This video was produced by Eva, Madalief & Dinara. Dutch & Kazakh students aged 12. This was produced as part of an IB digital design project at the International School of London in Surrey.

The Design brief: design a video that communicates the Masarang message to a target age group. Either early years, primary school, secondary or adult.

These students chose to target the youngest age range of early years students. The message has been simplified as it is aimed at such a young age group with different language abilities. The designers ran screening sessions to test the success of their video with a series of questionnaires that the children filled in. The results of the survey showed that 90% of small children came away with a full understanding of the effects of palm oil and with a clear idea of how they could help! An astonishing success rate for any educational video. Their work was highly commended in the UK national prize “Can art change the world!”

Click here to read the article and watch the video.

The students also presented their work at Indonesia Kontempur at the prestigious SOAS university.

By Marc Smith

Posted by: Admin | May 9, 2017

Dr Willie Smits in Hong Kong

Dr. Willie Smits will be speaking in Hong Kong this week at a variety of events.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the two events written about below.
Please be aware that space is limited so please contact our website to ensure we
can arrange for a place at the event, if available.

There is no fee to attend either talk.

Tuesday May 9th Victoria Shanghai Academy, Aberdeen
Dr Willie Smits and Members of the School Community.
3.30pm drinks and snacks (palm oil free).
4pm-5pm Presentations
Title of Talk: A Journey in the Tropical Rainforest of Borneo

Please note the VSA is running a No Palm Oil Awareness Week from May 8th to May 12th.

Wednesday May 10th French International School, Blue Pool Road Campus, Happy Valley.

Posted by: Admin | May 3, 2017

Teacher Trip to Tembak

When is an Easter holiday not a holiday? When a team of six teachers from the Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA) spent their Easter holiday volunteering at the Sintang Orangutan Centre (SOC) projects in Kalimantan.

They taught at village schools, visited the rescued orangutans at the centres, collected curriculum materials for their school, distributed donated items and led a teachers workshop for local teachers from 10 village schools in the vicinity.

Not much of a holiday, but the team really made a great difference!

We are very grateful for the caring voluntary work by the teachers and the wonderful support from the VSA community.

Additional thanks to Gavin Coates, whose lovely book ‘The Last Nut’ proved so inspirational during the teacher workshop.

Adam Hill, one of the teachers who took part in the visit, has written a most interesting and informative blog about the trip.

We have included the link to this blog below:

Should other schools be interested in arranging a similar trip to the same project, or the Masarang projects in Sulawesi, please let us know.

Masarang HK is very grateful for the long-term support from Clearwater Bay Primary School.

The school’s annual Green Week is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the environment for CWBS community and for all of those who wonder what they can do to make a difference, in addition to raising much needed funds to support Tasikoki Education and Rescue Centre and the Sintang Orangutan Centre. The school community raised the amazing total of $12,160!
We are very grateful for the wonderful awareness raising and support from the CWBS community.
The Masarang HK team.


Eco warriors waiting for the book swap.


Green Week and Eco Warriors at Clearwater Bay Primary School

Each year at Clearwater Bay primary School in Hong Kong we have a Green Week to show our support for the environment and to enjoy some eco-friendly activities. Children from our Eco-warrior club help to set up and run the activities. We also raise money to support our friends at the Masarang Foundation. This year our activities included Meat free Monday, Fruity Friday, a book-trading event and a dress casual day, which raised $12,160 for Masarang HK. We were lucky that Adrienne could come in to school to speak at assembly to tell us about what the funds will be spent on.


Below are some quotes from the Eco-warriors:

‘We started the art activities because we wanted everyone to know that you can be creative with nature.’ Rou and Jasmine

‘We did a recycling activity because we wanted to inspire other people to recycle and make the world a better place.’ Henry, Anya and Fenella

‘On Monday we didn’t eat meat to cut down the use of resources to help the environment.’ Beth and Claudia

‘We had turn it off Tuesday to save power.’ Sadie

‘We did the book trade because we want people to enjoy books and not waste paper by buying new ones.’ Jivesh and Ishaan.

‘We dressed in green and blue to show our love for the earth and support for Masarang.’ Aashka

‘We raised over $12,000 for the Masarang Foundation and increased awareness of environmental issues.’ Angela

‘We held a healthy lunch competition to not just to have an impact on the Earth but to have an impact on ourselves.’ Ella

Not using packaging was also an important of Wednesday’s healthy lunch competition.’ Misha

Justine Taylor, CWBS Class Teacher and Masarang HK Supporter.

Posted by: Wisnu | April 14, 2017

Make A Difference

Wow! What a lot of children got to hear about the Masarang Foundation in one day.

On 13 January, ESF held their Year 6 ‘Agents of Change’ conference.   There   were  approximately   900   primary students and representation from over 20 NGOs.
All   the  students  showed  a   high level  of  engagement, asked   relevant   questions   and   offered   meaningful suggestions about the action they could then take after the conference.

The Keynote presentation to start the event was given by our very own Dr Merrin Pearse, who shared why he is keen to be M.A.D., which in this case refers to ‘Make A Difference’.   He   shared   his   passion   for   reconnecting people with nature and how Masarang HK helps him to do   that.   His   main   message   to   the   students   was   to explore   during   the   day   topics  they  are   passionate about,   not  what  their  friend  or  sibling  is   passionate about. Then after the keynote the students chose which topics they wanted to hear more about during three workshop sessions.

Our Chairwoman, Adrienne Watson, led the workshop session and shared with the students the work being done  in  Hong   Kong   and  Indonesia  by  the  Masarang Foundation. She also explained how the Masarang HK team   of   volunteers,   with   wonderful   support   from   a number of schools, is helping to make a difference to those projects.

Thank you to all those who chose to join this event and hope you continue to make a difference!

After our recent talk to students at the Victoria Shanghai Academy about the impact of plastic waste, especially on the four species of sea turtle nesting on the Masarang-supported Tulap Beach Project, the students have become even more active environmental ambassadors.

We hope they will inspire others to think about and reduce the waste they produce, especially the huge amount of plastic waste being thrown away.

Please Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover whenever possible!


How do people’s choices impact animals and their habitats?

On Tuesday, February 21st, Adrienne Watson from Masarang Hong Kong came to the VSA to speak to the Year 2 students. The Students have been learning about the choices that people make and how these choices impact various habitats. Ms. Watson spoke about the impact plastic has on our oceans, with special reference to the endangered sea turtles that the Masarang Foundation is trying to protect.  Ms. Watson discussed ways that we can minimize the use of plastic in our daily lives.  Since Ms. Watson’s talk, Year 2 students have become more aware about their daily choices and have begun taking action!

After the talk,  2A3 students reflected on what they had learnt and information they wanted to find out more about.

As result, 2A3 have become very concerned by the use of plastics in the school cafeteria and have started keeping a tally. Let’s see where this will take them…

Posted by: Wisnu | March 20, 2017

Challenge Yourself for Masarang Foundation Projects

Selfa at the Winter Elfstedentocht 2017

Whether you like protection of rainforest, protection of endangered species or empowerment of local communities, we have many projects that need help and support.

The Masarang HK volunteers are very grateful to all those who help and support us.
In 2017, we are aiming to raise more funds than ever before, so please let us know if you are able to help.
We would like to bring your attention to a wonderful year-long fund raising effort by Selfa. Please click on this link to find out more about Selfa’s amazing 12  months of challenges.
If you are could support her, please contact her/the Masarang nl team:
If you think you could take part in a fund raising effort here in Asia, please let us know:
Thank you.
Masarang HK Team
Posted by: Wisnu | March 15, 2017

Baby Jacques

Whilst in Sintang recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our wonderful friend, beloved priest to so many, as well as our Sintang Orangutan Centre (SOC) project partner, Father Jacques Maessen, we were thrilled that a baby orangutan rescue also took place. Needless to say, the lovely baby orangutan was renamed ‘Jacques’!

To celebrate his brother’s marvellous achievement, Father Jacques’ brother and sister-in-law also attended the event. Marcel and Margot Maessen then kindly offered to support the education and care of (baby) Jacques by the SOC team, until the day he can be released in a safe forest home. A truly wonderful day! 

Please find Willie’s article about Baby Jacques below.

We will be uploading an article about the anniversary event very soon!’


Baby Jacques

Today March 4th, 2017, a new baby orangutan arrived at the Sintang Orangutan Center and we named the little male “Jacques”. Why such a difficult name? Because today, exactly 50 years ago, Father Jacques Maessen was ordained as a priest and since then he has worked tirelessly as a missionary to improve the life of the Dayaks in the interior of Borneo. Father Jacques is also, together with Dudung, leading the day-to-day activities of the Sintang Orangutan Center.

Little Jacques was confiscated today from a businessman in Sintang. He has a car rental company and he claimed that he saw this little, probably 3-year-old orangutan, in a restaurant. When he showed interest in the little fellow he was immediately offered the opportunity to buy him. And he did… even though he was aware it was illegal. It was less than a month later that his youngest daughter contacted the Ministry of Forestry about the baby orangutan kept in the back of their house. Her mother supported her because she thought it was unhygienic and dangerous to have a little orangutan so near her own children.

Together with the Ministry of Forestry Nature Conservation Police unit, our Sintang Orangutan Center team immediately left to rescue the little orangutan. Her husband was very unhappy but grudgingly had to witness his wife signing the confiscation papers and telling the team to take Jacques away.

During the month with the family all little Jacques had been given to eat was boiled rice with sugar. From his dense hair and the oiliness and even the smell of his hair, I estimate that he indeed was taken from his mother at most two months ago. Most likely his mother was killed so that poachers could take away her baby. Possibly baby Jacques’ mother was eaten, like so many other orangutans.

Despite the poor diet, Jacques seems very healthy and active. Of course, he was very stressed when he was taken out of the cage, but once the SOC car arrived at the center and our best babysitter, Jessy, stretched out her arms to little Jacques, there was no hesitation and he immediately put his arms around her. With the many leaves and appropriate food awaiting him in his quarantine cage, Jacques immediately laughed, rolled and played around. But he regularly checked to make sure Jessy was still there waiting for him. She patiently spent many hours with him keeping him at ease until he fell asleep at dusk.

In a few weeks we will get back his blood results and the outcome of his TB test and then we will know how fast he can join the other orangutan babies in the socialization facility. Below are some pictures of the confiscation and Jacques’ arrival at the center.

The team just heard that an orangutan baby had been spotted and immediately got the VSA sponsored vehicle and transport cage ready for a confiscation/rescue mission.

The team arrived at the home that had been reported for having a small orangutan. He was found hidden behind the house. The owner was upset, but not his wife…

Here is Jacques locked up in a cage the family had built for a pair of cats. No leaves, no toys, just a barren tile floor.

The wife of the owner did not want the orangutan in her house and it was her daughter that reported the orangutan to the forestry police.

Doctor Vicktor and Bayu (from inside the cage) taking Jacques out of the cat cage in which he was kept. Rice is falling from his back as he had only been fed rice with sugar for a whole month.

The head of the forestry police, Dr. Victor with baby Jacques and the businessman that bought the baby orangutan. They are shaking hands to show that the ‘owner’ agrees to give up the orangutan and a photo is needed for the police file.

Doctor Victor, the Sintang Orangutan Center veterinarian, carrying Jacques to the transport cage. It is easy to see how scared the baby orangutan is.

Lips tight Jacques waits to see what will happen to him next. But soon the traumatic experiences will be over.

Arriving at the Sintang Orangutan Center, Dudung, the project manager, steps from the car to open the cage.

Here Jessy, the SOC keeper specialising in baby care, reaches to Jacques and already one can see the difference in his look. Not afraid, interested and curious.

As soon as he accepts Jessy’s arms, little Jacques feels much better and clings on to his new ‘mom’, as he would have done with his real mother in the jungle.

One of the forestry police saying goodbye to doctor Victor after the formal paperwork of handing the baby orangutan to the Sintang Orangutan Center.

Jacques immediately loved all the branches, leaves and fruit that was awaiting him in his quarantine cage. You can imagine that this would have been such a nice change from what he had experienced the previous month.

Little Jacques looking up at Jessy, the babysitter, who stayed with him until he finally fell asleep just when it turned dark. His long journey back to the jungle is about to begin.


VSA Supporting Nature Conservation

Sale of Masarang HK 2017-2018 Calendars

Throughout December and January, a total of 176 ‘2017-2018 Masarang Hk calendars’ were sold at Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA).

A warm thank you to Jeffrey Wai 4A5, Michelle Tsui 5A1, Harry Clark 5A3, Hilary Cheng 5A4, Aviva Wong 5A5, Cynthia Wang 5A6 & Bernice Chu 5A6, for their enthusiastic help in selling the calendars.





Annabella Deayton 3A2 and her sister, Eloisa 1A3, were also busy in December as they raised HKD 171 by selling toys and clothes they had outgrown and kindly donated this amount to Masarang.


First RAK Week at VSA

From Feb 13th to 17th, VSA students took part, for the first time, in The Random Acts of Kindness Week (#RAKWeek), which is a yearly worldwide event aimed at turning the world kinder. Throughout the week, students were encouraged to show their kindness and appreciation towards others through character building and special RAK activities led in the classroom.




Clothing donation

As part of RAK Week, Year 5 students were encouraged to bring clothing donations for the children of the Masarang’s village hub in Tembak, where six of VSA teachers will be going to over Easter. The clothing donation was led by the Student Council(SC). In total, the SC received over 4 full boxes of clothing. A fantastic effort that will be greatly appreciated by the Tembak community.


‘Dress the World’

To conclude this special week, on Friday Feb 17th, VSA Primary students and teachers wore clothing and/or accessories from around the world to show their openness to others and different cultures. They were also encouraged to bring a small donation of $10 to support Masarang. In total, HKD 6170 was raised.

‘Dress the World’ was an initiated action by Christine Ren and Anita Tse from 4A7. In this photo, Christine and Anita, helped by Faith from the same class, are counting the money collected.

On Feb 21th, as Ms. Adrienne Watson, President of Masarang HK was visiting VSA, Christine and Anita proudly announced the amount fundraised at the event of the ‘Dress the World’.  Anita and Christine were warmly congratulated by Ms. Watson for their initiative and support to Masarang.

On Saturday March 4th, 2017, Adrienne Watson, chairperson of Masarang Hong Kong handed over a donation in cash of 15.000 HKD or 24.750.000 Indonesian Rupiah. The money was raised from the sale of the Masarang Hong Kong calendar, using many pictures of the orangutans at the Sintang Orangutan Center. The calendar was produced by Adrienne and supported by Anna Conley and Olof Jonnerstig, Ross Burrough, Alexandra Vosmaer, Merrin Pearse and others. The donation will be used to extend the support that had already been provided to the medical team of the center.

The money was received by Father Jacques Maessen and Dudung Pakpahan, managers of the Sintang Orangutan Center. In the picture from left to right: Doctor Victor, Paramedic Rizal, Adrienne Watson, Father Jacques, Hilda, Joan, Dudung, Adang, Jessie, Nurdiana and sitting Willie Smits and Bujang.

A big thank you to all those who supported the calendar sale.

Willie Smits

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