C.R.E.A.T.E: Starting ‘em young
by Ferni Anne Velasco
Going to the Outdoor Playschool venue, did not go as smoothly as we would have wanted. With a minor foot injury, I was pleased to hear that we would be provided with comfortable transportation by means of a taxi. Getting a taxi at seven o’clock in the morning in Aurora Boulevard was however somewhat of a challenge. After approximately an hour of waiting by the smoggy side road of Aurora Boulevard, me and my two other companions opted to take a jeepney and walk to the nearest taxi bay, carrying our 25 kilograms of compost soil and bags of teaching materials with us. It was a great relief that after strategically planning our taxi hailing methods, we finally managed to get a taxi and proceed to our location where the cute little kids were waiting for us.
Meeting the kids of C.R.E.A.T.E Learning Center was a treat. They were chaotic and somehow, I thought some of them were running their own little playschools in their own little worlds. They were however, curious and adorable and a joy to work with. The kids, although still quite young, were very inquisitive and curious about the various colours and textures of nature around them. They particularly enjoyed using the “Agimata”, a mini cup shaped magnifying glass, to peak through trees, leaves, flowers and insects. They were also very keen on the seedling planting session that we held for them. Watching them get their hands dirty and engage in the activity was a priceless scene.
One particular aspect that also struck me whilst helping with the outdoor playschool was admiration for the people that I worked with. Working with my companions, I saw passion, dedication and a clear goal of what they wanted to achieve. Imagine two unrelenting petite- framed young women, marching on the streets of Aurora Blvd. with their heavy plastic bags of compost and bulky sets of cut outs, learning materials and used tarps with not a single mark of complaint on their faces. Imagine these same two women, try and gather the attention of a horde of chaotic yet hugely adorable little kids to teach them about nature and biodiversity while the kids’ are frequently asked to pose to be photographed by their adoring guardians. All that time, I saw patience and calm in their faces, manifesting dedication to their work and to their objectives.
Working with Haribon Foundation had not only given me the opportunity to engage in many fun and rewarding activities such as teaching kids about nature and biodiversity in C.R.E.A.T.E Outdoor Playschool but this experience has also given me the opportunity to engage with good, dedicated and hard- working young individuals who are passionate about nature and pursuing measures to promote its preservation.