Introducing Our Nature Heroes: Alexandra Vosamaer
Hey Secret Protectors!
We are excited to bring you our last Nature Hero from our very first Secret Protectors Club Box!
Alexandra is responsible for one of our favourite characters from our letters, Rocky the Orangutan. Rocky is a real life Orangutan helped by Alexandra at Sintang Centre in Borneo.
As well as rescuing Orangutans like Rocky, Alexandra is a founder of Forestwise, whose mission is to stop the deforestation of Borneo's rainforest and empower local people to protect the remaining rainforest. She is also the founder of Fat Forest, a social enterprise that creates deforestation-free skincare products from unique, pure ingredients, sustainably harvested from the rainforest of Borneo.
Alexandra is not only inspiring but bags of fun too, read on to see how she answered our Nature Hero questions:
Masha: Hey Alexandra, tell our Nature Protectors a little bit about yourself.
Alexandra: I want to save the orangutans. And to save the orangutans we need to save their home, the rainforest. To save the rainforest we have to help the people living in these areas to protect it, so they can become the wild keepers.
That’s why we help local people to make a secret deal with the rainforest: the rainforest gives them everything they need, they in return will protect the wild forest.
Some of the cool things the rainforest gives them can be used to make creams and soaps for your skin, for example, the illipe nut. We help the local people collect these nuts and make them into cool products and make your parents love those products, so they would like to buy them.
Masha: Ok, we ask everyone this question, how does nature remember you? This question is really about turning your perspective around and looking at the nature you have come into contact with in your life. Were you curious about nature as a child? Or disinterested as a teenager? Whatever answer comes up for you :)
Alexandra: Super dedicated, especially when it comes down to monkeys and great apes.
I like to play in the mud. Hang out in nature. Build things and play with them (boat of wooden shoe, cart, stairs to climb in tree, bat house). Always intrigued by nature. I was so excited when I was about to go to the rainforest for the first time (about 14 years old), I felt at home immediately.
Masha: So now how do you remember nature?
Alexandra: Incredibly magical, mysterious and inspiring, sooooo much we don’t know yet and that can still be discovered. And sooo many incredible things we already know and learned from nature and that inspired us for so many different things, flying, medicines, material properties and heaps more.
So cool how everything in nature works together and helps each other to co-exist.
And it even brings you peace of mind, how cool is that! I think it has endless layers of knowledge, inspiration, peace and joy.
Masha: How do you manage to personally connect with nature on a daily basis?
Alexandra: Hmm, that varies a lot I guess :) Eat a coconut and things from the backyard if a friend comes by to climb a tree. And learn from friends weird things in the forest that are edible. Or as in these times of just having a new baby and still breastfeeding, having friends bring me leaves from certain trees that stimulate milk production for the baby. Or planting lemongrass to chase away the mosquitos to prevent the baby from getting bitten and diseases from the mozzies. But also see the destruction and carelessness of some people. In Holland, I would try to take a little walk every day to re-energize my body and release stress.
Masha: As a parent, do you experience challenges in passing on nature to your child?
I’ve just started the parenting journey. Very excited to show her the cool things that nature brings us and how we can live in absolute harmony with nature.
Masha: What would you recommend other parents to do with their children to pass on a closer connection to nature?
Alexandra: I am new in this parenting thing so in a few years I might have a better answer to this! But I think,
Discover and enjoy nature together. And look at nature as your child would, with an open curious mind.
So many things you can probably do, depending on your own interest, time, and space. Grow your own edible plants, learn to use plants, build treehouses, fun games outside, play in the mud or rain together, get them familiar with bugs, ask your friends to get inspired, become a member of Secret Protectors Club and other nature connecting initiatives.
Masha: How would you envisage a world where all kids are Secret Protectors?
Alexandra: World becomes safe, fun, friendly, inspiring and everything and everyone is happily co-existing. More fun, more inspiration!
Masha: And finally, why is Secret Protectors Club important to you?
I think it’s very important to keep the new generation stay connected to nature and to do that it helps to make them enjoy and love nature.