There were many activities devoted to the theme of pollution in Phuket and around the world. There was also the Phuket SWAPSHOP, an eco-goods fair, a healthy vegan food market and live music. This was one of the biggest eco-events’ our island has seen, and we hope these events become regular.
Additionally, the One Phuket Sustainability Fair hosted an art competition among Phuket schools. Children are our future and many schools on the island have special eco-programs and activities. International School Phuket – ISP, which pays special attention to the cause of ecology, won the contest. At the competition, the ISP ECO – Team presented their sculpture “Teacher and Student” to symbolise hope for the future.
At ISP, along with the environmental lessons which are included in the main school curriculum, there is an eco-committee formed by the children interested in environmental issues. All year round there is a donation station on the school grounds, where parents and staff regularly donate items to people in need and coordinate activities with Phuket volunteers. For example, at the end of the school year there was a trip to a village close to the sea in Rawai.
At the end of this school year, ISP began to develop the Green Economy direction. There are badges, stickers, eco-bags on sale. The school plans to use the generated money to buy a plastic recycling machine for the school.
The eco direction at ISP is headed by Eco-coordinator and teacher, Sarha Robinson, with the support of school founder Iris Vesi. When teacher Sarha heard about the contest, she invited the children from the eco-committee to participate. The contest required them to make a sculpture from waste, trash and debris gathered from beach clean-ups. The sculpture had a base 1.5 metres square, and featured two figures, an adult and a child, with the adult standing nearly two metres tall. It was not an easy task.
And guess what? They did it! The kids had a long time to choose which sculpture to make. There were such choices as a whale, waves, among others. You can see the result in the picture. Students designed their piece and built it at ISP. Though helped by school staff, the students did a great job themselves.
“This is our art sculpture that we’ve entered in the competition and this sculpture represents hope. It was built out of reclaimed materials and we made it using natural materials,” said Leti, a Year 6 graduate.
“It represents a teacher and a student who realise how much plastic is around them. The light bulb represents an idea. And the student is aware of the whole situation,” she adds.
Milo, a Year 6 graduate, explained, “We used household items to create these two sculptures. And if you’re sure you’re not going to use things like that anymore, you can always use them to create art. You can use different household things, especially plastic, to create sculptures. We, here at ISP, are aware and have an idea of how much plastic waste is actually on our beaches. So almost all of this stuff is from household items or from beach cleanups that we’ve done.”
At the One Phuket Sustainability Fair opening ceremony, Dean Wallis, ISP School Principal, spoke about the importance of teaching sustainability in schools and the opportunities that international schools provide for children around the world.
At the fair, the kids did a sculpture presentation and the ISP ECO – Team won interesting conservation-focused and sustainability-driven prizes. These included a Phuket Nature Elephant Reserve Educational Tour and Precious Plastics workshop, which they all attended together. Of course, the children were very excited and happy.
Additionally, we were able to talk to the teacher Sarha and she told us about the plans to develop the eco direction in the ISP school. We talked of other similar events that are waiting for us in Phuket in the near future and how each of us can help charity or ecology today.
“With more and more eyes on the impact that we have on our beautiful world today, working with children is inspiring and we need to treasure and embrace opportunities to make a real and significant difference with them,” Sarha says.
“As adults we can collaborate, as educators we can mentor, and as consumers we can change our habits,” she adds.
By Mariia Dabizha
To be a part of the great work they do at ISP, you can visit the school or website for more information. To visit Phuket’s next sustainability event, visit OZO Resort Kata Beach for SWAP Royale, to be held on Saturday, Aug 13, from 2-6pm.
Mariia Dabizha is Marketing Manager at International School Phuket – ISP. To see the other wonderful entries by students in the sculpture contest, visit the One Phuket Facebook page.