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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Toyota Eco Youth Challenge Heats Up. (Official Press Release)

The Toyota Eco Youth (TEY) programme that was initiated in 2001 continues to inspire and motivate participating schools towards a greener and cleaner lifestyle not only within school premises but also in their community. The on-site judging for Toyota Eco Youth Programme begins since September, which will culminate in the TEY Closing Ceremony and Convention in October where students had to present their projects and set up booths to captivate judges.

A total of 40% points will go to the on-site judging, while the rest goes to website/blog development, exhibition displays and presentation at the TEY convention. The distribution of points helps students see a project in its entirety; from planning and idea development to implementation, marketing, vocal presentation and creative input. Using UMWT’s proprietary 8-step Problem Solving Methodology, participating students had to identify an environmental problem in the school and find ways to solve it.

One of the key CSR pillars of UMW Toyota Motor, the TEY programme started off as an eco contest among selected schools. The programme was extended to community level in 2011 in conjunction with its tenth anniversary, encouraging participants to create strategic partnerships with local community, the local councils, and government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Irrigation Department.

“The second phase of the TEY programme met with tremendous success because it was the first time a school’s environmental project had to involve public,” says Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor.

This year’s participants continue to surprise the judging committee with their innovative ideas for environmental problems within their community.

“It is gratifying to see the students challenging themselves to do things they seldom like such as visiting a landfill. Garbage is a growing problem in Malaysia but no one wants to know or do something about it,” says Encik Mohd Shamsor Mohd Zain, Director of Marketing, UMW Toyota Motor during the on-site judging.

In their TEY blog, the AFTE team from SMK (P) Sultan Abu Bakar, Muar, Johor, related how they were awed by Kah Hwa Industries, a garment factory that runs on bio-fuel from coconut husks. The coconut fibres are later separated to make materials for mattresses and fertiliser. The team collected 25 tonnes of coconut husks from a dump-site and delivered them to the factory for recycling. The project was successfully implemented thanks to a brainstorming session with experts at the Tun Hussein Onn University.

Equally dedicated is the World Wise team from SM St Michael Penampang, Sabah, who conducted a green fund-raiser with recycled mineral water bottles, and participated in workshops by the Penampang Works Department, District Council, Irrigation & Drainage Department and Landscaping Department. The team’s key project, which was to clean up a clogged monsoon drain also drew enthusiastic response from other students, who helped make mudballs and a grease trap.

Many TEY projects continue to be used today, as evidenced by SMK Sri Muda, Penang, who were champions in TEY 2007 and 2010.

According to Puan Aziah Yahaya, the teacher-in-charge, the grease traps to treat the waste water from the school canteen are still in use today. Instead of purchasing commercial “bokashi” for composting, the current team uses layers of soil and food waste to reduce costs. “The school continues to participate actively in environmental initiatives, such as the recently concluded green technology competition organised by a local university and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council,” she says.

Technical knowledge aside, she observed that the students benefitted most from the exposure to green technology during TEY, which boosted the confidence of the participating students.

“Environmental science is an important part of our lives and we are happy to provide a platform for these out-of-classroom lessons in collaboration with the Ministry of Education,” says Datuk Ismet.

He concludes that educating our youth to care for the environment is an investment in the future. “Our natural resources are not infinite. We need caring and sensitive leaders to ensure there will be sustainability for the future generations.”

source: UMW Toyota Motors Sdn. Bhd. 

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