Teachers as Community Leaders: Eco-Designing Fashion

In order to raise awareness of environmental protection,  Medina Sokolović Alajmović,  professor of mathematics and IT at the Secondary School Center “Nedžad Ibrišimović” in Ilijaš and attendee  of Uchi, Think i Act! training for teaching and professional staff of secondary schools,  organized a series of interesting activities for over 100 students of this school as part of the local civic initiative Eco-design fashion. With her unwavering commitment, together with a passionate team of students and teachers, Medina successfully applied the knowledge and skills acquired during the training, precisely by being the initiator of an inspiring initiative that combines creativity, education and care for the environment.

Through various workshops, from a sewing course, to making eco-soap, to photography and directing, the students not only learned about ecology and recycling, but also developed key life skills such as teamwork, creativity and self-confidence.

“Eco fashion design is a multi-layered initiative designed to offer participants experiential learning in the field of selected interests through a range of activities, with the aim of strengthening self-confidence and practical skills on the one hand, and on the other hand raising awareness of the ecological and biological way of life and work. We should all think about the environment, considering that there is a lot of waste, especially in the time we live in, from industrial waste, to now in the new technological age of computers and all new devices. All this pollutes and endangers our environment. I had a strong desire to engage as many students as possible for this project, I wanted the story of ecology to go through the entire school. Hairdressers and beauticians contributed, and other students held eco presentations in elementary schools in Ilijaš, where they tried to find out how much the students are educated about ecology, how much they can connect knowledge from different subjects in order to protect the environment. The third important area was drawing attention to the Recycling yard we have here in Ilijaš, how much citizens use disposal options, as well as developing awareness of the importance of recycling. After all the successful events, the final event gave us the opportunity to look at the project in one place, to introduce it to those students who could not participate, and to exchange new ideas for designing some future projects, along with our fashion show and, of course, socializing. Professor  Medina pointed out.

During the first semester, Medina developed new skills, methods and techniques for involving students through training organized and conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, and devoted the second semester to the realization of her and the students’ ideas. The Eco-design fashion initiative has a multi-layered approach, and every aspect is carefully thought out. From raising the individual environmental awareness of students and fellow teachers, to encouraging entrepreneurship, creativity and promoting natural beauty, Medina’s initiative is truly proof of the transformative power of collective action. In addition to Medina, the English language teacher from this school, Almedina Numić, also attended the training,   who also provided considerable support to Medina during this innovative venture.

The icing on the cake for all participants was the fashion show – a dazzling exhibition of creations made from recycled textiles. Under the mentorship of Professor Medina, students had the opportunity to explore the art of sewing, design and aesthetics, transforming discarded garments into stunning ensembles that tell a story of sustainability and style. As the culmination of months of hard work and dedication, the fashion show amazed visitors with its creativity and innovation.

Ultimately, the true measure of success lies not only in the beauty of the creations, but also in the lasting impact they have on the community. As the students proudly presented their five-month results, they not only presented the wonderful smelling eco-soaps, or the creative, recycled clothes they had made, but also inspired those present to turn towards a more sustainable future.

With the story of Professor Medina, we continue the series of great stories that teachers and professors, as true leaders in the community, started to respond to the needs of the children and young people they work with while creating new, interesting opportunities for them to learn.

This initiative is implemented in partnership with the association Socially Useful Learning – DKU from Ilijaš with the mentoring and financial support of the Institute for Youth Development KULT.

Source: mladi.org