Posted by: masaranghk | December 8, 2015

Great Support from West Island School

Donating Wonderful Wish List Items


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Making a Great Video of the Tasikoki Experience

By student Maddie Bowers

If you are wondering what fun learning a visit to Tasikoki will be like then check out this video made by a student from West Island School.










Writing about the WIS Volunteer Experience at Tasikoki 

By student Hanna Lewis

The horizons week trip to the Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre was new to West Island this year and was an extremely memorable experience, despite initially being nervous and apprehensive about the trip – mostly due to Mr Head’s promises of poo shovelling and outdoor showers. The week turned out to be an amazing opportunity to learn about sustainability and conservation, and on top of the educational value of the trip, we were challenged and rewarded in many ways. Every day our leaders had new and interesting activities planned, which meant that our trip, although tiring, was filled to the brim with laughter and unforgettable moments.

After the strenuous journey from Hong Kong to Northern Sulawesi, we were thrown into the vigorous routine of the long-term volunteers. Their daily jobs include; catching grasshoppers and picking mangos to use as food for the primates, digging spaces for new enclosures, cleaning the volcanic-sand beaches of the island and creating enrichments. Authentically recreating wild animals’ foraging habits is a crucial aspect of the rehabilitation programme for illegally trafficked animals at Tasikoki and is done through imaginative methods of feeding. Throughout the week, we made many different enrichments, such as bird feeders, sap holders and bamboo seed shakers, in order to stimulate the animals’ natural behaviour. As a collective group we brought over 40 bags of bird seed, cat food, marmite – among many other valued items – as a much appreciated and record breaking donation to the rescue centre and its animals.

During our week, we also went snorkelling where we able to observe first-hand the greatest diversity of corals and reef fish in the world. As well as being surrounded by beautiful scenery and exotic animals – such as sea snakes, starfish and turtles – we got to interact with local students, who acted as our snorkelling guides. By the end of our week, we had communicated and cooperated with many different groups of people, from skilled locals showing us how they harvest a variety of raw materials from the forests to students our own age and much younger. One of the most enjoyable and rewarding elements of the trip was seeing and experiencing the happiness that our donations and our presence created. Wherever we went, we were welcomed by friendly and excited people, which made our trip all the more gratifying.

As well as all the physical activities, we learnt about the terrible deforestation in Indonesia and unsustainable crisis resulting from Oil Palm plantations. However, we also learnt about the remarkable Sugar Palm tree which has over 60 products that can be harvested including its sugary sap that can be converted into biofuel (ethanol) and could represent the next big global alternative energy source. Whilst at Tasikoki, the founder of Masarang Willie Smit, arrived unexpectedly and delivered an inspiring speech about his local and global vision for protecting the Indonesian forests and animals through “empowering local people” and the Sugar Palm. Directly after talking to us, he headed to the airport in order to attend the Cop21 meeting in Paris as a keynote speaker to the United Nations about his solution for saving the Indonesian forests and the idea of spreading this concept to the rest of the world’s tropical regions.

Lastly, the whole group would like to give a special thank you to Mr Head and Mrs Haworth for leading this incredible and unforgettable Horizons Week Trip to Masarang, Indonesia.


  1. The atmosphere of care and consideration is one of the most tangible aspects of life at West Island School. The staff care about their students and go that extra mile to support them. It is a school focused on student achievement, but it also has a strong desire to develop well-rounded individuals.

    • Thank you for taking time to let us know your thoughts.

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