For the future with love from Otets Paysii school, Kurdzhali, Bulgaria
How did our visit at Otets Paysii school in Kurdzhali, Bulgaria go?
I am starting this story with a quote from Whitney Houston:”I believe the children are our are future.Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.”
This is a quote in which I believe 100% and I am happy that I saw it in action during my visit at Otets Paysii school in Kurdzhali, Bulgaria, this Tuesday 6th March. I was accompanied by Keith Kelly, the founder of Anglia Schooland co-author of the film Trashed World.
We set off from Plovdiv at around 10:30 am, full of excitement for our meeting with the children. We’ll be teaching them their last class for the day after all. Will they like us? Will they find the class interesting?
Sustainability is a long and rather heavy topic, full of theory and less practice so we decided to spice it up a little and offer one different class 🙂
We were pleasantly surprised that there was not only one but two classes waiting for us at the room 🙂 We started with a game, Keith was dressed up as the King of Trash (wearing a costume with some packs of different food, beverages, medicine, etc.).
The children had a lot of fun identifying the different pieces of trash. After that we showed them a bit of the film “Trashed World” so that they could track the journey of the unrecyclable trash- single use-landfil-poisoning of stray animals or incineration, accompanied by the emission of toxins.
That trash journey didn’t come as a surprise to the children and they all shared the opinion that these practices shouldn’t happen anymore. All the children knew how to recycle their trash and what goes in which container (paper in the blue one, plastic and metal in the yellow one and glass in the green one). They all said that throwing trash on the street is not something that they do which filled my heart with joy.
What is more?
To shake things up a little bit we offered the children to go oustide and collect the trash at their school backyard. Of course we had brought clips and bags. We split the two classes into 6 teams and the fun began. We all collected the trash together. Then we brought it to the classroom so that we could inspect it and see what are the main sources of trash and how we could tackle this problem.
How did we manage this task?
We had brought a bag on which the children could exhibit the collected trash so that we don’t get the classroom floor dirty. Afterwards we took a look at the accumulated trash, the majority of which were plastic straws, plastic mineral water bottles, plastic soft drinks bottles, plastic forks and spoons. We showed the mobile phone application Litteratiwhich allows the children to pin the location of the trash they’ve found on a map and get additional information on where it comes from (whether it’s food container from brand X, toy, beverage bottle from brand Y, etc.) With this information in mind the children can then organise a cleaning of that location together with family and friends 🙂
How did we encourage children to believe that they can change the world?
We showed them that their daily choices have a direct effect on the environment, how one reusable water bottle can eliminate the need for purchasing a plastic mineral bottle every time one gets thirsty, how one stainless steel straw lasts a lifetime in comparison to the plastic one which they can use only…once and the children’s favourite was the edible cutlery which is not only sustainable but also delicious 🙂
What is next?
The children and the school management were very fond of our class so we agreed to meet again. And the ball started rolling on its own straight away! The very same night we had a meeting with the academy of the organisation For the Earth where we formed a few teams working on different projects. My team’s project is educating students and businesses about sustainability and waste reduction and afterwards organising upcycling workshops.
P.S. If you would like us to visit your school, university or company, please get in touch so that we can discuss the details. If you are working for an educational institution, we can grant you access to Trashed World’s lectures and additional materials for more in-depth sustainability education.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Mrs. Silvia Barutchieva and the management team of Otets Paysii school in Kurdzhali for the invitation and the oppotunity to make some new friends 🙂
Why am I telling you this story?
Because I would like to inspire you to follow your dreams. It is not a coincidence that I am publishing it on March 8th, this was the day when I set up Revolucia last year. I was scared and excited at the same time. The future was unknown. I remember saying that it’s just going to be a trial and if it fails, I’d start doing something else. But things worked out, in one beautiful and special way, connecting me with wonderful people with inspirational stories. And now, a year later I am more motivated and ready to surprise you with new projects and initiatives 🙂
Thank you for believing in me and for helping me to make this world a more beautiful and cleaner place.