To Make Our Environment Beautiful!

Report by International intern, Rachel Abbott

This lovely Thursday morning,  students from Kileva Eastfield Primary School joined Elephants & Bees team members for a community clean-up! The E&B team is keen to engage the students in caring for the environment. Every Wednesday we teach a one hour environmental and wildlife education lesson to Class 8 students, and we lead ongoing efforts to revitalize the school’s permaculture garden while enhancing their nutrition education and contributing to the kids’ daily diet. The E&B team is committed to working together with the school to keep these kids healthy, happy, and loving the land they live on and the animals that surround them.

E&B team members with Kileva students and a small fraction of the trash we collected (Photo by Remke Lasance)

We began the clean-up day at the school, handing out big garbage bags and gloves to the 10 or so students who were there on time. The kids loved their latex gloves, though they struggled a bit to get them over their tiny fingers! They worked in pairs to collect as much garbage as possible, with the promise of juice, snacks, and fun prizes at the end of the morning.

Getting ready to kick-off the clean-up (Photo by Remke Lasance)

Girls showed up in their best outfits to clean their community

Soon after we fanned out and began collecting rubbish, more and more kids joined in the fun. By the end, we had nearly 30 kids reaching deep into the bushes to collect every piece of garbage they could find (soda bottles, crisp packets, plastic bags…etc). I personally am at the tail end of my internship with E&B, and after two months of being around these smiley, polite, goofy, hard working children, this was an amazing way to bring to a close my own involvement with the school. However, the E&B team is just getting started, and the relationship this team has built with the children and staff I know is everlasting. This community is incredibly tight knit, as evidenced by the way kids seemed to just trickle in every few minutes as we made our way through the community, garbage bags in gloved hands! The kids, just like kids anywhere, love to be together and have fun – and these children are particularly good at making any situation memorable. Any time a little one noticed an especially large piece of trash, they would just look up at us with a coy smile like they had already won the prize.

Proud of his very full trash bag!

Trying to get small fingers into latex gloves isn’t easy (Photo by Remke Lasance)

Back at the E&B Research Center we gathered for juice and snacks and reiterated the importance of ridding the community of litter, first by asking the question, why did they think this was an important goal? Above all, they proclaimed, “To make our environment beautiful!” They also said it would help prevent the spread of diseases and keep us and our environment healthy, which is after all, our ultimate goal – healthy kids, healthy community, healthy animals and environment. While we strive every day to create a space for humans and wildlife to live in harmony, we also can’t forget to care for that space and make it as beautiful and loving as possible!

One of the Class 8 students partnered with his younger buddy to collect trash

Asante sana to all of the energetic kiddos for coming and partaking in our day and to working with us to making the area we live in as free of rubbish as possible, and thanks to the E&B team for making me feel so at home these past few months.

Working together to gather every last piece (Photo by Remke Lasance)

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