Below: a chorus of heartfelt responses from all over!
Thank you - one and all! : )
Peggy Khoo (Intel) says:
To many of us who spends more than 10 hours a day in the office, this May Day 2008 outreach event is an excellent opportunity for us to reach back out to nature, to contribute our little effort to make a difference and to reflect on what other things we can do to save the environment. Our employees had so much fun that day in exploring Chek Jawa whilst putting on their volunteer hats in carrying out their task they set out to do. The end results of a beautiful mural wall at House No.1, a cleaner coast at Chek Jawa and more informed visitors who are now aware of the dugongs, are just immeasurable and valueless!
For me, I have personally learnt a great deal from Joseph Lai, while working with him on this project. He has exposed me to a world of nature that I would have never been able to see by myself and has inspired me to want to do more with nature. I now know that there are also many people out there who are so passionate about conserving nature and would contribute selflessly to achieving this goal.
On behalf of Intel involved team, I would like to thank Joseph Lai for pulling everyone together to make this community project a success for us. Also thanks to Robert Teo and his NParks team for the excellent support rendered to us. Big thank you to the artist team lead by Pui San and the volunteer guides for making it such a great experience. Cheers!
Ria Tan (Wildfilms / WildSingapore) says:
It was wonderful to share a day on Chek Jawa with many 'old timer' volunteers who had worked on Chek Jawa before deferment. Even more special was the opportunity to share the love of Chek Jawa with a new generation of young adult volunteers and with the young children of the homeschool families. Pui San and his team of artists also added a fresh element to the conservation effort. With NParks and Intel involvement, it is an excellent example of meaningful 3P engagement and of active citizenry.
I hope this event can be an annual event. It is a powerful celebration of what Chek Jawa means to ordinary Singaporeans.
Puisan (Master Artist) says:
The idea of getting kids to have a field day at CJ to learn about the environment was well conceived. Not only were we well rewarded, it resulted in some very lasting and profound learning experiences for the kids and parents alike.
They got to know the environment better and their participation in the activities enriching enough to imbue a sense of belonging to this treasure spot in our beloved Chek Jawa. As Dugong Ambassadors they certainly did their part to help raise concern and awareness of living things around us, marine creatures included. Participation in the beach cleanup made them understand how trash could pollute our beaches and its effects on the environment.
Sharing their ideals of a healthy marine environment through artworks on the wall mural was very popular with many of the kids. Unfortunately we were not able to accommodate all the kids’ enthusiasm for more to be painted, due to the pressure of time and available space.
Comments from Homeschool Parents
Eileen Nathan says:
Since the blogging workshop organized by Mr Joe Lai in conjunction with the IYOR 08, I have never been so aware about animal conservation. Yes, we occasionally watch National Geographic and visit Underwater World, but it's just information. However, when the kids started blogging (another promise they made to Uncle Joe after the workshop) about the sea animals that they have learned, our family began a journey of discovery and learning.
Now when we go to the beach - we look at the sea and the creatures along the beach with a different lens...one that is filled with more compassion about the sorry plight of Mother Nature because of human invasion. I remembered my son crying after watching an internet presentation about a terrible decision of human housing development which will cause a certain kind of sawfish to be extinct!
Our involvement on 1 May is a natural follow-up. We certainly want to do our best to be a voice to the helpless creatures sent by God to help us...but mankind has foolishly plundered Mother Nature. We want the next generation to see the animals that still exist today.
When the purpose of something is not understood or ignored, ABUSE is inevitable!
Jacqueline Thng says:
My family spends most of our free time in the Nature, and i hope we could do our parts to take care of Mother Nature, so that our future generations would continue to enjoy the beauty of nature. ... May Day Outreach is one rare opportunity that allows my children to start their baby steps in taking care of the environment and be more aware of the environment calling.
And I would like to share a quote from Daisaku Ikeda, "Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links are affected. We should think of the environment as our mother -- Mother Soil, Mother Sea, Mother Earth. There is no crime worse than harming one's mother. ". so let do our parts... taking action.. & ... also educating the young ones.
Po Ting says:
I am glad that my family gets close to the nature once again. We appreciate and would like to preserve it in our little way.
Wei Lin says:
I think the May Day Outreach will be a wonderful experience to teach our children, the next generation about preserving the sea creatures for a good cause.
Pui Yee says:
Our Precious Gem: I always thought that we have to travel very far to see 'live' underwater creatures in Tioman or somewhere in Malaysia or in other further shores. I remember when we paid our first visit to Chek Jewa few years back, we were so thrilled to see that we have these little beautiful creatures moving around in Singapore shore. A long, hot day passed in our exploration like breeze. How much more we love to see our future generation in Singapore will be able to explore this for themselves in our own shore! I hope this May Day Outreach will bring more awareness and public interest in protecting this very precious gem!
Kay Hoon says:
It's a privilege to be part of this unique project that will bring art into the public sphere. We're proud to be making a statement about the nature around us!
Jin Hua says:
As a parent, I could not wish for a better project for my child to undertake. He learns more about environment and social responsibility, science and art, community and humanity, from people who are passionate about them.
Jean Law says:
Our children are city children; they live in the concrete jungle. I appreciate all these activities and outings, which bring them closer to the Mother Nature and appreciate its wonders. We learn together to love our earth more and become more environmental friendly.
This is a chance for our children to stand up and be counted as caretakers of our planet.
This is a chance for our children to crystallize the reasons they enjoy, and should be respectful of, our natural world.
This is a chance for our children to feel the responsibility of imparting a love of nature to others.
Mei Sie says:
It is a great opportunity for my boys to be involved - to understand and care for their environment and not to take it for granted. I think it will be quite exciting to work together in this project involving a diverse group - homeschooling kids, naturalists and Intel staff.
I count it a privilege for my son to be able to participate in the May Day activities at Chek Jawa, thanks to Joe Lai. I hope that in getting our children involved in nature activities, they will learn to respect and care for the animals and plants that we share this earth with.
So Mei says:
From the sea;
I find my peace,
The sea has so much to offer;
I will want to conserve with all the others.
8-year-old Shanil says:
... I was very sad about the pollution.
Read Shanil's account of his experience in Shanil-The-Great Blog and Auntie Jenny's absolutely beautiful encouragement for him, his writing and his fabulous artwork (in the Comment).
10-year-old Luke Tay says:
Dugongs are cute lovable things and they should be saved.
9-year-old Vere Nathan says:
It's fun! It's good for the environment and should be done more often.
Guest (Prof) Yap Von Bing says:
Good Activity... good for environment and family bonding.
See other postings / photos of May Day Outreach below:
Pulau Ubin Stories Blog
Naked Hermit Crabs Blog
Art in Wetlands Blog
Lazy Lizard's Tales Blog
Photo Galleries at:
Wildfilms' Flickr.com and Peggy Khoo's Flickr.com