CyberFair Project ID: 7103

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Clean Ground Dream: An Advocacy for Unity
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Agusan National High School
    Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Philippines

35 students, ages 12-17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2012. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2012

Classes and Teachers: Epefania R. Ajoc, Julita N. Garcia, Nenita M. Bacala, Peter G. Esterioso

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

“In the beginning, there was no Philippines, but there was Butuan.”

The tag line of Butuan vents its colorful history as Philippines’ oldest city. It sits at the eastern part of the Agusan Valley in Mindanao, sprawling across the Agusan River which is home to 315,000 people. Butuan has also a rich biodiversity that is incessantly in threat because of excessive waste generation and deforestation. One of the titles that were given to the city was ‘Home of the Balangays’ because it is in Butuan that the oldest sea vessel in the Philippines, the balangays, were unearthed. Butuan was also coined as the ‘Timber City’, known as one of the island’s greatest timber-producing city. However, through the years, over harvesting of the city’s trees has caused its number to plummet, leaving Butuan with deforestated mountains. The past fame that was held upon became a forgotten portion of Mindanao, left from better the developments in technology. Nevertheless, it still has the quality that every individual can be proud of--people with warm hearts, productive citizens, and a place far from calamities like tsunami and hurricanes. Our city may not be swarmed with the abundance of skyscrapers and the upbeat atmosphere of urban life, but it definitely possesses the hidden qualities and resources that a progressive city of a first world would need that is yet to be nurtured . . . that is what the proponents DREAM and UNITE for!

2. Summary of Our Project

Every year, the humble city of Butuan generates an average of 35,000 metric tons of garbage, most if not all are dumped in the local landfills. Over the years, these landfills has slowly been filled, and has caused many environmental concerns to rise, not to mention the amount of money it requires in order to manage it (80 million pesos annually). However the local Butuanons are still negligent to the state of their mother city despite of the evident need for a cleaner and greener Butuan.

It is because of this that we have created the Eco-Cyber Patrol in order to inform the public about the condition of Butuan, and to influence them to unite, create and maintain a clean Butuan. through the empowerment of the “Clean Ground, Zero Waste” program, a pre-imposed project of the city government that calls attention to a more systematic and effective method of dealing with the garbage of the city. It employs the use of waste segregation, recycling and waste conversion (to organic fertilizers) as the key to the overwhelming waste production of the city. The Eco-Cyber Patrol aims to promote and further implement the said project through the activities and movements conducted by the team: seminars, clean-up drives, house-to-house campaigns, collaboration with other organizations, etc.; and with the use of this website, the team has high hope to affect not only the people of Butuan but each and every person into this world, in a way that people could realize that to act now and work together to save the environment is of essence and must be mandatory.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Problems are inevitable in every activity that one engages in. Through this particular research, one of the things that really affected the team was lack of communication of the participants. This was due to our overlapping schedules, given that almost all of our teammates are very active in the various class activities, both academic and co curricular. Another is coping with the appointments that we have in schedule with the people we needed for our information etc. However, through these problems we learned that time management and focus were the answers to overcome this hurdle. After all, fines is not the money, it is the discipline.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The City of Butuan is experiencing a rapid urban growth. Increasing population, urbanization and industrialization are resulting in the generation of increasing amounts of solid wastes. The management of these wastes is a growing problem in the city because of concerns related to both public health and environmental degradation. To seize upon the environmentally important problem of urban waste disposal, Agusan National High School has joined the International CyberFair that lead them to launch a group composed of responsible students who address environmental problem. Through use of technology, the group has decided to launch a website about the project to strengthen young people’s environmental awareness and engage youth to act upon the present environmental issues. Also, through this website the team will be able to inspire the youth to redress the balance and concentrate resources and effort developing technologies suited to our age, and to our fragile and independent world.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our school and locality already made laws regarding waste management, namely the Clean Ground, Zero Waste Campaign, and the rules set by our alma mater, Agusan National High School. The vision of a clean Butuan that they speak of is very promising. The main problem that they face is the lack of education and participation among Butuanons regarding waste management. The officials are doing their best to aid this problem. Since this is the project that can be made a success only through the involvement of every citizen, the officials carry a huge responsibility on their shoulders. Here’s when we come into the picture. Not only did we offer our support by word, but we also help promote the cause by action through organizing seminars and serving as effective and productive Eco-Cyber Patrollers.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Our team has used the modern resource center of the world, the internet. Explorations and brainstorming were accompanied by the ideas we have found, we have read and learned online. Beforehand, we have already ventured into the vast functions of the personal computer which helped us do the tasks well and easier. These did not only serve as information tools but also as communication tools in order to contact the various personalities who are vital for the completion of this research. The team also utilized different gadgets like camcorders and voice recorders as instruments for the documentation of the whole project; and the last and probably the most important gadget that we used is the cellular phone – that served as the bridge that connected each and every person composing our team.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

“It doesn’t matter if our city doesn’t have skyscrapers or superhighways, what matters most is that we start with the little things like the cleanliness of the city – and that’s what makes us great.” This was the most lasting remark that our city mayor gave us when we first interviewed him. What he said truly captured the essence of the Clean Ground, Zero Waste Program in Butuan City and inspired us to continue working hard in pursuing this research, and we did. We tapped different organizations and sectors concerned with our research in order to acquire more information and support in the dissemination and implementation of the program in the city. Sure enough, they helped us in every way they can and even praised us for conducting a research as this. The people behind this research worked like ambassadors because as we have met these people, we presented ourselves as a representative of the team and learned so much out from them, then we put together these information to convey the message of the environment to the people of Butuan City and hopefully influenced them to follow the Clean Ground, Zero Waste Program.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The most unique attribute of our research is that it answers the biggest problem of today’s fight against garbage – education. Aside from the seminars we have conducted, we also steered a house-to-house campaign in different Barangays of our city to enlighten them on how to make our city attain a ‘clean ground’.

We saw the changes brought about by the influence of our website to the people of Butuan. School teachers, students, families and government officials, especially the city mayor saw our website and gave us a positive feedback on our movement. They told us how our simple effort helped them a lot on the promotion of the Clean Ground-Zero Waste Program. Internationally, many students from various nations have shared their insights about our website and enthusiastically expressed their support and feedback.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Members and co-dreamers were needed in order to enhance and implement the dream, a cleaner Butuan. Throughout the research, we collaborated with the Butuan City Government, DOST (Department of Science and Technology), DENR (Department of Environment and Resources), various school organizations and fellow environmental advocates abroad, even random bystanders also managed to render their time and effort through their participation for this vision. In fact, Agusan National High School also implemented the CLEAN GROUND ZERO PROGRAM with the collaboration of SSG (Supreme Student Government), YES-O (Youth for Environment and School Organization) and SCITE (science Communication and Information Technology Enthusiast) which further empowered our cause. With their help, we are able to manifest and enhance our project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Along the way there have been many discoveries, lessons and surprises that we have encountered, that is why we are very proud to be a part of it. First and foremost, we learned to remove our prejudice towards government officials. This predisposition has slowly been transformed to who they truly were, we realized that they were very down-to-earth and highly supportive of our advocacy.

We stayed up late for something – the formulation of the school policies, and we discovered how difficult law-making could be. There are so many things, so many people and so many interests that have to be considered, and for these laws to be effective, change must start with us.

During the seminar we conducted, we were surprised by how high the energy of the students were as well as the guests who participated. Even though the seminar lasted for 3 hours, they did not show any inch of frustration nor boredom which rarely happens in our school activities.We believe that this is because the method of teaching was very fun and lively. There we learned how to recycle the easiest way and how we can make money out of garbage. Of course we loved this; it was another way to involve ourselves with entrepreneurship.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7103)

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