Educating and inspiring to increase the impact of future action
With support from the Korea Green Fund, AFoCO launched a series of Global Forest Camps for children from multicultural families to educate and increase awareness and understanding of forests and the need to conserve and manage them in a sustainable manner. The camps helped instill an appreciation for forests and nature by engaging children in experiential learning activities that foster creativity and teamwork. Five camps were organized in February, July, and August.
In the months of October and November, AFoCO visited schools across the country to organize experiential forest culture workshops aimed at inculcating a basic understanding of international organizations and the importance and value of forests. The half-day workshops begin with a talk on forests in Asia and the roles that forests play in today’s world while reminding our young audience that everyone has a responsibility to protect forests. The second half of the workshop program included a wood-crafting session which saw children diligently creating various wood products under the guidance of instructors.
Some 449 children participated in workshops held at Kwansan Middle School, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan Global Youth Support Center, Korea Forest Science High School, and Sanseo Elementary School. Younger children were taught how to make simple household items such as coin banks, pot holders and pencil holders while high schoolers were tasked to assemble rice storage boxes and mood lamps.
AFoCO also had an exhibition booth at Ansan’s Multicultural Family Support Center’s World Festival event on October 19. The booth was flooded with children eager to hone their woodworking skills. Family members attending the event also participated actively in the quiz on trees and forests in Asia.
This year marks the first time AFoCO is initiated an educational program targeted at young children. Given the significance of forests and the urgent need to address climate change issues and other environmental problems, extending efforts in capacity building and awareness-raising will invaluably contribute toward nurturing future generations who are well-informed and motivated to build a sustainable society. AFoCO will also be releasing a comic-based textbook on forests for children aged 10 to 16 this year. The textbooks are expected to be used as educational material to help supplement curriculum in environmental and plant science.