It has been some time since we brought you a new Orangutan Warrior profile. This time, we’d like to introduce you to one of the inspiring women who has been a part of our Orangutan Habitat Rehabilitation (RHO) programme in East Kalimantan since 2016. Nur Syamsiah is a RHO Community Development Coordinator who works following a busy, activity-packed schedule. While she doesn’t work directly with orangutans, her role significantly impacts orangutan reintroduction programmes in Kalimantan.
“Being involved in orangutan conservation, I feel a sense of accomplishment. My role might be minor, but I know not everyone has the opportunity to gain the experiences that I have,” Nur says.
Her work focuses on community development, education, health, and alternative incomes for the Wehea Dayak community. She pays weekly visits to the villages supported by the RHO programme in the Muara Wahau sub-district of East Kutai Regency to assist local communities with waste-bank training activities. In addition, Nur collaborates with medical and educational institutions and contributes to cultural promotion activities.
She highlights several exciting experiences in her interactions with these local communities. For example, she was entrusted to deliver lessons on environmental education. This was daunting for her: “Because my educational background is not in teaching, I’ve had to learn a lot – and fast. Including how to deal with student misbehaving and their different personalities.”
Nur initially had reservations about the job, as she felt she had limited experience. However, after careful consideration and consultation with some of her colleagues, she decided to give it a go.
She explains that working with the community is very challenging at times, so much so that she once considered resigning: “However, I came to the conclusion that learning how to work with different groups of people takes time, maybe more than a year or two.” Thus, she remained in her position and is still working hard today.
Nur hopes that the RHO programme and the Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation continue leading the way in orangutan conservation and returning as many orangutans as possible to their natural environment. Furthermore, she wishes that the RHO programme continues to assist local people in discovering alternative incomes that do not negatively impact orangutans and their habitat, ensuring their survival.
“Be enthusiastic and continue to fight for orangutan conservation because good and sincere intentions will yield positive and progressive results,” Nur asserts.
If you would like to support our work, please consider sponsoring one of our orphaned orangutans.