The first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Saboba, Northern Ghana took place on the 12th of November. We arrived at the venue around 8:00am, where we already met a few of the children. We quickly started arranging the venue and within a short while all invited children arrived so we could start the academy in time at 8:30am.
Our invitation reached 10 schools that nominated 8 of their students to attend the academy. So we had 82 participants aged 8-14 at the free Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Saboba.
For the academy to become successful we had the support of the head teachers of the participating schools who allowed their students to participate and also some teachers. Not forgetting the efforts of the team of local organizers. Special thanks go to Plant-for-the-Planet Programme Coordinator Mohammed Rabiu Dannakabu and the moderators Mr. Iddrisu Faisal and Mr. Sanusi. Finally we would like to thank the Education Director of Saboba for welcoming us in his town.
After a brief welcome and a greeting speech by Mohammed Rabiu Dannakabu the full attention of the children were turned to the presentation "Now we children save the world!", which was given by Iddrisu Faisal. Topics such as the sources of CO2, the greenhouse effect, photosynthesis, climate crisis, plant-for-the-planet and global justice were explained with the help of pictures.
After the presentation the children were divided into 8 smaller groups to learn about global distribution and justice in the World Game. The children distributed playing figures, candy and balloons on a world maps as symbols of the world’s population, wealth and CO2 emissions. The children didn’t need to be told twice to spread the balloons and sweets among the playing figures. Eventually, the CO2 emissions and wealth were shared fairly – everyone has equal rights.
After the World Game session 10 children from each school performed the public speaking module. Each of them prepared a little speech with one of the printed slides they had seen at the start of the day. The moderators gave them hints on how to improve their presentations in the future.
During the next activity, the so called World Café During the children from the same schools formed a group and discussed questions like how to get the attention of the media, how to motivate adults, friends and classmates and how to organize a planting party? Afterwards they had the opportunity to plan their own project, which they would want to implement after the academy. All groups presented their project to the other participants in a clear manner: "What we want to do at our school; who is responsible for which task and by when do we want to achieve our goals".
Now the children had the opportunity to take action for their future right away: They went to plant trees! We started with digging holes for the planting together with the children. The children listened carefully to the instructions of the moderator on how to place the trees in the holes. He also explained how and when to plant trees, and also showed the children how to care for them to make sure they survive, and thereby absorb as much CO2 as possible. In total we planted 15 Acacia trees.
An interesting day had come to an end. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all participants received a certificate as an official Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassador for climate justice. They could also keep the T-shirt they had obtained at the start of the day, as well as the tree by tree book. Organizers and teachers were very impressed by the performance of the children.
The team at Plant-for-the-Planet would like to thank all those involved at this wonderful Academy Day.