Dear Kakak Bintang, It has been a while since we took you on our last trip to explore some region in Indonesia, hasn’t it? This time we will take you on a journey to find education warriors from all over Indonesia. Last year, we received a number of exciting applications from Area Coordinator candidates around Indonesia who are determined for their areas to be considered among the newly open areas of Hoshizora Foundation. We analyzed those areas by its geographical and demographical aspects, as well as its access and challenges to education. We have carefully reviewed all applications and are very happy to announce that we have selected new Area Coordinators who will be our proud partners! First stop, we will take you on our journey to the east of Indonesia with Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud. Together they will take you on a trip to Kei Islands, Southeast Maluku to meet our new Area Coordinators and local people. Are you excited to hear how it went? Let’s check it out! Kei Islands are a group of islands in the southeastern part of Maluku province with a total of 112 islands, with 3 large islands, consisting of Kei Kecil, Kei Besar and Dullah Island. Each of them has a unique point of interest! Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud landed at Karel Sadsuitubun airport located in Ibra Village and traveled 17 kilometers using a small shuttle bus through winding and seaside roads to Tual City. Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud continued their trip to Ohoi Loon (ohoi= village) and were warmly welcomed by Respected community leaders, teachers, and students gathered in village hall to get to know more about Hoshizora Foundation. At Ohoi Loon we met Bu Wulan as our new Area Coordinators who is in charge in the Kei Kecil area including Loon and Kelanit village. The team gathered further information regarding the geographical, topographical, sociological conditions of the regions, and last but not least, the educational state in the village. Fishing and farming are the two predominantly occupations for the people in Kei Islands. Agricultural products are varied such as cassava or enbal, their rice substitute, corn, sweet potato, banana, coconut, and sago. Kei Islands are also very rich in marine products. Therefore, the nutrition of children in Kei is very fulfilling because of the abundant natural resources. he locals also welcomed Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud to try Kei’s local delicacy. One of the most popular traditional foods from Southeast Maluku is enbal. Enbal is a type of cassava which is poisonous if it’s not processed well. The locals eat enbal with fish and lat (sea grapes). How scrumptious do they look! One of the interesting things in these islands is the community still adhered to the customary law of Larvul Ngabal which regulates every aspect of the Kei people’s life. In addition, The family system and kinship relations are very important for Kei society. In Kei Island, you will also find “Sasi Tradition” which is a local wisdom and part of the customary law of Kei society that prohibits community members from taking natural resources in a particular area over a period of time. The purpose of this tradition is to retain natural resources and as a way to respect the earth. Next on their adventure, Kak Mahfud and Kak Fahmi visited Elaar village and were accompanied by Bu Syamsia,our Area Coordinators for the East Kei Kecil area. Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud met the community leaders in the village and headmaster of SMP 2 Kei Kecil to collect more information about the region. Much to their surprise, the educational condition in the Kei islands is thriving! The locals demonstrate an awareness of the importance of education, hence parents in the area send their children to, at least, high school. Since high school is only available at Tual City, children from Kei Besar will eventually depart from the island to pursue their studies and temporarily leave their families. Their effort in pursuing education is inspiring indeed! Access to public transportation is uneasy and the children in Kei are pushed to walk to go to school. For most children, they have to walk about 2 kilometers to school, even when it rains. Nevertheless, they are still doing it with a joyful heart! Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud continued to explore Kei Island by going to Kei Besar using a motorboat. Accompanied by Bu Syamsiah, it took them about 1 hour from Mastur Baru port at Elaar village to Ngafan village in Kei Besar. After arriving at Kei Besar, they took a stroll around the Ngafan and Sungai villages. Compared to Kei Kecil, the island of Kei Besar is rather isolated and represents a model of an even more remarkable traditional practice. For example, there is still limited electricity in the Ngafan Village because the State Electrical Company (PLN) has just supplied the electricity to the village in 2021. After they finish school, the children in Kei Island love to play on the beach. Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahmud got to experience a day in their life during the visit. They took Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud to Bair island by boat. Bair Island promises enchanting towering limestone cliffs, crystal clear water, calm sea and mangrove vegetation alongside powder-soft beaches. They then took Kak Fahmi and Kak Mahfud to a hidden paradise, the Ngurbloat Beach. The beach is magnificent, with the fine sand and aqua-blue water and little did they know, National Geographic dubs Ngurbloat Beach as “the softest beach sands in Asia. Look how clear the water is! We are extremely honored to go on this journey and experience meeting the local people of Kei Islands, to meet and partner with Bu Wulan and Bu Syamsiah in collaborating to improve education for the children in the Kei Islands. Let’s continue to support Ibu Wulan and Ibu Syamsiah in their effort for better education in their region! Together, we will continue to spread light and positivity towards a better future. For Indonesia and for the world. Are you excited to explore another local hidden gem with Hoshizora? Watch this space for our next story to find education warriors in Indonesia! Let’s Go on a Virtual Tour with Hoshizora: Kei Island, Maluku!