Project Kim Kim is a pilot project initiated by 14 teachers from schools around Pasir Gudang who witnessed the Kim Kim toxic waste crisis that affected their communities. More than 4000 fell ill and 111 school had to be closed. The government spent about 6.4million ringgit cleaning the river but when everyone who evacuated returned to Pasir Gudang, it was business as usual. It was as though the crisis had never happened.
From here we started to question if we, as Malaysians, even care about the environment. This project is about learning how we can understand the complexities of our environment in order to develop ownership to safeguard what’s around us.
When we surveyed 340 students and teachers around Pasir Gudang, we found out that 90% agree that it is their responsibility to take care of the environment. However, the most they do to care for their environment is throwing trash properly and recycling. These are textbook answers; almost none of them have considered educating their friends or even reducing plastic waste to begin with.
What this means is that the local community are not connecting the dots between all elements that compose the entirety of a system.
This is the gap in our environmental education that we are looking to address.
We are proposing a pilot project that runs through a framework that focuses on understanding and awareness, followed by building empathy and establishing ownership among our students.
This project is about creating access to an environmental education model that champions our local context. As teachers, it is our duty to carry out Project Kim Kim. As Malaysians, it is our vision that one day all communities in Malaysia will self-organise efforts to safekeep their local environments.
We hope you will join us and be part of this vision.