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Donkoi Children's Development Center Practices Earth Day All Year

Written by Xuyen Dangers
April 28, 2013

The Donkoi Children's Development Center (DCDC) has been involved in eco-friendly practices since the school was first built in 1999. On Earth Day, 20 international students and adults visited DCDC to experience what children in the After School Program are doing to protect and preserve the environment.

The 20 children and 15 adults who visited Donkoi school and Donkoi Children Development center (DCDC) to learn about DCDC ‘s effort on environmental protection and on Earth Day.

DCDC children made head dresses with ‘dok khun’ (golden showers), the local flowers gathered from their homes to present to the Boy and Girl Scouts. The whole schools has at least 15 big trees now that are from 10 to 70 years old. Most of them are huge, bushy and give shade to 170 children, 6 teachers, and local youth volunteers and are homes for many kinds of birds and insects.

At the recycle center or dream garbage bank of DCDC.

Inside the recycle bank.

This is the Dream Toilet, a name the visitors had probably never heard before. The modest toilet was built in 1999. It has a skylight and the inside and outside were painted beautifully with nature  sceners. This toilet is not only functional and clean, it is also very environmental friendly.

The visitors were shown all the plants in front of each classroom that are taken care of by the students and teachers from Kindergarten to grade 5. Another effort by teachers and students in trying to make the school green.

The visitors toured the Carpenter house where children play and learn with scrap wood they make into miniature toys, trucks, cars, mobile phones, airplanes, tables, chairs, and little bird houses. The wood used is recycled.

The international students were excited to be given some of these homemade toys as souvenirs.

The scouts loved the gifts of homemade recycled wooden toys: miniature tables and chairs, airplanes, mobile phone, houses, trucks, cars.

Paper mache is made with recycled paper. It is torn up and soaked overnight, mixed with paste and painted when dried.

Global Mission Intern Nicole teaches how to make newspaper bags with Ole, a deaf student of Donkoi.  Children in grades 1 through 5 make paper bags to be sold to shops in town. They are made using glue and recycled paper.

The children were interested in trying the textile weaving activity with the 4th and 5th grade students, who taught them what to do. A majority of the DCDC children know how to weave.

Local youth volunteers taught weaving to the international scout visitor.

All of the looks are sized for children and many have been made from broken tree branches. The school has an after-school club for weaving. It is the favorite activity for both students and visitors.

The new Secret Garden is located at the back of the big DCDC hall, behind the weaving area. The plants along the wall help keep the hall cool. Six volunteers (teenagers from the UK, USA, and Holland) at last year's summer camp, along with 16 Lao teenagers, turned the area into a fantastic Secret Garden complete with colorful paintings.

The scout visitors were asked, "How is this Secret Garden  related to Earth day?"  One child quickly raised his hand and said, "Because there are many bushy plants and so many insects that come to live in it.“

The Dream Forest contains many paintings of tropical Amazon type animals, big birds, lion, long snakes and monkeys.

At the end of the tour, the visitors saw the three-box garbage station and the learned how to separate garbage in a very easy way.

20 children and 15 adults enjoyed their visit to the DCDC and Donkoi children were very happy to receive such an interested  group of visitors from America, Canada, Italy, Sri Lanka, UK.

Play houses inside the kindergarten class made with recycled cardboard boxes.

Recycle song, music adapted from "Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?" Or "Frere Jacques."

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