Friday, June 1st was a whirlwind of fun here at Ock Pop Tok’s Living Crafts Centre. We celebrated both National Children’s Day and National Tree Planting Day by inviting the children of our staff and weavers to join us at the Living Crafts Centre. Guided by the principle that children and the youth are the future of the world, we wanted to share our values with them on their day off. A little bit of learning outside of the traditional school setting!

We first gave the children t-shirts that state our pledge to the environment. As a social enterprise, we strive to make our community a better place. One way we are doing this is by becoming a plastic-free company. For example, we have stopped using plastic straws and now use, source, and sell bamboo straws made locally. We are also part of a larger community of businesses who provide free water refill stations throughout Luang Prabang. We hope to inspire the younger generation to become stewards of the environment through environmentally-friendly habits!

Afterwards, our team led a planting activity to improve our grounds at the Living Crafts Centre. The children chose a plant or flower and helped with planting as we dug holes near our walking paths. New plants and flowers not only add to the aesthetics of our grounds but also add to the natural ecosystem by providing spaces for insects and other animals and sustaining nutrients in our soils.

After the planting activity, we led the children through a tour of Lao textiles. The children interacted with activities that their parents can see every day! They connected the dots from the creation of fibers to the weaving of fabrics to the application of different surface techniques, like batik wax-resist dyeing. We hoped to inspire children in understanding the importance of textiles in Lao culture and seeing that textiles can be created with care and attention in every step.

We ended the celebration by serving the children with home-made fried rice. Although these two holidays may seem separate, we had an exciting time connecting the two and are continually inspired by the children’s enthusiasm, energy and eagerness for learning

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