d like to purchase plastic shredding and compacting machines so that we can become more efficient and cost effective in our Trash Bank. If you’d like to support us by making a donation, please click here for more information or contact us by email on:

Donors will be sent a donation form, and once a donation is received by Lembeh Foundation, you will be sent a tax form for claiming tax relief.

Thank you and we wish you all a prosperous 2020!


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