TOYOTA ECO YOUTH 2011 BENEFITS SCHOOLS AND INCREASE AWARENESS IN THE COMMUNITY

Published on October 24th, 2011

UMW Toyota Motor today announced the results of its annual Toyota Eco Youth (TEY) programme, held for the 11th year under the Environment pillar of its CSR initiatives. This year’s TEY programme drew exciting new results, with the programme being extended to include community projects in an effort to expose school children to the real environmental problems faced by people.

Held at the Grand Bluewave Hotel, the TEY Prize Giving Ceremony was officiated by ­­­­­ Tuan Haji Muhamat Roli Bin Haji Hassan, Directory of Co-Curiculum and Arts Division from the Ministry of Education and En. Ismet Suki, President, UMW Toyota Motor. More than 80 school children and teachers from the eight participating schools were also present to share their excitement and joy at participating in this initiative aimed at developing eco consciousness among the young.

In his welcoming speech, En. Ismet said “With full support from the Ministry Of Education, the Toyota Eco Youth has not only managed to achieve our initial purpose, which is to inculcate awareness for environmental issues, but have also evolved into something bigger and better.

From 2001 since its inception, the TEY programme has met with growing interest from schools nationwide. For the last ten years, the effort has been focused on school environmental problems. The programme is brought to a different level this year by extending their activities to their community.

He adds that environmental awareness must begin from young. He also notes that the youth of today are actually very interested in environmental issues because the damage left behind by the previous generation, such as poor waste and water management, carbon fuel emissions, energy wastage, excessive logging and unregulated urban development, are staring in the face of today’s generation of youngsters.

Using the Toyota Business Practice Problem Solving Methodology, participating teams were told to identify the most severe environmental problems within their community where they can make a difference.

This saw the teams rolling up their sleeves and hitting the streets with full enthusiasm. Some of the most notable projects involved going from house to house to collect electricity bills and advising villagers on how to reduce their electricity consumption, working with Pasar Pagi traders on waste management and helping a beach resort manage its waste problems with eco-friendly probiotic enzymes.

One team made soap and lamps from recycled cooking oils, while another enterprising team signed an MOU with a local university to sell used cooking oil to the university to be turned into biodiesel. Noticing their interest in science and green technology, the team members were even offered part-time jobs at the university lab in the coming school holidays!

“Projects aside, what we enjoyed most were seeing the participants having fun throughout the Toyota Eco Youth programme. The team spirit, learning opportunities, exposure to the real working world and brainstorming sessions are surely experiences which they will cherish for a lifetime,” added En. Ismet.

The TEY programme, first conceptualized in 2001, is closely supported by the Ministry of Education and has involved over 1,500 students, principals and teachers in 138 schools since its inception.

The community involvement in this year’s TEY programme has been a huge success among the communities where the schools were located, igniting hopes that more schools can get involved in next year’s TEY as part of nation-building.

words & pix: Toyota

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