In May 2017, we took a group of students between age 11-13 years to Ladakh for an immersive experience on Sustainable Living. We spent a week at the SECMOL school near Leh. Some of the things we learned about on the trip:
- What are passive buildings and how do they work?
- Compost toilets
- Using Solar energy for heating water and cooking
- How high-school level science can help solve pressing local problems: Ice Stupa project (see video below)
- Wisdom of Ladakh Forum – Exchange with Japanese visitors about making natural salt from the ocean
- Ladakhi meal preparation
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbhutoria%2Fposts%2F10154629269271937&width=500&show_text=true&height=794&appIdInspired by our meeting with Mr Sonam Wangchuk in Mumbai earlier this year, we decided to give our students at MakersLoft a real life experience of living sustainably and for ourselves to learn from SECMOL’s pathbreaking work in education.
Sharing highlights and memories from our experience at SECMOL school in Ladakh, in May 2017:
* SECMOL takes in students who have failed class 10, some several times, and turns them around giving them life-skills
* The school is run largely by students, they do EVERYTHING! I have not seen a more down-to-earth and happy-go-lucky group of students
* SECMOL is off the grid, they produce their own electricity and do not use any additional heating, the buildings are constructed such. They have won the Terra and other international sustainability awards for it
* Many students have turned Entreprenurs after leaving SECMOL
* Students learn how to develop innovative solution to local problems, simply using high school level Scinece and creativity. Best example of their ingenuity is Ice Stupa. Sonam and his team have been invited to build the same in Switzerland
While it wasn’t easy for us city slicks to use compost toilets daily and live without access to running warm water, internet or phone connectivity, we learned more about making sustainable choices in those 7 days than one could by reading text books
We will cherish the experience at SECMOL and the warmth of Ladakhi people for a long time. Becky Norman from US who has made Ladakh her home for the last 25 years, and helped shape SECMOL, deserves a special mention, very inspiring to meet her.
The Ice Stupa Project