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» 06/07/2007
PHILIPPINES
In Daraga children get a lesson in ecology
by Santosh Digal
A Filipino school teaches children how to protect the environment. The Sunshine International School in Daraga caters to both Filipino and international students and has become a symbol of a global initiative to address the world’s environmental problems.

Daraga (AsiaNews) – Students at the Sunshine International School in Daraga, Albay (southern Philippines) are learning how to be good stewards of the earth. Located far from any major city, the school is a place where the air smells of flowers and birds sing.

Here children are taught the importance and the methods of selective waste collection, learn to separate what is biodegradable from what is not through play, and are taught the importance of recycling. Here they are encouraged to use natural non-polluting products like organic fertiliser and coconut soap and learn how to keep the environment clean.

“We want to inculcate in these children a love for work and the values of discipline and independence,” said Ofelia Mesias-Peralta, school founder and director.

Long before any other Filipino schools started to talk about climate change, the Sunshine International School was already teaching its students the importance of tree replanting as a simple and practical way to address environmental problems.

The school, which won the Saringaya Award from the Filipino Department of Environment and Natural Resources for its advocacy of environmental preservation and conservation, has many overseas students. It has become a prototype of a global initiative to address ubiquitous environmental problems. Korean, Canadian, Japanese, Chinese and Indian students not only get a broader education but also learn how to preserve the environment.

Director Mesias-Peralta recounts that when she was 12 years old, she used to play “teacher” to poor children living at the back of her family’s house. Her actual teaching career first began in 1968 at the St. Agnes’ Academy, the oldest existing school in Albay. But her love for the environment came from her parents, Sevara and Salvador Mesias, both teachers and nature lovers.

She set up the school in 1980 as the Sunshine Nursery School and classes were held at Peralta’s house. Currently, it has about 300 students with only one class per level, each having 30 students. But a high school department is scheduled to open next year.


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See also
11/19/2009 PHILIPPINES
Protesters on hunger strike against mining on Mindoro Island
by Santosh Digal
04/15/2010 INDIA – BANGLADESH
Tropical storm leaves 130 dead, thousands homeless, as Church helps victims
12/06/2004 PHILIPPINES
Pope expresses condolences to typhoon victims in Philippines
08/20/2004 ASIA
Oil prices run-up in Asia
12/13/2007 INDONESIA
US-EU disagreement might sink agreement on greenhouse gases

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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