Learning Support Teacher at St. Ursulas, Bernella Caines-Hall, with students and entrepreneurs of business Phoenix Creations, From Trash to Treasure, as they show off their trendy bags made of recycled plastic and Christmas decorations made of recycled paper, on Tuesday.

From trash to treasure

One group of schoolchildren have turned trash into cash by using recycled materials.

Their business is called Phoenix Creations (going from trash to treasure) and under the guidance of their teacher, they are likely to make a difference in their society.

Learning Support Teacher at St. Ursulas, Bernella Caines-Hall spoke to the Barbados Advocate recently about the green initiative. This year makes it the second time that the school has participated in the Barbados Entrepreneurship Federation’s $20 Challenge using recycling materials. For their projects, they used recycled newspaper and paint to create festive Christmas decorations (miniature Christmas trees and door wreaths/ornaments) and a trendy line of bags made from used plastic bags. It took about three months to complete the bags and the sewing of the recycled bags are done by parents.

The bags range from tote bags to pencil cases and Caines-Hall expressed the desire for the company to expand in the future. So far, the response to the products has been good with the students displaying their items at the Future Centre Trust's Barbados Knowledge Fair 2017, held in November. Their work will also be showcased at St. Gabriel's Mega Market on December 16.

There are 16 students, ages 11-17 years old, within Caines-Hall's class. She described the class as a mixture of mainstream students and students from Special Education. As to the future of their product lines, the teacher said that the business needed financial support to assist with supplies (glue,nylon, paint), sewing lessons for students and expansion of their product line.

The teacher noted the benefits of the project. "This is something that we would really want to continue because it fits well into our learning support programme in terms of social skills and life skills. I mean almost all of the skills you need to establish a business …that is what they are doing right now," said Caines-Hall.

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