Back in August, then-new GEA EcoBricks trainers Carly and Bebe hosted a workshop with about 30 youth and 10 staff at Yayasan Anak Bali’s center in Singaraja, on the north coast of Bali.
Yayasan Anak, founded in 2002, has a mission to empower talented children by covering their school fees, offering cultural activities working with medical checkups, and providing a place to live when needed.
In addition, at its many centers throughout Bali, the organization invites guest presenters to empower the kids in understanding global issues to become leaders of tomorrow. The EcoBricks workshop followed a talk by education specialist Dr. Made Hery on the importance of integrity and grit in leadership. Throughout the process of learning about plastic and packing ecobricks, the Yayasan Anak staff reinforced the idea that leadership and integrity in today’s world involves taking responsibility for not only our own waste, but in pioneering ideas and models of stewardship throughout the community.
After the fun 4-hour workshop, kids, staff, and presenters all took turns singing and playing guitar. The singing continued in a packed car on the three-hour ride home to Ubud.
For Carly, the EcoBricks workshop really underscored the importance of building community through enjoying the process of working together. “I’ve been involved in the EcoBricks movement for more than a year now, and have often focused on exploring EcoBricks as a medium of connecting with our individual and collective consumer shadow side. This was the first time I had worked with EcoBricks and kids. I loved the opportunity to reconnect with EcoBricks as a medium of play, as a lighthearted way of addressing these huge global issues. And I loved becoming a part of the joyful Yayasan Anak community!”
Even though Bebe had never heard of the practice in the Philippines of writing a vision for the future on each bottle, he observed after the workshop, “Each bottle represents a hope. When we bring all of these bottles together into one project, all of these hopes together into one place, all these pieces of a vision for a regenerative future, that’s building community.”