by Jodie Wong
A collaboration of learning beyond the classroom became an inspiration to many. Staff and students of Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School (CPASS) now find themselves giving back to the environment a lot more after completing Project Zero Hero.
The 16-month long project was founded by 6 Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) Leadership & Service Award (LSA) Alumni, who are passionate about creating environmental awareness. Through this collaboration with CPASS, the aim was to educate students on how to achieve zero waste. Lessons involved hands-on activities such as enzyme detergent making, tote bag making, Bokashi composting, and vermicomposting.
When asked the reasons for agreeing to collaborate with the OBS LSA Alumni, Mrs Koh-Lim Ai Lay, Principal of CPASS shared that the Project Zero Hero initiative “brought in new energy and ideas” and “tied in very nicely with the school’s recycling efforts”.
Despite the recent end to the initiative, CPASS teachers are now empowered to drive environmental sustainability projects within the school.
Established by a group of self-driven teachers and teacher aides, a professional learning team in gardening was recently formed to regularly compost waste from the students’ daily snacks. This composted waste, known as Bokashi ("fermented organic matter" in Japanese), is later used as fertilizers for the vegepods planted around the school.
Mrs Koh laughed: “There was so much excitement among my teachers when we started talking about Bokashi composting. We initially checked the Bokashi bins too often that nothing was composted even after 2 weeks."
Shared by Ms Suzana Bte Ahmed, CPASS Vice Principal, as the most “impactful” and “tangible initiative” among all the activities, CPASS has now included enzyme detergent making into their curriculum once per school term. The coordinating teacher of CPASS for Project Zero Hero also shared that the school reduced the purchase of commercial detergents, which in turn helped in reducing expenditures by up to 80%.
“The school was really focused on obtaining as many orange peels as possible. Many of our games and snacks during the Chinese New Year period involved oranges,” chuckled Ms Suzana, as she recalled what she found most memorable during the collaboration.
Sharing how thankful they are towards the OBS LSA Alumni team, both Mrs Koh and Ms Suzana understood the amount of effort they have put in for this initiative and shared their hopes of working with the OBS Alumni again.
Mrs Koh said: “They are paying it forward. They have made an impact and created a lot of possibilities for our students.”
She also expressed her hopes for another collaboration with OBS – pairing her students up with the Alumni for outdoor activities such as kayaking.
“The whole collaboration was really enjoyable! I can’t pinpoint one enjoyable moment,” giggled Ms Suzana.
“Of course, we would love to work with the Alumni again! They brought in fresh and creative ideas related to recycling that we did not explore previously.”
A huge appreciation to our 6 OBS LSA Alumni members for their commitment to ensuring the success of Project Zero Hero. They have definitely done OBS proud by successfully creating environmental awareness and showed us all what it means to embody the OBS value – Compassion.
If you are inspired to pay it forward and serve the community, express your interest in driving community projects with us now!