Turning disposable material into ‘objets d'art’

UNIFIL Peacekeeper helping the students to creatively use aluminum to decorate recycled cans.

Lebanese-Brazilian recycle art specialist Katia Awar explaining to the students how to turn recycled material into art.

The students enjoying the art recycling class.

Trainers helping the students to turn disposable material into ‘objets d'art’.

Students proudly showing of the finished art at the end of art recycling workshop.

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15 Apr 2014

Turning disposable material into ‘objets d'art’

"I learnt that instead of throwing things away, we can turn them into nice and useful objects. This helps reduce pollution," says Bara, a fourth grade student at Tyre Public Intermediate School for Girls, after attending a workshop on Art Recycling.

The recycled art workshop, funded by the Brazilian Maritime Task Force (MTF) and facilitated by UNIFIL Civil Affairs, took place between 28 February and 21 March. The school principal, Ms Iffat Bazzi, explained that it helped raise awareness about preserving the environment and making use of disposable material in a fun and pleasant way. "Every training course was attended by two or three teachers with a view of transferring knowledge to other students," she added.

Lebanese-Brazilian recycle art specialist Katia Awar, who works with the Brazilian MTF, explained that people in Brazil love recycling waste. "It is common that we recycle, especially while decorating our homes," she said. Asked about the importance of her approach in teaching the children, she explained, "this is the best way for children to understand what they need to do. They don't like listening to theories. This is how they learn. This will have a better impact on society."

The fourth grade students were happy with the outcome. "We brought a can and a CD. We decorated it with butterflies and hearts. We then glued and attached them to the can on the CD," eight-year old Hanan proudly explained her art craft. Mariam another student added, "Miss Katia inspired me."

What about Fatima? What was she preparing for her mom on Mother's Day? "I will bring a carton, decorate it with roses and hearts and write her a greeting," she said. Fatima and her classmates are ready to take the lessons learnt back home: "My mother will be happy that I am doing nice stuff from things we usually throw away, even if at times, she will not be so happy with the clutter," she added with a witty smile.

During the four day workshop, each group of students worked on different materials. The first group showed creativity on paper, another altered the fate of aluminium, and a third got familiar with plastic litter. The fourth group focused on rubber, where tires were turned into ornamental containers for flowerbeds.

The activities were concluded in an exhibition displaying the various artefacts prepared by the students.