1 June, PENANG – Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) welcomes SK Convent Pulau Tikus into its Think Green programme through the establishment of a food garden to connect its school children with nature.
The 1.5-sq m garden located within the school compound features vegetable beds grown with different herbs and vegetables like green spinach, water spinach, Vietnamese coriander, pandan, turmeric and ginger.
It was built three months earlier under the E&O’s corporate social responsibility ambit, Think Green, and facilitated by its community outreach partner Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP).
The school was the latest addition following E&O’s active engagement with another six schools within its Seri Tanjung Pinang vicinity.
During the launching ceremony, E&O government liaison and planning senior general manager Datuk Zawawi Yusop said it was heart-warming to see the Think Green effort yielding fruitful rewards over the years.
He said it all began from its humble food garden at Straits Green public park to the outdoor classroom it is today for youths to reconnect with nature.
“The Think Green journey has since extended to four schools with their very own food garden.
“The schools are SJK (T) Azad, SK Tanjung Tokong, SMK Tanjung Bunga and SK Convent Pulau Tikus.
“What’s even more fulfilling is that one of the schools – SMK Tanjung Bunga – had incorporated entrepreneurship element to the programme by selling its garden-grown produce to teachers, parents and friends.
“The proceeds generated from the vegetable sale were then used to upgrade some of the worn-out equipment at the school,” he said.
CAP education officer N. V. Subbarow said students would learn more about urban gardening as they get more hands-on in managing their own garden.
“The food garden offers an important platform for these students to learn and cherish the social, cultural and biological diversity as they bring home the knowledge to share with their friends and family,” he said.
Pulau Tikus assemblyman YB Chris Lee, who was present to launch the event, commended the Group’s effort, adding that creating these food gardens offers a welcome respite from the hectic urban life.
“This is a wonderful programme initiated by E&O to inculcate environmental awareness in schoolchildren.
“By teaching them early, I hope we raise a younger generation that appreciates that sustainable living is a win-win for all, and that everyone of us has a role to play to bring about positive change” he said.
Since its inception in 2013, E&O has reached out to students from Tadis Ar-Rasyidin, SK Tanjung Tokong, SJK (C) Hun Bin and SJK (T) Azad through regular educational activities.
In 2015, the programme expanded to include activities with secondary school students from SMK Tanjung Bungah and special children from SK Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan Pulau Pinang.
Also present at the launch were Education Ministry district education office representative Muhammad Effendi Zainol Abidin, SK Convent Pulau Tikus Parents-Teachers Association president Mohd Wazeer Seni Mohamad, E&O group corporate strategy director Lyn Chai
and E&O group strategy and communications general manager Malathi Pillay.