Last month, we started this little project called Give A Sip. We wondered what would happen if we visited a school and educated young kids about waste management, with the help of SIPporters.
With your purchases from this collection, we were able to spend time with the students of Mano Amiga Academy in Parañaque. On March 18–21, we sent ourselves out to the academy. We were glad to have made kids smile with fun lessons and activities, and of course, the metal straws you helped us give! We spent four days at the school, always coming home happy to have taught them invaluable lessons and started them young.
It was nice to have visited Mano Amiga with their waste management already in check. They know how to segregate their trash, have a drinking water dispenser to refill their reusable bottles, bring their own baunans. Overall, the kids already knew the value of caring for the planet. Our lessons were a nice supplement, teaching them new things like giving waste their second life. Who knew you could make a piggy bank out of plastic bottle?
It was such a fulfilling experience, especially for those in the team who had to get out of their comfort zone to do something bigger than themselves. Here is what the team has to say about their experiences:
Waste management at its core is very tricky to teach as it is often seen as boring, and usually reduced to the 3Rs or segregation. If not, it gets really complex and tricky to translate, let alone to grade school students. However, one thing that never fails to amaze me is how people react to positive and negative imagery that appeals to all ages and how it just puts them in awe or shock.
If there is one take away I had from this is that emotions know no age. Kids, especially who can sometimes be more compassionate than adults are no stranger to it. This makes me really hopeful that kids like these are the people that will lead tomorrow.
It was a fulfilling experience to be with the kids especially that we were able to deliver our message about waste management and the pressing issue regarding the planet earth. I learned how to communicate and adjust with different grade levels taking note of their capacities on the topic that I’ve discussed. I wanted them to be open to me and the lesson that we offered by making sure that proper words and intonation were used. Interaction is an important part and that was well-executed, taking note that we instilled the knowledge regarding waste management and why they should think about mother earth.
I went to see the kids hoping that I would get to share my knowledge on waste management as well as the things they can do to create a positive impact for the environment. I was really surprised with how they were really interested in the subject matter, and how they have made themselves well aware of different trends regarding the environment. Some even shared their insights on what they saw in the news — a whale who was discovered to have eaten a lot of plastic and even car parts, which have caused its demise. In general, these kids are already aware of what is going on around them, they just really need an impetus every now and then to regard the importance of their every action and how it can create a really huge impact in the long run.
My favorite part was when we gave them different situations to dwell on. I had to talk to a small group of grade 7 students and presented a scenario that they should imagine themselves to be in. The scenario was like this: kid was really motivated with what he learned in school about waste management so he decided to apply it at home. However, the kid’s parent was not as interested. I presented ideas on how they can approach the situation, such as: sharing to their parents what they learned in school, doing their own research, or just ignore the parent’s attitude towards it. One of them answered (not his exact words but somewhere along the lines of) “Of course I’ll use what I learned from Ate. But I’ll also use it to research even more, have a plan on how I can recycle at home, and show my mom that I can create this kind of change.” He concluded that in doing so, he’s certain that his mom is going to support him nonetheless.
I felt really hopeful and reassured after all the sessions because of the kids, their unfaltering willingness to help, and their promise to inspire others to spark change for the planet.
I was slightly worried at first, because I wasn’t sure if we would be able to engage them about something like Waste Management 101. However, I was so pleasantly surprised to walk in a room full of beaming fourth graders filled with excitement and energy. It’s also inspiring to see how young kids absorb knowledge and their ability to empathize so easily with what’s been happening to the Earth, the people and marine mammals.
I really enjoyed the recycling activity, where they had to make a “piggy bank” out of old bottles. I saw different kids really flex their creativity by making animals, planes, cards and fictional creatures. They were sharing their glue, pencils, scissors to complete each of their own designs. It made me hopeful that they will continue this spirit of camaraderie and teamwork in tackling environmental issues, even if it’s just as simple as helping each other clean their classroom properly. I think everyone from the team came out of the classroom with a renewed sense of hope and determination — a reminder of what we are all doing in this company and what we are doing for the people and the planet. There are a lot of things we can learn from kids about being open and working together!
I think the main takeaway that I got from my encounter with children from Mano Amiga is this — for a long time, I have known so many individuals who still think that our environment is fine despite all the evidence, that they can still do away without changing a single thing about their behavior like throwing their garbage properly. But, when I met these children, they put my mind at ease — for the way they talked about our environment and the way they embraced their tasks of doing these little things for the Earth gave me hope. Yes, the activities, and even the talk was fun, but it is their enthusiasm to learn from what should they do to help out is what struck me the most. It is true, then, that these kids will be the hope of our future.
Ang pagkakataon na turuan ang mga bata ay malaking karangalan. Kahit sa simpleng bagay lamang ay naibahagi ko ang aking kaalaman sapagkat nagkaroon ako ng kompyansa sa akin sarili. Nakakabighani at nakakatuwa pagmasdan ang mga estudyante na may natutunan sila at naunawaan sa mga tinuro namin tungkol sa waste management. Sa simpleng kaalaman ng isang estudyante sa pagtapon sa tamang basurahan ay napakalaking bagay na matutunan nila. Makikita mo na masigasig ang mga bata at dahil dito nagsisilbing inspirasyon ito sa kanila at para sa atin din. Maalala ng mga estudyante ang mga natutunan nila sa atin pero di nila makakaligtaan ang pinaramdam natin sa kanila.
(The opportunity to teach children is a huge honor. I was able to share my knowledge even in the simplest ways, and that gave me confidence. It was amazing to see the students learn and understand what we taught about waste management. To learn something as simple as throwing their waste properly is already a huge thing. You could see how enthusiastic they were and it served as inspiration on both ends. They will always remember what they learned from us, but they will never forget how we also made them feel.)
This experience has made me realize that there are many more things that I can do to help people even in very little ways. I was surprised how we were warmly welcomed by the children and that made me more comfortable to interact with them. In that short span of time I learned how to be more engaging towards kids and I learned more about being patient with kids. I was also very happy to know that at a very young age the children were very responsible and they already knew the harm done by plastic and what it does to contribute to pollution.
I really enjoyed the time with the kindergarten. The atmosphere was very light and it was very fun teaching the kids about the environment and they were also very interested in the presentation. When we were doing the sorting activity, it was really surprising that the kids were so engaging and kept volunteering to come up in front and participate in the activity. Overall this activity with mano amiga has made me realize that in our own little way we were able to make a big difference.
I really had a great time with the kids. The warm welcome every session and their genuine reactions were just so priceless. The 3 day session about waste management was actually short and they might forget what we’ve said but I hope they will remember our good intentions.
Our time with the kids felt quite fulfilling. Their energy and enthusiasm were so contagious!
My favorite moments were seeing the joy in the kids’ eyes — having genuine fun, reminding us what the SIP team was there for. Everyone seemed to have come home with a smile each day, witnessing how intelligent and creative the kids were, sharing their insights on how to care for the planet in their own ways. It made me proud being their ate for a bit. Shortly after this project, I was reminded that care (for the environment) is all-encompassing, and I am glad to have seen it in a pure form — from kids.
It's my first time to volunteer for this kind of program. And it made me realize that by doing these little steps of educating and helping the young ones understand the current situation of our environment, it creates a huge impact towards our future. I feel inspired to see that in a very young age, they already understand the responsibility they have.
Want to bring more smiles? Get yours now at