As the population in Asia is growing rapidly, sustainability will get increasingly important in the years to come. At Colt we try to be a frontrunner on this topic. Because we are set in Cambodia, a country with an abundance of sun, it seemed obvious to embrace this clean energy source. Below you can find more information about Colt’s initiatives concerning sustainability.
Solar energy project
The Solar project was a major victory for Colt that, apart from providing us with clean and cheap solar energy, also gave us an opportunity to raise awareness among students, neighbors and fellow organizations. In a three-step operation that stretched over several years, we managed to raise enough money to install the solar panels and all the necessary equipment to actually convert the energy to usable electricity. An important part of these funds were rewarded by the Dutch ASN World Bank. ASN organized a competition for Dutch sustainable initiatives around the world, an online voting race that Colt won thanks to the incredible effort of our entire network of volunteers and friends. The energy costs we save thanks to this project are directly visible on our monthly bills, but will on the longer term also contribute to a cleaner environment on a larger scale.
The last stage of the project is part of the ongoing efforts of Colt to stimulate and encourage a more environmentally responsible way of life. Our older children have attended a workshop about solar energy and in turn educated people in the neighborhood and kids from other organizations.
Electric motor bikes
Since 2011 Colt is the proud owner of two electrical motorbikes. The staff uses these bikes to run all kinds of errands around town. After realizing the solar project, we are really riding around Phnom Penh free and clean. In order to stimulate the use of clean motorbikes among our staff members and students of our school, we are planning to create a charging station, so they can charge their bike for free.
In the beginning of 2011 we have initiated a recycle project, where we collect plastic bottles, cans and paper. The children can sell everything they collect at the recycle station and the money they earn is deposited on a joint savings account. The children can decide among themselves what they want to with the money, which has already resulted in a DVD player, volleyball net and a punching bag.
In line with our vision to incorporate a sustainable way of life as much as possible we are devoting quite some time in the class room to educate children and students about sustainability around the world and in their environment. By connecting these topics with traditional subjects like geography and biology, we hope they will become increasingly aware of factors that harm the planet, but also of possibilities to preserve it.
Luckily, many volunteers and sponsors support us in this quest, each in their own way. Where one volunteer donated money for super-sturdy bins made from old car tires, another even found more creative ways to re-use old materials and got our children enthusiastic about this art.
Nowadays, many of the products in Colt’s gift shop are also made of recycled materials, like can lids, rice bags and old tires. Our sewing teacher and his wife work together with volunteers and kids to create nice souvenirs like bracelets, hand bags and wallets. Apart from buying the products here, there are several points of sale in The Netherlands. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.