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The Start of a Good Cause

ITE College Central (MacPherson Campus) held an Eco Food Garden promotional event last month on 20 January. Our Foundation was invited to hold an educational exhibition on the importance of recycling and conduct a talk on the impact of Global Warming and Greenhouse Effects that is affecting Mother Earth at present.

ITE Tampines Lecturer Abdul Rahim was amazed at how Tzu Chi channels its recycling profits to help needy students. (Photo by Lim Chwee Lian)

There was a heavy downpour in the afternoon on the day of the exhibition, coupled with strong gusts of wind which caused the venue to be wet and messy. Fortunately, the weather did not deter the crowd of approximately 150 people comprising lecturers, administrators and students from dropping in on the exhibition.

The Eco Food Garden event was held in a small atrium of the MacPherson Campus with promotional booths set up by students and Tzu Chi volunteers. 

Besides information boards with environmental messages, our booth also displayed eco-friendly utensils and various garments and accessories produced from recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles by Tzu Chi’s DA.AI Technology Co. Ltd. Many lecturers and students were attracted to the exhibition, which comprised of other displays by students such as organic fertilizers, ways and methods to save water and electricity, etc.

The principal of ITE MacPherson Campus, Mr Tan Seng Hua, paid a visit to our booth together with the lecturer in-charge, Mr Soh Thiam Soon and several other staff. After listening to the patient and detailed commentaries made by our volunteers, the entourage expressed great interest in the clothes made from recycled PET bottles. They also approved intensely the use of reusable utensils and even queried on the location for purchase of these Earth-friendly products.

“I am so happy to have found your foundation because you have given us the avenue to involve our students in community work,” exclaimed Abdul Rahim, the lecturer from ITE Tampines, when he saw our exhibition booth. Mr Abdul Rahim was referring to our community recycling points. He added that there were many times when he had seen a group of uniformed volunteers carrying out recycling work at the void deck of Block 27 Chai Chee Avenue when he passed by the neighbourhood but he had no clue as to which organization these volunteers belong to.

On this day when he met Brother Loh Kim Chye, the volunteer leader for Tzu Chi’s East Zone recycling work, he was glad that he was able to obtain more information on Tzu Chi and the types of recycling work being performed. He was also astonished and impressed to learn that the proceeds from the sale of recyclables gathered from the 19* Tzu Chi community recycling points were all used to fund the branch’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ Bursary Programme to help needy students with meal and transport costs. The lecturer immediately obtained a copy of our latest bimonthly magazine which was set on the theme of the bursary programme to understand more of Tzu Chi’s work.

Mr Abdul Rahim indicated interest in leading his students to the community recycling points so that they would better understand the meaning behind recycling and saving the Earth. Brother Loh gladly told Mr Abdul Rahim to draft a schedule and he will follow up on the necessary arrangement.

Approximately 50 lecturers and students attended the seminar on the “Global Warming and Greenhouse Effects” which was held later that day at 5pm at the auditorium of MacPherson Campus. The lecturer in-charge reasoned that the lack of attendees was possibly due to the upcoming Chinese New Year which falls three days later.

The lecturer added that this was one of the green projects of the 5-year plan set by the school and as such, they will liaise with Tzu Chi on more of such exhibitions and recycling work in time to come.

Principal Tan Seng Hua (left) and the lecturer in charge of the exhibition Mr Soo Thiam Soon (centre) expressed great interest in the clothes made from recycled PET bottles. Brother Loh Kim Chye went on to share that the blankets provided in Tzu Chi’s international relief missions were also one of the items made from PET. (Photo by Lim Chwee Lian)

The students of ITE MacPherson was amazed by how used plastic bottles, which were usually regarded as garbage and thrown away, could be recycled and produced into different garment products. (Photo by Lim Chwee Lian)

Our volunteers engaging the school staff in making Earth-friendly choice while dining out by using reusable instead of disposable utensils to help reduce the damage done to our precious Earth. (Photo by Lim Chwee Lian)

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