Hmmmm..its time to write a blog perhaps just to pass the time. Also wise-use of the time I am spending inside airplane. I am at Kolkata airport Bangladesh, actually not even inside airport but sitting inside the plan for last 2 hours. I am not supposed to be here by now and should be having my lunch with my friend in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Wow….I started my journey today morning at 5am from Colombo after saying good bye to my family and wanted to reach Dhaka after 2hrs and 5o minutes. Got into Mihin Lanka and it is my first time experience with our own airline (other than Sri Lankan airline we have). Exactly after 2 hrs and 40 minutes the pilot announced that due to the poor visibility at Dhaka we were diverting to Kolkata, India. So…still waiting and not sure whether the situation will get improved or not????
The best part of this journey is I am going to address a youth conference on Climate Change, organized by BGreen Movement( https://www.facebook.com/BGreenBanglades and http://www.theindependentbd.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=200668:bgreen-conference-bangladeshi-youth-voices-and-visions-for-an-adaptive-future&catid=182:city-life&Itemid=220) our partner organization in Bangladesh. Isn’t it interesting??? Going to address a climate change conference and stuck at a different airport due to unexpected weather condition!!!!
This is end of year 2014 and if I manage to attend the conference I will be back to Sri Lanka by next year. (5th January 2015). I feel bad about not writing a blog for last 9 months. I blame on Face book. Since ECO-V become very active in face book I became lazy in writing long articles on our activities. Too bad!!! I know it’s not the excuse to stop writing blogs as it’s our duty to keep updated about our friends who are not friends on face book. So since I am stuck at airport and not knowing what will happen next, I thought this is the best time to look back to history…actually history of last 10 months.
ECO-V has been moving into conscious consumerism field more faster than we thought. It was just as I got initial training from Consumer Association in Penang, Malaysia in 2013 and became the president of Consumer Voice of Sri Lanka; the group was started by 21 participants from Sri Lanka. As I believe, Nature conservation is depending on consumerism of all resources on this Mother Earth. Unless we consume them with consciousness all the resources will be vanished so fast. So I thought it’s a good way to talk about nature conservation for normal consumer. That approach was a great success! I was invited to many platforms to deliver presentations and some of these platforms were not even in Nature conservation field. Such as Health Ministry of Sri Lanka and MAS holdings. So I ended up reaching both goals of passing knowledge on Nature conservation and conscious consumerism! The second batch of Sri Lankans (another 20)got the same training from Penang and I accompanied them to Malaysia in September thanks to CAP Malaysia and Sevalanka Foundation Sri Lanka. So far we have done more than 50 awareness sessions on conscious consumerism towards environmental sustainability. We already passed these information to some school students too.
|Prefects of Royal College reading lables of food products|
|MAS holdings training session on consciouse consumerism|
ECO-V involvement in Good Market with our innovative programme “Nature Kids” was very successful throughout the year 2014. Thanks to KSMA Award from Conservation leadership Programme we won, we conducted more than 40 programmes on every Thursdays and 5 holiday programmes. The other innovative programme for year 2014 was “Nature Friendly Birth day parties for Kids” We conducted 5 b’day parties on invitation. Its all about Nature conservation through conscious consumerism. One successful story about nature friendly B’day party was, one 10 year old girl who had her nature friendly B’day party was so inspired about it. When it was the time to make a presentation for Trinity college of speech and Drama Exam her presentation was all about her B’day party which was her real experience. The examiner who had come from London was so surprised to hear her (obviously she must had extraordinary presentation skills) got 100 out of 100marks and it was first time in history for her supervisor in Sri Lanka.
|Tiara and her presentation about Nature Friendly B'day|
|during Nature kid programme|
|a kid holdng a milipede during a kids programme|
Conducting few sessions for MAS Holdings - one of the main clothing factory in Sri Lanka was another achievement of ECO-V. We conducted 2 holiday programmes for kids of staff members and 2 day programmes on conscious consumerism with exhibitions were well received by staff members. Also I helped with initiating butterfly gardens at 5 factories they have.
Winning a small grant from US Embassy was helpful for us to establish and run a Nature center at Wariyapola which started in October 2014. It’s in the process still and too early to tell you whether its successful or not.
|youth getting training about eco gradening|
Establishing our Eco Garden at the ECO-V office was very satisfactory as it is a practical demonstration for home garden, Butterfly and Bee garden and Biodiversity garden. Since I spent lot of my personal time on it I am very happy as it is a learning experience for me. Now we have been using it as a living laboratory for teaching about connecting with Nature! We had 6 training programme since March. 15 university students, 8 village youths, 16 kids, 3 families and 5 farmers have visited us at our Eco Garden to learning and get experience. In March we had recorded only 6 species of butterflies from the garden and by end of November our checklist was 59 species. We are in the progress of making wild plants and other insect checklists. This is a great example of understanding a little space given to Mother Nature will give back million dollars value of happiness and satisfaction in additions to fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs we are sharing in our neighborhood. With this experience I personally got involved in advising for establishing Butterfly Garden of Biodiversity park that the government that is establishing in our capital city, Sri Jayawardanepura-Kotte. It’s a voluntary involvement for myself where about 15 university students are preparing it.
|products of Eco Garden|
Our partnership with united Nations Volunteers (UNV Sri Lanka) in their bike tour to celebrate the International volunteer day was very successful where 2 youth from Kelani Nadee yathra and Paapedi 2013 rode with them for 15 days. This was the programme we did instead of the International journey we were planning to be held at the beginning of 2015 with the help of Journeys for climate justice (http://journeysforclimatejustice.org.au/). We are happy about the decision we made not to have it next year due to changing political situation in the country so we are waiting till everything gets cool down again.
|ECO-V logo as a partner of UNV cycle tour|
We have planned a youth camp for early next year and hope again we can do something innovative, fun and productive with more learning. If you are willing to support that Village Earth USA is supporting us to raise fund via Global Giving so you also can contribute something even very small where that will help us to achieve our target (http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/creating-25-youth-climate-leaders-in-sri-lanka/).
Oh…well they are announcing about our departure to Dhaka now…wow…after 3 hrs of our landing here in kolkata. Well I will post this when I get internet in Dhaka. It was a great experience after all sitting in a economy class at Mihin Lanka air plane without aches and pains but memorizing what we did in year 2014 while going through thousands of photographs in my computer! Thank you for those 3 hours! Hi again….now I am safely with my friend Fadia of Bgreen who is very busy with BGreen conference that our partner organization JCJ is also a sponsor. I am here as co-founder and vice chairman of JCJ to see how we can be widen our networks for future work. Thanks for CLP alumni programme who sponsored my travel to Bangladesh. All are helping us to make a difference in this Mother Earth. Thank you all for believing ECO-V and hope to see be with you in 2015 too. I wish you very best for year 2015!