Thursday, December 28, 2017

Back to Southern Province, Sri Lanka…

As a result of awareness program we held on Divisional Secretariat of Pitabeddara on 22nd of August, they planned to conduct several programs for the community and they specially aimed at school children. They all agreed that it’s easy to bring positive attitudinal changes among children rather than among adults. So again we were invited to Southern Province to continue our mission – creating awareness on sustainable waste Management.

On 6th November we started our awareness program series. First program on Idadukitha Primary School – Morawaka, More than 150 students from grade 1 to 5 were participated at our “Sustainable Waste Management and Conscious Consumerism” program. Yes, they were very little but actively and calmly gave their attention to us. We were careful enough to use entertaining strategies to keep them involved with the programme.

In the evening of the same day, 2nd program for staff members of Divisional Secretariat office - Kotapola, Deniyaya was conducted. Except staff members of Divisional office few grama niladari officers and development officers participated too. Since they are the grass root level government officers, they were the best messengers to the rural community.

Our 3rdprogramme was conducted on the 7th November 2017 at Morawaka Primary School. It was a very emotional moment as our staff member Chapa Erandi has studied at this school in 1999 – 2003 as a primary student and today she is back at school as one of the messengers for a healthy planet working at National Level. More than 300 students from grade 3 and 5 joined with us. As a result of early announcement they brought some processed and packeted food labels to learn E-numbers practically. Not only E-numbers they learnt how to sort out our waste into correct waste bins with colour codes, how to reduce polythene at our home front. To make them more interested in Nature we added some information on creating their own butterfly gardens and taught them to start loving other littles animals around them.

Reading lables
On the same day we completed the 4th programme for youths. Several representatives from local youth societies gathered to Divisional Secretariat office, Pitabeddara, Deniyaya. It was a pleasure to share our knowledge with them because youth were the most active group in the field. These energetic groups act as educators than apprentices. So they can engage in conservation oriented activities to protect environment through sustainable way.

Our 5th program was held on 8th November 2017 at Derangala Primary School, Pitabeddara. Again they were primary students. I saw most of them want to find out whether they have a safe drinking water bottle or not, when we talked about unhealthy plastic water bottles.

They all were very concerned about it which is a very positive sign. The other interesting topic for them was learning about making the Eco-brick. All showed a great interest towards it and tried making an eco-brick.
Making Eco bricks

Sitting on a Eco brick stool
Our next station was Kaduruwana Primary School - Pitabeddara held on 9th November morning.

It was a wonderful school. When we entered to school premises we felt they work hard to reduce waste and built green environment. The main reason behind this was their principle, he was well trained person for waste management and does it practically in his school with his staff and children. Except those little ones, principle was also avid about our session and effectively involved in the discussion.

We all were out of office for four days and working in the field very hard. We hardly had time to relax throughout this field work so it was the time to enjoy Nature. Therefore, we all decided to visit Hathmale Ella (a beautiful water fall) at Deniyaya even though it was a rainy day. Shape of water fall resembles seven necklaces (“mala hatha” in Sinhala language) and it was the reason for this water fall. It eventually falls as River “Gin”.

Deniyaya town is surrounded by Sinharaja Rain Forest and its climate is similar to NuwaraEliya, very cloudy and misty. 

It was very dark, misty and with cool breeze surrounding of the Kalubowitiyana Kanda, one of colossal but alone mountain. 

We felt like we stand closer to giant.We had couple of hours connected with Nature even though it was just a glimpse of beautiful Deniyaya area.

At the end of our program series we felt happy because we created our presentations in comprehensive and conceivable way especially for primary students. I’m sure they learnt a lot from it. It was a gratification to me that I had a chance to get involved in it and it was very valuable when we contribute our time and knowledge to talk to those little ones. They are our future generation. Some schools did not have proper facilities like big halls, multimedia or enough seating but their courage and curiosity suppressed those barriers.

limited facilities
The principle is making the screen with a teacher

Finally, I want to give my gratitude to the Divisional Secretariat, Pitabeddara, specially to the productivity Officer Ms. Subodhini who organized these events. 

Mrs. Subodhini is supporting to children to make Eco bricks
It was a great community service done by them to protect environment and create healthy generation for future.

- Waruni Kanchana - 

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