Activity Reports

AJYELN Philippines Fellows, Natura Maharlika attend a workshop on plastic upcycling with the Toril Kalamboan Association in Davao, Philippines on October 7

Report by: Angeline Tamisin, Natura Maharlika AJYELN Philippines Fellow 

Key findings

Passion, power, and purpose in plastic upcycling

AJYELN Philippines fellows learned from Toril Kalamboan Association that finding value from repurposed plastic trash takes vision to see the possibilities and commitment to see it happen in reality.

Skill-building enhances commitment

Through the workshop on plastic upcycling, the AJYELN Philippines fellows developed a bigger sense of purpose and commitment to advocate more passionately about plastic pollution awareness. It also gave them creative inspiration in engaging more people and increasing interest towards the issue.

Figure 1. The four fellows of Natura Maharlika with their  
Supervisor on the way to Toril Kalamboan Association.

The members of Natura Maharlika, or AJYELN Philippines fellows, joined a workshop on plastic upcycling last October 7 at the Toril Kalamboan Association, a non-profit organization in Davao, Philippines advocating for plastic recycling by converting plastic trash into handicrafts. The association was established in 2012, had garnered various recognitions for their work, and have active connections and co-organized past activities with our school, the Ateneo de Davao University JHS Unit. Ms. Elena Mabano, head of the association, conducted the workshop.

Through the workshop, the fellows aim to develop crafting skills which they will need to conduct their next project, a capacity building activity on plastic upcycling that involves many students from their school unit.

Figure 2. Some of the crafts made from plastic by the Toril Kalamboan Association
Figure 3. Resource speakers from Toril Kalaboan Association giving a short talk prior to the workshop

Upon arrival, the fellows were warmly received by the resource speakers from the organization and were given a small talk on the 3 P’s that we needed to embody to be able to carry out the crafting. Identified as Passion, Power, and Perseverance, these traits could empower anyone to do crafting and create new materials from plastic trash as said by Ms. Elena. The purpose of this event was to orient and teach the fellows how to craft plastics into supplies, so the fellows could assist the students on their next project.

Figure 4. Fellows being taught of the first step in crafting – cutting 
and folding the plastics to form a strip.
Figure 5. Fellows learning how to sew the plastics together to form 
a wall for the wallets and pencil cases.
Figure 6. Fellows, in this picture, is Kenji, being taught how on 
how to assemble the wallets and pencil cases. 

The activity was successful as two fellows were able to make one product each and the team was able to get necessary ideas and skills that will be relevant to the next project.

This workshop which was done exclusively for the team and served as an initiative to fully immerse themselves in advocating for the problem. Through this, the fellows were able to grasp a better understanding of the challenges that environmental advocates face and solutions that can be done.

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