Transform waste into wisdom of saving the future:hundred schoolchildren brainstormed to safeguard the world

Transform waste into wisdom of saving the future:

Hundred schoolchildren brainstormed to safeguard the world

On July 11th – 14th, at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, 106 schoolchildren joined DDM Children's Camp where they explored new possible solutions for global waste. Through role-playing as national leaders, prime ministers or opinion leaders, they learned to use compassion and wisdom to safeguard the world.

“The living condition of the poor has been made worse by the waste we generate,” some children wrote down what they had learned from the discussion about the global waste issue. Others came up with various proposals, such as to "install air-purifying machines on top of incinerators" or to "invent edible plastics."


Meng Jun Wang (王盟君), volunteer who played as the Chairman of the International Summit on World Situation, thought that putting current international issues in the role-playing game provides a good opportunity for education. Through such a game, children learn to care for the earth, to communicate and to strive for the common good.

Wang also observed that during the initial stage of negotiation, schoolchildren, starting from their own experience, were mostly concerned about issues on livelihood, health, and economics. After further discussion and film watching, with a raised awareness for environmental protection, they started to learn how to cooperate and share benefit with one another.



Jing Hao, Lin (林靖皓),teacher in the camp, shared that “We collected from the internet information on waste related issues at all levels as our material to guide our children to closely observe the causes and consequences behind the phenomena.” According to Lin, understanding the cycle of production, consumption, recycle, reuse and pollution provides schoolchildren an opportunity to cultivate their systematic thinking.


In an age of low birth rate, children growing up in cities engage less in interacting with peers, sharing household chores, and getting close to the nature.
Venerable Chang Yun (常雲法師), the Camp Advisor, shared that in a camp held in the setting of simple and self-sufficient monastic lifestyle, schoolchildren learned to dedicate themselves to the public through providing services such as collecting garbage, dish-washing, picking and washing vegetables etc. Furthermore, they were also led to walk bare-foot along the Medicine Buddha Trail (藥師佛步道) and the bank of Caoyuan Stream (曹源溪畔) to feel the vigor of the nature and the vitality of the earth, generating naturally a wish in their mind to cherish the pure land underneath their feet.


Venerable Yan Deng (演燈法師), who was in charge of curriculum planning for the camp, stated, “Anything is possible in this camp where the children get a chance to know themselves better through the role-playing game.”

The waste issue appears to be an environmental issue, but it is also a spiritual issue as well. Some people whose mind are poor don’t understand how to deal with their spiritual waste therefore polluting the spiritual environment around them whereas others are capable of transforming the waste tossed at them into wisdom of life. During the process of negotiation, children are actually cultivating their ability in communication and emotion management.

In the end, many schoolchildren wrote down their wishes, such as “buy second-hand products”, “do not buy disposable products”, “use eco-friendly shopping bags.” Each of all the written wishes was then folded into a paper-lamp, symbolizing the Bodhi-mind to be passed on to others on the night of gratitude as a blessing for all wishes to come true.





Texts: Lin, Ya-Ying (林雅櫻)
Photos: Department of Dharma Service
Translation: Elenda Huang
Editing: DDM Editorial Team; John Wu (吳俊宏)

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