Publication Date: 20th January 2022
Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador
Human can goes weeks without food, but without water is a total different story!
Water is an essential element for the lives of people as well as the country’s development. The Mekong River is one of the main water resources for Cambodian agricultural activities and protein supply, which is estimated to worth 2 billion USD annually.
Besides providing enormous supply of water, Mekong is also an important source of food. According to the Mekong River Commission, the Lower Mekong is home to the largest fisheries. It provides around 4.4 million tons of fishes in each year, which worth around 17 billion USD.
However, the climate change, the rapid growth of population, the increasing economic activities, and hydropower projects on the Mekong River have constantly affected the quantity and quality of the water and fisheries.
What should we tell our children about this precious river? Will they be interested in learning more about the issues at Mekong? How do we made them interested?
LEARNING KIT PROJECT: A KID-FRIENDLY APPROACH TO MEKONG
The conventional one-way learning is no longer an attractive approach to raise awareness about environmental issues or Mekong problems. A more creative, two-way kind of learning approach which directly engage the learner is.
Learning Kit project aims to raise awareness about the endangered species and many other issues that currently arise at Mekong among young students, specifically the primary school students, by exposing them to Mekong knowledge through different game and activities.
This project takes a more entertaining approach to address the Mekong issues to the young students through which different fun activities and games are included. Kun Sophika, one of the project leader, strongly believe that this would be a faster and better way for children to enjoy learning about Mekong.
“We are producing puzzle game with fish picture on it. Kids can play the game and learn about fish facts and other Mekong issues. We have tested this learning kits at a few public events and kids really enjoy the game. Adult also enjoy playing it too,” said Sophika.
Chea Sothearoth, another leader of this project, further explained about the project’s targeted group. The members will reach out to different primary schools and NGOs. The information related to Mekong endangered species is being spread to the younger age group, specifically the fifth and sixth grade students, which is the potential age of learning.
“They are at the age which is full of curiosity and questions. So after they see our learning kit which is about the Monster Giant Fish, for example, they will be interested and approach us. Their interests is one way to spread the information about Mekong,” said Sothearoth.
Eight different types of giant fish species at Mekong will be shown to the public. All of these giant species is an important depiction to shift the public’s attention on the benefits provided by Mekong, or so-called the Wonder of Mekong. People’s awareness toward Mekong. Along with the problems addressed, the benefits of Mekong will be shown to people to keep their interest in the river.
“I would be very happy if the kids are at least able to identify one or two of those national fish species at Mekong,” said Sothearoth.
Being a part of this Learning Kit project, both Sophika and Sothearoth held a positive view on the outcome of the project that kids would get a better understanding as well as a positive attitude toward the Mekong River, an invaluable source of income and food security of the region.
“The biggest problem that we face right now is related to the value that we give to Mekong River. I think it is as important as the other issues arising at Mekong. Thus, people’s attitude toward Mekong should be the thing that come first,” said Sothearoth.
Similar, Sophika also held a positive view that the value of Mekong would be deeply understood by the general public. Hopefully, more people, especially the younger ones, would be interested in getting to know more about the issues at Mekong, and how they could be a part of solving it, she said.
Learning Kit is one of the Young Eco Embassador (YEA) projects. Both Kun Sophika and Chea Sothearoth are the leaders of this project. They have become a part of YEA due to their strong passion and interests in tackling the environmental issues and raising more awareness about the Mekong River.
“let’s the Children Of Mekong Play And Learn”
Written Year: 2019
Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador