12th October 2012 – Youth Volunteers for the Environment, Ghana help organize the country’s first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy at Atta Mills Centre of Excellence within the Salvation Army Cluster of Schools in Mamprobi, Accra.
Three students and a teacher from each of twelve participating schools took part, under the supervision of 6 facilitators, chaired by circuit supervisor, Mr. David Ampimah, and moderated by Mr. Lovans Owusu-Takyi .
After introduction activities, the program began with a short description of the pros and cons of climate change, environment and tree planting before Christabel gave the opening presentation. She brought the issues home to the children, making reference to how climate change is impacting communities in Africa and the need for us all to take action and plant trees. She stressed the urgency that we all need to move forward to achieve the goals of reducing climate change. After the presentation, moderator Mr. Lovans Owusu-Takyi urged the participants to incept very strong and vibrant environmental clubs to spearhead activities at a grassroots level.
After watching a captivating video which showed the catastrophic disasters which many countries from different races, language and colour are facing, the participants then took part in Academy group activities, thinking of short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to the climate crisis, and especially discussing what the children can do!
Presentations were given by the children, songs were sung and literary activities were undertaken to convey the message of the day.
A final presentation was given by YVE’s Mr. Lovans Owusu-Takyi, and then the participants took the climate pledge as they were inducted as Climate Change Ambassadors. To close the day, Mr Lovans then took the participants through how to plant trees and the importance of trees and then they planted trees in the school compound.
After the success of the first Academy in Accra, the children of Kumasi also got the opportunity to become Climate Justice Ambassadors on 12 December 2012.
20 participants from seven different schools took part: Kokoben Municipal Assembly Junior High School, Great Future Leaders Junior High School, Apromase Municipal Assembly Junior High School, Domeabra Methodist Primary School, Domeabra District Assembly Junior High School.
Following a similar programme to the first Academy, the children were also asked 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. At 12 noon the children held a toast to the trees with an organic pineapple drink, locally manufactured!
Afterthe group activities, 120 Acacia tree seedlings were planted at the Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Trees for the Future Ghana supplied the seedlings.
After the tree planting, the children 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.
The day ended with each person receiving 12 trees to plant in the house, followed by a presentation of two of the Plant for the Planet Academy books to the school club reps from each school
Ending the program, the chairman for the ceremony gave his closing remarks, by charging 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.