We had a great successful year in 2013. Paapedi 2013 the bicycle journey for Climate Justice was a very successful campaign we had for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation work. Also we got involved with Good Market (https://www.facebook.com/thegoodmarketcolombo) and started “Nature Kids” a very unique programme for kids to get connected with Mother Nature.
Also we started two educational stalls at Good Market under the kind sponsorship of Dilmah Conservation. One on Eco Education and the other on Conscious Consumerism.
|Eco Stall and Consumer Voice Stall|
|Reading about food and health on consumer voice stall|
|Sugary drinks and conscious consumerism|
I personally completed two important training programmes. One on Consumerism (Consumer Association of Penang, Malaysia) and the other on Climate change leadership with former Vice president of USA Mr. Al Gore “Climate Change corps” in Istanbul, Turkey. Both programmes were very helpful for me to get more confidence and also loads of information was passed down to various working groups of ECO-V. I also attended a conference in Malaysia on “Interfaith Dialog for Peace and Sustainability” with the kind invitation from Seva Lanka (a NGO for social development work in Sri Lanka) as a Climate Change and sustainable living campaigner. It was great opportunity to participate at People’s Forum of The 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo. Also I was invited to be at prince Charle’s B’day party held in Colombo during his CHOGM visit to Sri Lanka.
|People’s Forum, CHOGM 2013|
We had many international volunteers who visited and helped us in our activities. ECO-V won a grant from Kate Stork memorial Awards, UK for our “Nature Kids” programme and it’s the second award from them we won. Thank you for KSMA Awards! We were able to continue our great work with kids at Good Market because of you. Then Nature Kids won the “Environmental Impact Award” of the annual award ceremony of Good Market! This is what we call ripple effect for positive change!! One start leads for something else…
|Kanchana and Uvasara with Impact award at Good Market|
Having our own training center is the long term plan for ECO-V and we have been working towards it always. Dhanushka from Udawalwa is One of our youth leaders we trained for last 5 years under various programmes (starting from friends of Pelicans, then KSMA youth trainee, kelani nade yathre and Paapedi 2013 yathree). After kelani Nadee yathra he decided to start a farm in his own land as a post journey project. We were thrilled and guided him to start a permaculture farm which we can develop as a training center eventually. The year 2013 was a successful year for him as he able to build a natural building, a toilet and basic accommodation facilities. Thanks to Journeys For Climate Justice in Melbourne who is our partner organization for both journeys we had who sent us International volunteers to work with his team and him were able to get exposure to more wider world.
|Dhanushka and team making compost|
Also I started a small permaculture plot very close to our office and trying to develop it as an educational center and make it more sustainable for ECO-V future work. Also we started selling extra vegetables (after sharing the harvest with neighbors and friends) at Good Market and willing to join with them under participatory Guarantee System (3rd party organic certification).
|Eco Garden of ECO-V|
|Harvest of Eco Garden|
We started a very special programme for students at School for Deaf. It’s called talking through Nature which is still in progress. We managed to create a butterfly garden with all native plants and our volunteers did more shramadana work (sharing work) with these differently able children at school. I still remember their exited faces when they saw the first ever caterpillar reported on a herb that they planted.
|Volunteers involved in painting walls of Butterfly Garden area|
|Students and volunteers working together|
We continue to teach about nature for them using this space. Our face book page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/119363511453200/) exceeded 2000 members which is very helpful to spread the messages of our work among volunteers and also helped us to raise funds for our work.
So thank you very much for all of you who were with us in 2013 and we very much hope that you will continue to stay with us in year 2014 in this journey.