The children with ear-to-ear smiles are flying paper airplanes. The paper airplanes are made of handmade papers from the indigenous cogon grasses. Cogon grasses have been treated as a nuisance because they cover plantations and arable lands, deprive the nutrients of the soil and sometimes cause wildfire. People have studied ways of utilizing the grasses and came to invent handmade paper. Cogon grass papers have a distinctive touch, and are processed into postcards, letter papers, envelopes, lamp shades, etc.
Handmade paper-making, leading to the reduction of troublesome weeds and also as a source of income, has become one of the industries in Mindanao. In OISCA Mindanao Echotech Center, too, we are teaching paper-making to the local residents and are making cards with the children at CFP schools.
At Jose Hamoy Elementary School, Children’s Forest Program was held. The children, after having played with Tsumiki No Hiroba (Environmental Education through Wooden Blocks), folded paper airplanes with Cogon grass papers. The children fly and chase paper airplanes on the school ground. They repeat it again, again. It is hoped that they will grow up without forgetting the warmth of woods and the tenderness of handmade papers.
●Start Year：1994 ●No. of Children：110人 ●Address：igabe, Pinan, Zamboanga Del Norte