YOUTH-LED community-based organization Bacolod Core: Children Optimization for the Revitalization of the Environment has launched the Ecological Saturdays (Ecosat) Initiative Wave 2, a continuing implementation of its flagship program.
The activity held at Purok Crossing Otso in Barangay Tangub in the city over the weekend forms part of efforts of the organization as it opens a new chapter towards mobilizing Filipino communities towards empowered and active climate action.
Volunteers coming from government and private sector organizations have assembled at the adopted community to extend their support to the execution of the environment-centered program.
Also, to show their parallel concern on the dire environmental conditions brought about by the climate crisis and plastic pollution that caused the depletion of a large portion of the world's resources and the suffering of many families around the globe.
Bacolod Core chairperson and founder Elmeer Meeynard Calimpos said the organization is taking steps to replicate projects that were introduced by the Sweep: Sea Waste Education to Eradicate Plastic program of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI).
These include the waste auditing method which is a "beyond cleanup" event that will increase the knowledge of the community members to loving their environment.
Calimpos said they are blessed to have been affiliated with Sweep and "we will ensure its sustainability through our continuous collaborative efforts to eradicating or at least mitigating the use of plastics."
"We are grateful that we have sustained our Ecological Saturdays class with the support of our partner organizations and volunteers," he said, adding that "ultimately, we will continue to empower our beneficiaries to make them more knowledgeable on how to understand basic disaster risk reduction management concepts and terminologies, identify factors that contribute to disaster risk, and to promote concern and care for the environment."
The Ecological Saturdays Initiative Wave 2 consisted of a coastal clean-up drive participated by the volunteers complemented by a quick waste audit by "volunteer Core heroes."
They also administered a handwashing session which was followed by the turn-over of storybooks and learning materials to the purok officials to be given to the Ecosat beneficiaries and partners.
For Calimpos, he founded the Bacolod Core as an organization with a heart for building a community of environmentally conscious children for the children to their children, the nation, and to God.
Through the organization formed in February 2018, he is advocating for a multi-step learning process to the children on their formative stage by inculcating values of environmental stewardship through education, experiential learning and exposure for a sustainable and balanced ecology.
Moreover, Bacolod Core expressed its gratitude to the partner organizations and individual volunteers.
They have contributed to the collective aim of harnessing grassroot-level potentials involving children directed on climate action, the organization said.
The partners included Purok Crossing Otso Officials and community members, Saint Ezekiel Moreno Monastery, Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc., Philippine Air Force- Negros Occidental, Vivo Camera and Music, Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute Inc., Green Alert Network Inc., Student Catholic Action of the Philippines UNO-R Chapter, Earthguard Organization of John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation- Bacolod and Earthguards of University of Saint La Salle.
Bacolod Core also recognized the help of Youth Organization Registration Program - National Youth Commission and Provincial Youth Development Council of Negros Occidental.
The program marks the start of the formal education, experiential learning, and exposure of the 19 newly-integrated Ecosat kids.
They will now be part of the initiative, an addition to the 30 pioneering members, it added. (Lord Willet Gocotano contributed to this story)