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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 06 November 2016 00:00

Clearing Trash to Love Mother Earth

Written by  Yo Choon Yen & Kang Miew Tiang, Muar / Translated by Lilian Chew

On November 6, 2016, Tzu Chi Muar held its last Parent-child Bonding Class plus graduation ceremony outdoor. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

The last Parent-child Bonding Class and graduation ceremony was held at Tanjung Emas Park with the theme, “Recycle for our Earth”.


Tanjung Emas Park is one of the local favourite leisure spots. The park is situated at the Muar riverside with lots of green grass, trees, shrubs, gentle breeze and fresh air. The old folks would spend their leisure time playing games and exercising with their children. The park is especially crowded during the weekends, and ever since the “Pokemon GO” game was made popular in Malaysia, the park has become the adults’ playground.

On November 6, 2016, Tzu Chi Muar held its last Parent-child Bonding Class and graduation ceremony outdoor at Tanjung Emas Park. On that day, 86 children and their parents attended the event to show their love to Mother Earth.

Undeterred by the weather conditions

The unpredictable weather made it challenging for the team to plan for the programme. Additional work was inevitable as a “Plan B” would need to be in place. Compared to an indoor event, much effort was needed in the preparation phase.

Programme Planner, Lee Si Wei highlighted that as environmental destruction and pollution are increasingly serious, there is a need to intensify the dissemination of such education to children so that they will pay attention to environmental protection and perform their duties to love Mother Earth. The outdoor activity also offered them an opportunity to be close to nature.

On that day, the weather did not appear to be fine but the children maintained their interest and purpose. However, just when the programme commenced, it started to rain. The Master of Ceremony then announced to all to pray sincerely for the rain to stop.

In the meantime, the participants proceeded to have their food brought from home and about 30 minutes later, the rain became lighter. As all of them wanted to remain at the park, the organizing team agreed to continue. The children were very happy and high spirited as they quickly lined up while their parents helped clean the place for the activities of the day.

Turning waste into environmental posters

Everyone put on their gloves and with garbage bags, clips and necessary tools in hands, they proceeded to do recycling.

“Daddy, there is cigarette butt here.”
“The wire is dangerous, how can one simply throw it!”
“We must pick up all garbage for a clean surrounding.”

The children’s questions and the parents’ replies revealed the warm interaction between the parents and children. By doing recycling together, the family has learnt to protect and to love Mother Earth.

Despite the occasional drizzle, the activities continued on. The garbage collected was subsequently turned into environmental posters. The children were focused and with their parents’ help, their imagination went wild. Be it leaves, branches, flowers, cigarette box or aluminium cans, their creation was pure in nature.

Teachers and parents setting a good example

Seven-year-old Sik Yi Qi, who had frequented the park with her family, said happily, “We are not here to capture the ‘pokemon’, but to collect ‘gold’.”  However, today is a new experience for her.

Her father, Sik Chong Soon felt that, with the family partaking in this activity, they were able to promote family bonding and the children had made new friends. He shared, “We, as parents, must first do it, only then will the children join in.”

Chong Soon patiently explained to his child how to sort the reusable items. He believes that parents are role models to their children hence they must put theory into practice in order to educate their children.  He agreed that everyone should engage in recycling activity for a clean Earth and for our future generation.

When they were making the poster, Chong Soon deliberately made use of materials like wires, cigarette lighter, plastic products and branches so that he could explain to his child about the harm these materials could inflict on marine life; and as such, they should not be discarded indiscriminately.

“Garbage cannot be thrown into the sea as they will kill the fishes,” said Sik Yi innocently.

Mutual encouragement among parents and children

Kok Wei Liang had accompanied his children to the Parent-child Bonding Class every month. He felt that the emphasis on humanistic culture, good character and intrinsic values have indeed helped the children; and he too has benefitted a lot. The teachings on Jing Si Aphorisms in particular, have proven beneficial in both family and workplace.

He said: “A soft gentle speech is a beauty in itself. As I have a bad temper, I have used this to remind myself.”

With his three children joining the class, the family would remind each other at home. “When I raised my voice while talking, the children would call to my attention to speak gently and softly,” Wei Liang said. He has put up Jing Si Aphorisms at visible places in the house to alert everyone.

He expressed that the Earth has given mankind abundant resources for survival. Hence, we should all cherish our one and only living planet. He lamented: “Our Mother Earth is sick, the environment is damaged, and the water is contaminated. These would directly affect our livelihood.” Through this activity, he hopes the children would learn to care for Mother Earth.

On the monthly Recycling Day, he would participate in the recycling activity at the recycling centre. There and then he made an appeal to all parents and children present to join in the ranks to save Mother Earth.



The Tzu Chi Teachers’ Association was thoughtful in taking the teaching outdoor. This had enabled the children to be close to Mother Nature, and to experience and feel the importance of coexistence.  The five-hour activity, away from the normal classroom learning, had provided the children a novel experience on team spirit and humanistic culture for their future life ahead.

 

There were 86 attendees comprising parents and children gathering at Tanjung Emas Park for the outdoor event. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]   Everyone recycled to protect Mother Earth. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

There were 86 attendees comprising parents and children gathering at Tanjung Emas Park for the outdoor event. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]
 
Everyone recycled to protect Mother Earth. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]
 
Sik Chong Soon (2nd left, back row) displayed the completed posters with other group members. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]   Kok Wei Liang had attended the Parent-child Bonding Class with his children every month. He felt that the curriculum has not only helped his children but him as well. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]

Sik Chong Soon (2nd left, back row) displayed the completed posters with other group members. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]
 
 
Kok Wei Liang had attended the Parent-child Bonding Class with his children every month. He felt that the curriculum has not only helped his children but him as well. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]