I finally completed the environmental day at the children’s center! I was able to get this thing off the back-burner thanks to a volunteer, now friend, Laura K. from Canada, who helped to plan and execute. We decided to make it a teen leadership day as well, hence, the official title “Annual Environmental and Teen Leadership Day: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” The day was filled with education, a slide show, and fun games and activities centered around the three R’s.
We met with eight teens a day before to explain their roles and expectations as team leaders (i.e. the need for enthusiasm, communication, and controlling their team – age range of 2 to 18!). They did very well and we are so proud of them all!
We played “How to Make a Khmer Sandwich … Blindfolded” to start as an ice-breaker, which presented two morals: 1) miscommunication and misunderstandings and 2) the freedom to choose a course of action, but that an individual’s actions will affect others and the community.
The day was topped off with an awards and superlatives ceremony after meditation. Every group won a reward or prize. Everyone got a snack for their efforts. Trophies (made from salvageable and recyclable material) and a snack were given for places 1 to 4. The rest of the other four groups received superlatives complete with a certificate (Most Athletic, Best Team Players, Loudest Team, Best Spirit) and a snack, of course.
A special reward of 1,000 Riel was given to each of the team leaders for their efforts and contribution to the environmental day. They all shared their rewards with their team members by immediately buying everyone treats from the cafe!
It is the hope that next year we can extend this to the children and teens of the nearby community. I hope we can make this an annual or periodic event.
Brian R., Cambodia Sustainable Agriculture Fellow