We were invited to conduct an environmental programme for some kids as a part of a lesson at their elocution class. Therefore our team leader Ms. Kanchana suggested to have it at this beautiful place at Dilmah Conservation (https://www.dilmahconservation.org/arboretum/), where kids will get the opportunity to stay very close to natural environment and gain a memorable experience. We all at ECO-V too joined with the programme to get the training under Ms. Kanchana on 12th of December 2017. There were 12 kids, their English teacher and some mothers were there when we all went to the Dilmah center at 9am. After getting initial introduction by the staff member of Dilmah center the Nature tour started.
First session was visiting &exploring traditional agriculture museum which had very old and invaluable equipment used at the time that Sri Lanka was practicing more traditional and environmental friendly poison free agriculture system. It was a great experience for kids to learn more about them and such sustainable system we had. ECO-V always talk about Eco friendly, waste free lifestyle where this little museum with traditional items helped us to explain the topic more effectively. There was a water carrier made out of melon fruit, slippers made out-of palm sheaths and deer skin, and traditional oil lamps with healthy oils used instead of kerosene.
Then the “Nature safari” started around the urban forest that Dilmah center had created. ECO-V’s Nature Safari is unique as it shows the participants the way of connecting with Nature through five sensory organs. Ms. Kanchana interprets Nature and its elements and makes the connection of it with eyes, ears, nose tongue and skin in a way that the participant can absorb and experience that element in unforgettable way.
It is simply a walk and interprets whatever we come across during that walk with close connection to mind and body. This way kids showed a real interest and asked many questions on whatever they saw. Kids got the opportunity to handle a millipede and a tadpole with care and love, taste some wild berries, smell leaves and bark and touch and hug trees and feel Nature while getting into other living beings shoes.
Therefore it was memorable Nature Safari that they could not have thought of and it was a rare experience for kids most of them are living in the urban setup. After having a healthy snack in-between the second part was conducted at the butterfly garden at Dimah center. It was really entertaining even to us. The garden was full of various kinds of blooming flowers & colourful butterflies. Mrs.Kanchana introduced breeding & feeding plants in the garden as well as kinds of butterflies and their behavior. We took so many photographs of butterfly garden and shared them through facebook for share our priceless experience with other friends who missed this opportunity. Kids learnt about butterflies as pollinators, the importance of having a host plants at home. Mrs. kanchana strongly presented the idea of sharing whatever the space we have at home with these tiny insects who are important creatures of the survival of mankind.
That inspired kids to create their own butterfly garden at their home. I appreciate Mrs. Kanchana’s effort in motivating all of us towards environmental spirituality through these kinds of environmental programmes. Educating and inspiring kids, about environmental protection is very essential for our future existence. I knew that these kids had a transformation due to this programme when we had a chat with them and their mothers at the end of the programme. It’s really nice to see not only kids have learnt but also the mothers have learnt immensely out of ECO-V’s Nature Safari.
This is the ultimate goal of our programme. I was so happy and felt lucky to be part of this unique programme as a new comer to ECO-V family.
- Wasana Maheshika -