DiGi's Amazing Malaysians Project Kicks Off in Kuala Gula
100 children spend two days discovering the wonders of wetlands
Kuala Lumpur, April 30, 2005 - About 100 children aged 10-12 from around Kuala Gula, Perak, spent Friday evening and Saturday morning slushing through mangrove swamps, watching a video about the wetlands, going on a night walk in an oil palm plantation, visiting a water bird complex and enjoying a leisurely cruise on a river.
But it wasn't all fun and games. The children were part of the launch of the first DiGi's Amazing Malaysians corporate social responsibility (CSR) project - the Wetland Restorer of Perak. This project aims to educate children about the rich biodiversity contained in the wetlands and how this supports the livelihood of the 600 or so families living in Kuala Gula.
The primary school children will work with one of five DiGi's Amazing Malaysians - Balu Perumal, the "Wetland Restorer of Perak" - to create a wetlands garden and also a resource centre filled with material related to wetlands.
This weekend - the discovery phase of the project - was spent familiarising the children with the ecology and economic importance of the wetlands, via various nature activities as well as visits to a fishing village, belacan factory and cockle & dried prawn processing factory. Throughout, the urgent need to maintain the wetlands was stressed.
DiGi CEO Morten Lundal said "We hope that by their involvement in this project, these young people will be inspired to take ownership of wetlands conservation in an area which is at their doorstep.
"They are not just creating a wetlands garden here. It will eventually become an 'outdoor classroom' that can be used throughout the year, not just for the students from the four participating schools, but also for children from all over Malaysia.
Morten added: "The Wetland Restorer of Perak is one of five DiGi's Amazing Malaysians projects that we have identified for this year. In all these projects, Amazing Malaysians like Balu Perumal, who cherish their heritage, will hopefully inspire the next generation to understand, appreciate and conserve their social, cultural, natural and built heritage."
The implementation stage of the wetlands project - during which the children, guided by Balu and 10 facilitators from a secondary school in Pasir Putih, Ipoh, will get down to creating the garden and resource centre - will take place over 10 days during the school holidays from May 30 to June 9, 2005. Finally, a showcase of their work will be held on July 2, 2005, when the garden and centre will be officially opened.
Balu said: "Because wetlands are so important, I feel extremely happy to be part of DiGi's Kuala Gula project. I have no doubt that the children will learn about wetlands in no time, and will soon become ambassadors with a mission: that of creating awareness that wetlands are not wastelands, but are wonderlands."
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