21.03.17 Continuing its tradition of raising community awareness of environmental issues, CED organized Ecology Day 2017. Due to the presence of litter in the community, the main focus of the event this year was trash. The aim was to educate students about trash, its effects on the environment around them, ways to reduce the amount of trash we create, and how to properly dispose of the trash that we do make. In the weeks leading up to the event, CED volunteers led workshops in schools in various villages in the region.
In these workshops, volunteers engaged students with activities designed to educate students about trash and waste. However, these activities were presented in fun, creative games in order to better connect with the students. The games also utilized trash to encourage the reusing of items that are often discarded as trash.
Over fifty students from Nerashte, Sllatino and Tearce participated in Ecology Day. These students were between the ages of 12 and 15, but some younger classes also stopped by to see the festivities. Ten volunteer leaders from the local communities and from around the world contributed their time and skills to make the day fun and effective.
Students started the day getting to know each other before heading out in the community to collect trash. For Valon Mustafi (8th grade student at Sh.F. “Ismail Qemali” Nerashte), his favorite part of the day was “that groups of students from different schools came together and that while we cleaned we had loads of fun.” He also commented that the activities helped the students “rethink about throwing trash in random places” in the future. The students picked up over 15 bags of trash!
After this, the volunteers led the students in creating crafts. Each craft was made out of trash materials that the students had collected over the weeks leading up to the event. In the end, each student had made something useful that they could keep as a reminder about the work they had done for the environment. Students and volunteers commented that they learned a lot about how to reduce the amount of trash they make and are more aware of the ways that they can keep their environment clean by being responsible with their purchase and disposal habits.