Ah, nature! Who doesn’t love putting their legs into a cold, rushing waterfall; or taking a quiet walk in the park with tall trees giving you shade? Mother Nature is our best friend, but we tend to treat her badly with our many eco-unfriendly ways.
Bearing this in mind, Great Vision Charity Association (GVCA)’s Didik-Kasih EduCare Program recipient Jessie Rose decided to show over 30 children from Rumah Amal Nur Murni not only the beauty of the nature, but also the importance of preserving it via environmentally friendly means.
Dubbed the ‘Back to Nature’ project, Jessie, who received one-off aid for her studies as well as a monthly allowance from Didik-Kasih, reached out to VH Green Nature Park, a park in Sarawak that was very willing to provide five volunteers and staff members to guide five different groups of children through the park.
Even before the event began, Jessie and her eight other volunteers from Kuching’s Swinburne University of Technology campus played a series of fun ice breaker activities so that the kids got to warm up to the people who would be guiding them that day, as well as each other.
At the park itself, the children truly got to become one with nature. One of the activities, Organic Kids, saw the children getting to plant fresh seeds at the VH Nature herb garden, while learning about how to do it right. They were also very excited about getting to feed the animals at the park, which included tortoises, deer, fish and many more!
The highlight of all the activities was perhaps the Treasure Hunt, where children had to solve questions and different tasks in order to get past the stations and win! However, in our book, everyone’s a winner as long as they are willing to take care of the environment.
Aside from environmental awareness, Jessie had other reasons for conducting this event. “I wanted to expose the kids to education beyond the classroom. I always wanted to expose them to the basics of English, as students sometimes face a communion barrier if they don’t speak it well,” she said.
While the children very clearly had lots of fun petting animals and exploring nature, it was a fulfilling time for Jessie’s fellow volunteers as well. “As volunteers we felt rewarded by helping out little kids. They seemed to genuinely enjoy the activities, and choosing the nature park was also a good idea,” said Chamath, a volunteer.
Jessie did mention that she didn’t realise the children wanting to be in same-gendered groups, but overcame that and many other obstacles- much to the pride of GVCA, which supports Didik-Kasih in the hopes that their aid recipients will acquire not only leadership skills, but a heart for the needy.