NGO, students turn wastes into art

The committee members and students pose for a photo after the beach cleanup.

KUCHING: More than 160kg of wastes collected at a recent cleaning exercise at Pantai Abang Amin, Sematan have been turned into art by Sarawak Eco-Warriors and SMK Sematan students.

The beach cleaning exercise was organised by Sarawak Eco-Warriors, a newly established non-governmental organisation (NGO), as part of its Green Stars Environmental Workshop attended by 30 students from SMK Sematan.

They managed to collect 162 kg of non-biodegradable wastes, which were then used to produce a piece of artwork measuring approximately 92 square feet.

The artwork will be showcased during the upcoming Ocean Conservation Exhibition to be held in Vivacity Megamall, Kuching on Oct 15.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the exhibition to learn more about ocean conservation while partaking in other fun activities.

A statement from Sarawak Eco-Warriors said it is an NGO to educate, empower and inspire Sarawak local communities through the conservation of nature.

It explained the NGO originated from the Borneo Eco-Warriors programme, a programme under the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) which is committed to strengthening leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Sarawak Eco-Warriors is supported by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Malaysia.

The Green Stars Environmental Workshop in Sematan on September 23 and 24 also involved a team of students from

Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

The inaugural event was organised in partnership with the Kuching-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Malaysia Program and AVL Art.

“Sarawak Eco-Warriors look to instil environmental awareness and environmentally friendly lifestyles among the younger generation and at the same time promote conservation through visual art; in hopes of developing a stronger sense of love towards the environment and to raise concerns on the rising issue of negligent waste disposal,” it said.

The workshop consisted of sessions such as ‘The World of Animals’ and ‘A Sea of Plastic’ to educate participants on the importance of wildlife and the implications of plastic discards.

A volunteer, Ten Fui Ting, remarked that the workshop was really enjoyable.

“It was great to have fun while also learning about the environment. It was very impressive how the students were able to produce artwork out of the trash they collected from the beach,” said Ten.

Rahaf ElMahdy, volunteer and student of Swinburne Sarawak, said the students’ enthusiasm and participation in the activities was heart warming.

“The organising team was extremely helpful and passionate about spreading awareness”.

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