Report on Plant for the Planet Academy held in Kumasi December 12th 2012
As part of educating the youth about the need to preserve the environment, the Youth Volunteers for the Environment Ghana “YVE Ghana” in collaboration with Trees for the future and Plant-for-the-Planet, organized a workshop for six school clubs at the Professional Farmers Conference Room of the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture, KITA in the Ejisu Juabeng municipality, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana on the 12 of December 2012. The workshop on the theme ‘equipping pupils to become Climate Justice Ambassadors’ was composed of participants from seven (5) different schools with five (3) kids and a teacher as a patron from each of the schools. The kids were between the ages of 12 – 14 years. In all there were (20) participants and 3 facilitators. The goal of the workshop was to educate the youth about environment, climate change and tree planting with three (3) facilitators named, John Mark Addo, Emmanuel Kluste, and George Ansah. These schools are: Kokoben Municipal Assembly Junior High School, Great Future Leaders Junior High School, Apromase Municipal Assembly Junior High School, Domeabra Methodist Primary School and Domeabra District Assembly Junior High School. The workshop was under the auspices of Plant for the Planet who supplied T shirts and books, and the Youth Volunteers for the environment Ghana who was in charge of local mobilization and Trees for the Future Ghana, who supplied the seedlings. These are all collaborating NGOs who helped organize the workshop. The workshop did not only disseminate essential information to the participants but equipped them with knowledge and skills and good attitude towards the environment. The workshop was under the chairmanship of Mr. Lovans Owusu-Takyi, Country Coordinator for the NGOs and was moderated by Mr. John Mark Addo and Emmanuel Klutse Technical staff of for Trees for the Future Ghana and the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture respectively.
The workshop kick started at 10.00 with an opening prayer from one of the pupil named Vera Twumasi from the Apromasi M/A J.H.S. After the opening prayer, Mr John Mark Addo led the table while participants introduce them self’s and register their names. The program then continued as below:
10:15am – Each participant also talked about what his/her expectations are whiles introducing themselves. Each of the participants also talked about how he/she has been involved in environmental activities in their school and his/her personal commitment in being involved in active environmental activities. The program continued with the introduction of the chairman for the program Mr Lovans Owusu Takyi, Country Coordinator for the NGOs, followed by a presentation on the purpose for the gathering by the moderator. After the purpose for the gathering, a presentation was made by Miss Vera Twumasi from the Apromasi M/A J.H.S. on the importance of trees in our environment and the reality of Climate change using the plant for the planet academy presentation module. After the presentation by Miss Vera Twumasi, we all gathered together for a 12 second moment of silence for reflecting on how important it is to plant trees and in memory of the fallen. Trees that have not been replaced and a group picture with new tree to plant for the replacement of some of the fallen tree.
11.00 – After the group picture, each pupil was given chance to think about the value of trees in his/her life, list the 12 most valuable trees in his or her life and 12 uses of those trees listed. With much enthusiasm, they did exactly as was explained to them, and two of them were given the chance to share with us what they wrote. At 12 noon we had a toast to the trees with an organic pineapple drink, locally manufactured.
12.00 – The pupils were divided into seven groups with a patron in each group to assist them think about the value of trees in their lives and the environment, and share experiences on how they have used trees to solve some of the challenges confronting them in their environment. Each group mapped out a plan on how to plan trees in the school clubs and in their communities. Also they also designed how to educate their peers on environment and climate change and mobilize community groups for climate action. The teachers also planned on how to support the development of school clubs and be able to coordinate club activities effectively.
12.45 – After the group discussion. They also pledged to be good climate ambassadors to ensure that both their communities and peers take good care of the environment by setting example. We all came together and planted moringa and acacia tree seedlings each, totaling to 120 trees at the boundaries of the Institute of Tropical Agriculture, one of the Agriculture College in the Ashanti Region. After the tree planting, we sat together with the patrons and drew up an action plan for each school on how their tree planting activities will be undertaken and when it will be done for the next term after vacation. After the gathering, message was sent to 12 people about trees and the tree planting season. The message says (the last man’s life lies in the last tree. Plant a tree today and save a life.) Our celebration ended with each person receiving 12 trees to plant in the house which was followed by a presentation of two of the Plant for the Planet Academy books to the school club reps from each school. The presentation was made by Mr. Emmanuel Kluste one on the facilitators. Ending the program, the chairman for the ceremony gave his closing remarks, congratulating the organizers and advised the youth to take up the initiative, so that they can solve tomorrow’s problems. He therefore edged that such programs must be organized sequentially to remind the youth of the need to take care of the environment and replant degraded lands with fast growing multipurpose trees. He also charged the participants to be good climate ambassadors to be able to improve their environment. He therefore ended by saying “Ayekoo” in the local language, meaning well-done. Then ceremony then came to an end by presenting certificates to the participants.
During the workshop, we had a light out and was forced to move out and continue the workshop under a big tree with much shade. Due to this the pupils were not able to present with the projector but, presented on printed sheet of papers. Also due to inadequate resources, we were able to work with 20 participants only, since it was during their examination period.
Although there was light out, the program run smoothly and ended with joy on the faces of every one.