After our 1st blissful encounter with Irman Meilandi who won Seacology Award 2011 on transforming critical lands in a village of Mandala Mekar in Tasikmalaya-West Java Province into Forest, and fortunately had precious 3 hours discussion session with him, we, Prabuhis, decided to visit the winning village and learn on the spot on how to "Create Forest" from him and his gank.
So we managed 30 young scouts with 4 supervising adults scouts to visit the Village of Mandala Mekar on Friday, August 16th 2013. As expected, we met "The Kuwu" or Chief of the Village; Yana Noviadi, and soon absorbed his wonderful concept of engaging all people in his village to be Forest Guards. He shared a very inspiring success story about how Irman Meilandi as one of their villager and him fight on educating other villagers not to sell their woods/trees and abandon their forest once it became tree-less, because it's not only made them run out of fountains and dry the land, it's also drove the productive villagers out of the village to find jobs in town. Pak Lurah Yana dan Kang Irman (that's how they call him) successfully assure the people to hand in hand protect their forest to maintain their fresh water fountain, and in 3 years of hardworks the village now hold large parts productive forest, more than 7 waterfalls, and more to it; Kang Irman establish a very good Information & Communication Technology System for the villagers to keep them well informed.
Those precious sharings are not our only benefits, the warm welcome of the villager encourage us to do more. So our troop decided to hold a good ceremony of Our Independence Day on the next day. We asked local troop to join us in creating a wonderful ceremony and games. We also managed to read some stories for toddlers in that village and had challenging but blissful hiking to top of their mountain of Pasir Bentang to see all the greenies from above. After overwhelming Independence Day Ceremony with hundreds of villagers, kids and scouts, we went tracking to one of their fountain and spontaneusly made a poetry slam session on the rock of their beautiful Cinunjang Waterfall.
Those are long lasting sweet enlightening memories we had in Village of Mandala Mekar. We'll read about this inspiring village to other villagers out there; to share this dream come true success story so they can follow this good Earth-Loving paths.