The academy took place in Monrovia, Liberia on October 15th, 2016. The training started at 9:15am with 110 students from 12 different schools, at the auditorium of the College of West Africa in Central Monrovia. It was free-of-charge for all participants, who were aged 10-16.
This academy could not have happened without the help of the volunteers led by Nina. She coached each volunteer on his/her role during the academy. Special thanks go to the moderators Mohammed Foboi and Varney Jarsey, as well as Alvin Feika, the supervisor of various clubs at school who presented on the role of Climate Justice Ambassadors. Also we’d like to say thank you to the school principals and the teachers who made our academy to be a big and successful event.
With a little introduction game, the participants got to know each other, so they could perform a Climate Walk through the principal streets of Monrovia together. Afterwards Mohammed started the presentation with an ice breaker where participants spelt COCONUT through physical exercise. After that, he presented complex topics such as sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the climate crisis and global justice in a suitable way for children.
Questions and answers followed whereby the participants got further information on the topics. Student Fatu Kabba was very active during the training because she has done previous research on global warming and climate change. She presented her idea to other participants and they were excited to learn from her.
Varney Jarsey presented the impact of climate change and taught the students how to plant trees. He also introduced an ice breaker where the participants demonstrated the growing and falling of oranges from trees. In the break the students networked and shared ideas on starting environmental clubs in their schools and implementing climate justice programs.
Alvin D. Feika explained how to lead environmental clubs at the schools. Later the children formed teams where they were taught how to work with others, respecting diversity and the uniqueness of having different people who offer different views and ideas to the team. They were also introduced to public speaking skills, advocacy, and networking.
Lunch was served and after that, it was now time for photos and interviews. At the end of the training, each participant and volunteer was given a tree to plant in their various communities. In total, 178 trees were planted. The names of the trees we planted include: Armond trees and FDA trees.
Adam Manobah, the Director of Climate Change at the Environmental Protection Agency served as launching officer. The event was covered by three journalists from the “In-profile Daily”, a print media based in Liberia. Peace Child International of the United Kingdom and News Ghana also published an article about the event on their website. An interview about the event was carried out by Christopher Seator and it was aired on Prime 105.5 FM and Fabric 101.1 FM.
After an exciting day the participants were certified in a symbolic ceremony, the certificates will be sent from Germany. Supervisors, friends, organizers, and guests were very impressed with the organization of the event and the excitement of the children.
We are very thankful to Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation for this creative and impactful initiative on climate change. Many children and youth are now conscious about the issues of climate change and the role they have to play. They are more likely to be active in taking actions in line with environmental and climate change issues affecting their community.