24 students from Minmahaw Higer Education Program (MHEP) visited Grace Garden May 26th – 30th for an action packed week studying and experiencing sustainable living. The training introduced the students to the techniques of natural soil enhancement, agroforesty, adobe natural buildings, solar energy, and water filtration through a balance of lectures and practical hands-on learning. For example, students learned about the healthy soil cycle in the classroom and then applied their new knowledge by making compost, bio-char, and collecting effective micro-organisms (EM) as natural soil enhancers. Concerning the integrated training format, one student enthused, “The lecture is only giving the information. By doing the practical, it makes it more clear. It makes us to remember.” Over the course of the training the students also got the opportunity to try their hands at planting banana trees, building a wall with adobe bricks, and assembling a water filter system following theory focused lectures on agroforestry, natural buildings, and water filtration respectively.
16 students from local Noh Bo Academy joined the training May 29th- 31st for the water filter portion, which was lead by Nate Reents from Aqueous Solutions. This portion culminated in the construction of three Aqueous Solution designed gravity water filter systems, two of which were installed at Noh Bo Academy and the third at a nearby children’s home, Grace Boarding. Each system can filter 300 liters of water per day providing much needed drinking water for these institutions.
Even with the fast paced schedule, there was room for fun. Students cooled off in the river while collecting media for the water filters, spent an evening of games with students from local Noh Bo Teacher Training College (TTC), and woke up extra early for a hike up to Noh Bo’s mountain top pagoda.
One student summarizes the experience, “It was a really amazing week. We got to learn a lot from here. We got a chance to meet new people. It was a busy week, but a happy week, too.” Thank you GDF Suez and GLOW for supporting this training!