Monday, March 21, 2016

Empowered via aquaponics

KLANG: The Elshaddai Refugee Learning Centre (ERLC) will have six aquaponics systems to help them create sources of income, thanks to a RM20,000 donation from the German embassy.

Aquaponics is a self-sustaining method that combines fish farming with gardening in a completely waste-free system.

The waste from the fish provides an organic food source for the plants, which in turn, give a natural filter for the fish to live in.

German Ambassador to Malaysia Holger Michael said the produce from this project would be sold to nearby churches to supplement ERLC’s operation cost.


“Besides, this project aims to provide healthy food for the students while giving them hands-on knowledge in environmental science, botany and biology,” he said after visiting the centre and the aquaponics project corner yester-day.

He said the embassy would provide annual mini grants to organisations all over Malaysia in various areas such as education.

During the visit, the children attending ERLC were also given sports equipment such as sportswear.

ERLC founder Andrew Ng said the aquaponics project was also a way to teach the older refugee children to be environmental friendly farmers.

“It helps them develop skills that will augur well for their future, apart from generating the much needed income to fund the learning centre,” he said.

Founded in 2008 and registered under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ERLC is the most diverse refugee school in Malaysia, providing education to over 400 students aged between four and 17 from nine countries.

There are 28 volunteer teachers at the ERLC to handle the 19 classes ranging from kindergarten to Form 2.

The school also offers projects in science, music, arts and crafts, among others, in its curriculum.