Though it was very cold early in the morning, children’s were waiting eagerly outside the venue on Tuesday. No-one wanted to miss the start of the Academy. Altogether 40 children and 5 teachers from 5 schools attended the Academy in Nayakiran Higher Secondary School ,Bharatpur-11, Chitwan.
The academy was made possible thanks to the commitment of local youth motivating platform Raise Hands Nepal, Rotract club of Narayanghat and Family Peace Association Nepal. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children, who were aged 8-14. The Academy was made possible by the team of local Climate Justice Ambassadors (Suyog and Aayush) with volunteers, Muna (Moderator), Pratima (Volunteer), Dipesh (Photographer) and Rubina (Volunteer). Special thank goes to Plant-for-the-Planet Programme Coordinator Sunil Sapkota and head teacher at the host school.
Not to be forgotten are the many helpers and supporters, without whom the implementation of the Academy, venue, technology, food, tree-planting event and much more would not have been possible.
After a brief welcome and an introductory game in the school yard, the full attention of the children turned to the presentation "Now we children save the world!", which was given by previously appointed Climate Justice Ambassdor Suyog Upadhaya and Aayush Pandey . And Childrens were explained more on the presentation by project coordinator Sunil Sapkota.The presentation covered: sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the climate crisis, Plant-for-the-Planet and global justice. These topics were presented in a way suitable for children of the same age. In the subsequent question and answer session, the children had the opportunity to eliminate any they may still have had.
After a short break with light refreshments, the children were divided into five small groups to learn about global distribution and justice in the World Game. The children distributed playing figures, candy and balloons on the world maps laid out on the floor as symbols of the world’s population, wealth and CO2 emissions respectively. The children didn’t need to be told twice to distribute the balloons and sweets among the playing figures. Eventually, the CO2 emissions and wealth were distributed fairly – everyone has equal rights.
And when we blew the balloons and just kept over the map of world we found all our world is covered with many layers of carbon dioxide and found if we kept blowing carbon our global map will be missing.
Then the children formed nine public speaking groups and prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation that they had seen at the start of the day. They gave each other tips on how to improve their presentations in the future.
The children then broke for lunch and were able to relax a little‘take lot of Photos in their plant for the planet t-shirt and to discuss the topics covered so far with each other. After lunch was over, the afternoon kicked off with the movie about Felix’s and his speech. The message of the film was clear: a kid can achieve a lot, but only if he firmly believes in what he is doing.
Rested, and feeling energized, the children relocated to the schoolyard to plant their own trees! Before the planting commenced, the children listened intently to the advice of the invited forester. He 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 they planted 10 trees in just over 60 minutes.
With the assistance of the strong adults present the children placed the trees in self-prepared holes. Then the children decorated one of the trees with their personal wishes.
After a short break it was back to the programme. While a small group prepared to give the final presentation for the attending parents and other guests, the rest of the children started the "World Café" module. The children worked on the following questions as at four stations questions: "How do we ensure that the media reports about us?", "How do we motivate the adults?", "How do we motivate friends and classmates?" and "How do we organize a planting party?"
After everyone had the opportunity to write down their thoughts to each question, the school groups got to work on the solutions. The ideas and solutions are presented 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".
Together with a shortened version of the Academy presentation, the outcomes of the school group work was presented to the attending family, friends and guests.
After a long, eventful, and enjoyable day, all 41 participants were happy and promise of handing certificates to them was given to them within a week. An interesting day had come to an end. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all new Ambassadors took with them a copy of Tree-by-Tree, and of course the Plant-for-the-Planet T-shirt they collected at the start of the day. Parents, friends, organizers and guests were very impressed by the performance of the children. At the end of the academy Vice mayor Parbati Shah showed up accepting our proposal to have a stop talking start planting Banner and provide some valuable suggestions.
The team at Plant-for-the-Planet would like to thank all those involved for this wonderful Academy Day.
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