Filed under: Change Caravan, Indonesia, Life at work, Stop climate change, Thailand | Tags: Chang, Chang[e], elephants, Greenpeace University
The second day was a big day for the Chang(e) Caravan project. In the morning, we marched from the entrance of Ancient Siam to the ’Bench of Public Appeals’. Before the long march, a small ceremonial activity was done with one of the elephants, Tong Dang, along with his mahout, to pay respect to the holy figures located in the entrance of Ancient Siam.
Walking together with the Chang(e) Caravan team, students, elephants and Ancient Siam’s visitors was a very uplifting moment. Although the sun felt like 5-inches away from us—the students were singing and cheering loudly (we wanted to sing along but unfortunately the song was in Thai) until we reached the ’Bench of Public Appeals’ for the day’s activities.
People—especially the children—were amazed by the giant gentle creatures they could not stop staring and stroking them. Watching the children and the elephants, you could not help but feel the urgency of securing a better future for them, as they will be the ones who will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. Our journey with the Chang[e] Caravan was a useful tool in helping spread the message across – from children to adults and world leaders alike.
Dr. Alongkot—the elephant expert educated everyone of the importance of elephant extinction. He shared the knowledge he learned about the elephant’s history, habitat, belief, ecology and their connection with humans, especially in Thai society. ”The youth is the most impacted people. They are the ones who will continue our work in protecting nature”, said Tara Buakamsri, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Thailand Campaign Manager.
Inside the ’Bench of Public Appeals’, we met two lovely girls who helped with the painting activity for the children. The children illustrated their feelings upon meeting the elephants and their opinion on climate change.
Ben and Fine are two high school students that volunteered for this special occasion in the Chang(e) Caravan. ”Drawing is a simple way for children to express their opinion and feelings about elephants and the environment”, said Fine.
In the middle of our chat, a little girl approached us and asked Ben and Fine if she can draw a picture of an elephant. While she was drawing, they asked her a couple of questions and praised her for her wonderful drawing. She also wrote a few sentences behind the artwork. With the help of Ben and Fine, we finally understood the story of her drawing. The drawing by Kata, an 8 year old, was of an elephant eating leaves from a tree with a short message saying: ”Trees are important for elephants because without trees, the elephants would not have food to eat”, said Fine. And behind Kata’s drawing, she wrote:
I was very excited to meet the elephants
Tong Dang (one of the elephants)
I’m very glad I was able to touch the elephant
With love and care (then she drew a big heart in the middle of the paper)
The older kids also expressed their opinion and feelings through drawings and writings. Below are a couple of their artworks, hopefully they inspire you as much as they have inspired us.
PS: Thanks to Ben and Fine for translating the Thai writings for us.
“We should stop global warming so we can have a clean earth, so the world can stay with us for a long time. We should help and protect elephants so they stay as Thailand’s icon for the country forever”
-Hani and Lalit-
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