The meaningful collaboration and relationship between Friends-International and the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) continues to develop, as can be seen from the story below highlighting action taken by ISPP students which not only helps preserve the environment but also has a positive impact upon poverty reduction through supporting the income generating initiatives of Friends-International and helping to support the nutrition needs of Mith Samlanh students.
‘Food Bags’ Project
The Grade 2/3 students at the International School of Phnom Penh have been undertaking a unit of inquiry into how “the distribution of food resources provides challenges and opportunities for people.” Two of these classes planned the following ‘food bag’ action in response to their learning from the inquiry.
“We found out through our unit of inquiry that the distribution of food is not equal. We found that many people find themselves in poverty because they don’t have a job and this means they can’t get food for their families.
We decided that we wanted to take some action to try and help.
When we went to the market we were shocked to find that we were given 25 plastic bags to carry the small amount of food we bought.
On our return to school we reflected on action we could take to stop using so many bags. We decided on producing a reusable cotton bag that we could sell at school. The reasons for this were:
• Giving customers plastic bags takes profit away from the market traders.
• Plastic bags are bad for the environment.
• Producing bags so the makers are given a proper wage for their work which can help women and men support their families.
• Selling cotton bags with the word ‘use again’ will promote reusing and saving the world’s precious resources.
• Selling the bags can produce profit which can be given to Mith Samlanh to help provide money to feed students who are attending vocational training. Through our inquiry we found that if people learn a skill it will help them to break the cycle of poverty because it will be easier for them to get a job and then buy food for their families.”
Ms.Andrea and Ms.Anita’s Classes
The bags were made by Friends-International and printed by ISPP, and the students decided on a fair price to sell them. The students sold these at an Action Market Day sale and were delighted that the first run of 50 bags ran out within an hour. A second batch has been produced to sell at the next elementary assembly and through the ISPP School Office.