Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Different Kind of Fun



During the summer of 2015, eHomemakers was invited to organize a one-month eco-basket weaving workshop in Club Med Cherating Beach in conjunction with its Family Nature Fun event. The event was filled with a myriad of lively activities of various themes such as art and dance, wellness, eco love, music and magic.

Club Med's Family Nature Fun event


The eco-basket weaving workshop falls under the theme eco love. A little introduction to eco-baskets: they are baskets hand-woven from used magazines by the EnWeave Community, a group of female weavers who are of low-income and disadvantaged. This community is part of Salaam Wanita, a pro-poor community project by eHomemakers. 




I was one of the instructors for the workshop. During my time in Club Med and organizing the workshop, it was evident how this workshop fulfilled the aim of Club Med’s Family Nature Fun event perfectly in all three aspects.  

(Left to right) Rui Ci, Shu Anne, Rhonwyn and Daniel were the instructors for the third week of the workshop.
 

Family


Have you seen the EnWeave Community eco-baskets before? The designs on the baskets are intriguing and mesmerizing. 

Eco-Baskets made by the EnWeave Community
Many of the guests, fondly called Gentil Membre (G.M.s) in Club Med, were fascinated by the eco-baskets and wanted to make one too. However, weaving an eco-basket is not easy; it requires patience, time, perseverance, practice, and most importantly, support. Therefore, we encouraged family members to weave a basket together to make things simpler and more manageable for them. This encouraged a lot of communication and understanding between family members. They guided and supported each other when weaving, and urged each other not to give up. 

A pair of Malaysian sisters, Aisling and Rebecca Chia, wove a basket together successfully thanks to constant communication and mental support between each other. Another heart-warming scene I witnessed was when Esteban, a Swiss father helped his son to complete a basket he was struggling with. 
Joshua Oei from Singapore attended the workshop with his father to learn how to make an eco-basket, but spent more quality time bonding with his father instead.

Esteban from Switzerland helping his son to weave an eco-basket.

Nature


The objective of holding the eco-basket weaving workshop is to educate and promote upcycling among members of the public. Now, ‘upcycling’ may be an unfamiliar term for many. What does it mean?



up·cy·cle

the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value



In the case of eco-baskets, the unwanted products are used magazines and the new materials are beautiful eco-baskets. 


Besides guiding the G.M.s on how to weave, we also explained to them the importance of caring for the environment. Upcycling is one way to do so. It is a combination of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Whenever I explained about the environmental impact of eco-baskets and EnWeave Community to the attendees, I enjoyed seeing the glint of fascination in their eyes upon realizing that these beautiful baskets made from paper can actually help to save Mother Earth. I believe those who attended the workshop are now more inclined towards caring for the environment, and they now know how to do it.   

Making the base of the eco-basket.

Fun


Club Med is a lively family resort filled with bustling activities catered to those who are more physically active. Personally, I enjoyed the Circus School and sailing very much. 


On the other hand, the eco-basket weaving workshop featured a different kind of fun. It was mentally stimulating and appealed towards those who were looking for a subtler activity. We had a guest from Taiwan, Wen Xiu Yu, who attended the workshop on her first day while her children took a dip in the pool. She enjoyed the session so much that she returned to the workshop for a second time to polish her weaving skills!



Wen Xiu Yu enjoyed the workshop so much she came back the next day for more!
 
My nine-day stay in Cherating Beach was extraordinary and I thoroughly enjoyed bonding with the staffs and guests of the resort. I hope more events similar to Family Nature Fun will be held in the future, as it is a fun and engaging way to promote environmental awareness among families taking a vacation in Club Med.

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