The Ramon Magsaysay Transformative Leadership Institute (RMTLI) Lecture Series featuring 2022 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Gary Bencheghib from Indonesia will hold a free online public lecture on November 9 at 3:00 PM (Manila time). In his lecture, “Mission Possible: Addressing Plastic Pollution One River At A Time,” Bencheghib will share how he has successfully cleaned up Bali’s rivers through his organization, Sungai Watch.
Bencheghib’s environmental advocacy started when he was a teenager. At 14 years old, he and his siblings started a weekly beach clean-up with friends. This effort turned into an organization called “Make a Change World,” that would produce inspiring, educational multimedia content on plastic pollution and environmental protection.
In 2017, Bencheghib and his team kayaked and filmed an expedition on the Citarum River in West Java, dramatizing the state of what was called “the world’s most polluted river.” Their documentary generated wide public interest and triggered a response from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. In 2020, Bencheghib co-founded Sungai Watch, a local community-based organization that addresses Indonesia’s plastic waste problems. To date, Bencheghib and Sungai Watch have collected more than 700,000 kilos of plastic waste.
28-year old Bencheghib shares, “I think that when you dream big enough, anything can happen, and plastic pollution is that one battle that we can still win. If we win plastic pollution, it can inspire us to tackle bigger environmental problems out there.”
This year, Gary Bencheghib is elected to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership for his inspiring fight against marine plastic pollution.
Gary Bencheghib’s free online public lecture will be livestreamed on November 9, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM (Manila Time) on the Ramon Magsaysay Award’s official Facebook Page and YouTube channel. This public lecture is part of the 64th Ramon Magsaysay Awards Festival Season.