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5EyesFarm occasional news – Support edition
Imagine a small farm on the slopes of a volcano at the edge of a traditional Indonesian village in an agricultural area combining rice fields and patches of jungle. The village is populated with Sundanese (original people of Java) living and working mostly as subsistence farming. Basic primary education is the average education level here and understanding of the wider world is limited.
Imagine 5EyesFarm as a learning centre based around innovative and creative approaches to farming, practical living, health and food education along with basic living skills. The goal is to help local people to grow in practical ways. Jobs creation for youth, skills development for farmers and an informal school for supporting the education programs that are offered in the village and the wider valley.
5EyesFarm in this way is aiming to be an authentic ‘model’ farm which grows organic produce and is made up of integrated systems like aquaponics; an animal farm and an organic farm growing produce. We have 75+ fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and medicinal plants growing in different systems. Some are experimental and a work in progress, others are moving along well.
We also make all sorts of useful things mainly from recycled materials – restoring, reusing and aiming to be creatively sustainable. These are easily transferable ideas in a place that is high in material skill and natural intelligence, yet has no facilities for waste disposal and limited ability of choice.
We are working on ways to improve our market and the business of the farm. This is so we can offer free education and learning experiences to all age levels locally.
Part of the strategy is to partner with western and expat schools and organisations to raise interest and income by offering tours, field-trips and workshops. As we have been developing the projects for the past couple of years we are at a point where we can start this side of the business plan and hopefully better support the community development mission.
This objective all started over a year ago when children from the village came to visit and asked if we could teach them English. So we started Green-Ed along with a small library. We have been generously supported with donations of books and musical instruments for the library which is yet to find a home, either in the village offices or, after we build something, on the farm.
We have a great working relationship with the local leaders, the residence of the village and the local government. There is keen interest in us establishing a learning community that reaches into the daily life of the village, influencing positive change through culturally sensitive and appropriate teaching and learning initiatives.
As we continue to build 5EyesFarm, the teaching house, extra bathrooms and facilities for learning and resources, we are seeking further partner support.
You can do something worthwhile, direct and useful by joining in and helping to resource these projects. It is a valuable initiative (see below).
There are 7000 local residents of this village and 80,000 in the wider valley which is made up of 10 similar communities grouped next to each other. What we are trying can be viewed as counter-cultural in some respects as we emphasise gender equality and offer new ways of thinking and doing that are unfamiliar in the context. However, the mix of people in the 5Eyes community and the relationships established so far allow for a balance that makes it possible, and we hope to see more great results.
So far the impact of 5Eyes has helped local families with employment opportunities, teaching the school aged locals and supporting basic health awareness. In future we are looking at farmer training, sanitation and waste management initiatives. There are many opportunities to have a lasting influence and improve the lives of under-privileged, under-educated and under-employed folk who have no other opportunity to rise.
We have achieved an immense amount establishing the projects and the infrastructure to this stage. There are 20 people who make up the working/living community at the heart of 5EyesFarm and we are managing a simple everyday budget for food and wages mainly through what we produce. However, while we are working to cover our running costs, staffing and basic living, the community development and teaching initiatives can only progress through partner support.
How you can join in and help
We envision a support network which we will keep updated around the progress as we go – as a live project that you can be a part of and see unfolding as we grow. In a day and age where there are many needs in a world with much divide between those who have and those who do not have, it is basic humanity that motivates us to close the gap in this context. Here the results are immediate, and you can come and see for yourself. The more support we have, the further we can go as the need and opportunities are right in front of us.
We have applied for funding which looks to come through next year. This will help us become a foundation and will enable large infrastructure projects to be completed.
In the meantime, we seek partner support from individuals and organisations to help sustain the projects and build the community development initiatives – our primary purpose for being here.
Follow our progress and be inspired!
Support these projects here and change some lives, open some new possibilities and be involved.
Who are we
Back story – Danti Tarigan & Jonathan Wright
Danti and Jon met in Bali in 2009 and teamed up. As a team, they are great: Danti takes to the details and empowering others. Jon is picturing a different kind of future – and focusses on the big picture. Both influence and complement each other a lot. Being married and working together in cross-cultural contexts has taught us compassion and patience with the many people we engage with.
Danti is dedicated and focussed, excellent with communication and administration and team building/leading. She makes a gifted natural teacher and is an accomplished person. Danti has completed most of an MBA in Melbourne which she has put on hold to manage and develop the projects at 5EyesFarm. She has previously established a hospitality business in Bali to which she influenced the growth and vitality and the culture in a very positive way. She quickly rises in any contact she is in. As a people person, Danti is a great encourager and uplifter of others. She is focussed and determined, hardworking and willing to serve and sacrifice. Danti is everywhere doing everything all the time!
Jon has a broad background in educating from tertiary to secondary and across a wide range of subjects. Combined with this is a parallel career in building. Creativity and innovative approaches are his focus to see change and growth and new ways of approaching things. Jon has lead communities, helped to transform university colleges and schools as well as other institutions and enterprises. Jon has a strong academic background which serves to establish the connection he has with the practical (building) and the theoretical (research). Jon is often in the lab experimenting with natural farming biotech and doing small experiments.
Jon and Danti share a passion for gardening, farming and people. They recently closed down their Melbourne company, Victorian Heritage, to dedicate to the various projects around the farm and village. They have now both moved from Melbourne to live at the farm. While developing the business of the farm and forging partnerships with schools, universities and businesses, they are also developing Green-Ed. This is the learning framework created as a model for education, and not just farming knowledge, but all related learning in sustainable practice, innovation, projects and general education. The idea is to teach through nature and help people reconnect with nature, explore and understand the natural world and its machinations and to learn by doing and then by reflecting. They hope to see learners of all walks of life, near and far developing a passion for what we learn. Establishing learning communities is a process and takes time. Seeing people rise and embrace new ways and approaches is very encouraging. Helping people locally is inspiring and they learn a lot from them.
Where are we?
Purwasari is a village in the Bogor regency in West Java, Indonesia. We are on the foothills of Mount Salak, a sleeping volcano. The valley below us is a traditional Indonesian Agricultural area inhabited by Sundanese Indonesians, the original kingdom on Java. 5EyesFarm is translated Kebun Mata Lima. We are 16 km South East of Bogor, a satellite city of greater Jakarta.
Find us on Google maps simply by typing Kebun Mata Lima
Our commitment to you
Privacy is important to us and for us all. We do not share contact details or information without permission. We maintain security databases and respect our partners, friends and associates in all ways including aspects of correspondence, internet and media. Some donors prefer to remain aNo amour and we do not publish names or details of donations. We do however have a space planned for acknowledging our supporters in the teaching house extension. This we will only do with permission. Our accounts are in Australia and are secure.
Thank you to those individuals and groups who have generously donated so far to the library. We hope to see great results in the coming months and years and who knows, you might decide to drop in and visit, stay, do some hands-on and experience this amazingly different and wonderful place with us. You will be most welcome!
Thank you also for reading this and taking the time to consider these projects and our requests. We know you are busy, and we appreciate your time. Looking forward to connecting with you more and seeing good things happen.
Danti and Jon.