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World Environment Day – 5 & 6 June 2021
June 5 @ 8:00 am - June 6 @ 5:00 pm
During this COVID-19 period where many countries fight against the same pandemic, it is timely for us to celebrate World Environment Day. Zoonotic diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans are closely related to ecosystems that both shares. Human activities have led to the degradation of many ecosystems and have contributed to the outbreak of such zoonotic diseases, including COVID-19.
On 5th and 6th June 2021, the residents of Good Shepherd Centre came together in small groups to celebrate the World Environment Day with the theme being ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
This was done through a series of informative slides, animated videos, and hands-on activities.
Residents were briefed on what constitutes an ecosystem and what ecosystem restoration is all about. The adverse effects of not protecting the environment as well as the benefits for doing so were also shared. Residents were intrigued by some of the facts and images shared, such as how God created nature and humans so similarly.
Animated videos depicting the harmful human activities which caused the ecosystems to be harmed as well as the importance of clean and safe water were played. All the residents enjoyed the videos and even children as young as 3 years old sat quietly throughout.
The women and older children actively engaged in discussions about their thoughts after watching the videos and one of the more interesting conversations that emerged was when a woman from India shared about how they do not have taps but use pumps to obtain water back at home. This encouraged the rest of the foreign women to join in and share about their environment in their home country, such as a resident living near a majestic waterfall back in Indonesia, and how another resident used to grow their own plants in their farm in the Philippines. The rest of the residents who are Singaporeans were excited to hear about these and wished we had these in Singapore too!
To empower the residents to develop positive habits, the staff and residents collaboratively came up with a list of things we can do in the shelter do our part towards protecting the environment. The responses from the women and children were varied and creative, such as bringing their own recycled bags for marketing, growing our own edible plants in the garden, taking responsibility to keep their rooms clean and turning off the water tap when using the shampoo among many other ideas! It was heartwarming to see how the residents were so enthusiastic to come up with these ideas and taking ownership of the space in the center like it was their second home.
The women and children also collaboratively created an artwork with an outline of Earth. They had free rein to decorate the Earth with their own drawings and write on their reflections about protecting the environment.
At the end of the activity, residents were all excited to put up their masterpiece on the wall in the living room. It was an educational and fruitful session for both the adults and children as they gained new knowledge about the importance of protecting the environment and realized that the health of the environment is closely related to the health of humans. They were also amazed by many intriguing facts that they did not know before. Lastly, this activity also allowed for the residents from the different countries to recount and draw about their environment back at home and provide some comfort to them while they are far away from home.
Good Shepherd Centre
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUstYj4o2VQ (cited on 5 June 2021)