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The ‘understory’ of Creation C.A.R.E 2023: understanding the 'why'

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Akin to the many layers of the rainforest, there are various facets of Creation C.A.R.E that can be uncovered. Although the children’s artworks were a great hit with the public, Creation C.A.R.E is not merely a fun art project that showed off their creativity and talent for aesthetics. This year, we chose to let the children explore the topic of “Orang Utan and its rainforest friends”. Emergent

The emergent layer of the rainforest is where big, tall trees tower over the entire ecosystem and can be spotted from afar. Similarly, the art showcase was the head-turning highlight as well as the tangible expression of everything the children had learnt and internalised over the past 2 months with their teachers. They were only able to produce such richly nuanced works which send an important message about conservation after digging deeper into why it is important to protect rainforests and their precious inhabitants. A handmade sign saying “save the orang utans” would not have sufficed.

Canopy Just below the emergent layer is the canopy, which is dense in its networks of tree branches, leaves, fruit and more. This is the layer where most animals such as the toucans, orang utan and two-toed sloth inhabit as there is a variety of food that sustains them - and in return, they help scatter the seeds of trees, ensuring growth and expansion. Before the artworks could even be conceived, preparation work by the teachers was the cornerstone of the project, where the fruits of rich knowledge were shared with the children. Children discovered interesting facts about orang utans and their habitat, the intelligent apes with the moniker “People of the Forest”. For example, they sometimes eat with their feet, and they create a new nest to sleep in every night, which sometimes even include a roof if its raining!

Then came the disconcerting and somber lessons during which the children realised how orang utans are now critically endangered due to human activity. Due to deforestation to make way for oil palm trees, it is predicted that by 2032, 26,200 out of the estimated population of 100,000 will lose their homes. This means that the life of every 1 in 4 orang utans are threatened, which will affect the health of rainforests as they are one of the largest populations of seed dispersers. Watch the following video for a better picture:

Many products that we eat and use in everyday life such as shampoo and bread contain palm oil. Palm oil is actually the most efficient and versatile vegetable oil as it requires less land to produce it than other oils, thus the key is not to avoid it but to ensure the responsible production of it, which respects both the communities and environment where it is grown. As urbanization gets more prevalent and businesses to sustain human activity, we must all play a part in conservation as well.

So what can we do to help? Children learnt about the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organisation which endeavours to maintain global standards for sustainable palm oil within the industry.

They became aware that their personal choices when shopping can have a huge impact! All they have to do is look for the RSPO label to ensure that the things that they purchase use palm oil that was produced sustainably.

Armed with a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding the rainforest and orang utans, the teamwork between children and teachers helped them to create artpieces that send a message on the need to care for creation. With over 1,500 children putting in their hard work, they managed to put up an impressive showcase to educate and urge others to come on board in this journey of conservation!

Understory & Forest Floor The understory and forest floor is where it is dark, with only 2-5% of sunlight reaching these layers. However, it is where animals find food and shelter, as well as where roots of the majestic trees which absorb essential nutrients from soil.

We see an abundance of organisations, causes and individuals telling us to “go green” or “save the earth”. But why? Is it just so that future generations will have a place to inhabit? Creation C.A.R.E invites children to go beyond the surface, ponder further, and get to the root of why it is important to protect the earth. It sheds light on the fact that we have to care for God's Creation as His people, because God’s creation is beautiful and good. (Genesis 1, 1:31), and His handiworks are a testament to His greatness, power and sovereignty.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31

Through Creation C.A.R.E, we hope to cultivate in the children an appreciation for God's Creation from a young age. Find out more about Creation C.A.R.E and how you can partner us here.Catch up on the highlights of the launch in the article below.


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