The first Academy in Bacalar, México took place on November, 23, 2018. 71 children from 8 different schools were keenly waiting for the Academy to start. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children, aged from 10 to 12.
It was possible thanks to Plant-for-the-Planet México and Helkai, one of our volunteers in Bacalar.
The academy began with some welcoming words of Helkai, she said to the children about her commitment to work with them and to plant trees for their city. Then the full attention of the children turned to the presentation “Now we children save the world!” given by Climate Justice Ambassador Darinka. Complex topics, such as sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the Climate Crisis and Global justice were presented in a suitable way for children. After the presentation, the participants had the chance to clarify their questions.
All the children participated in our answer-question session.
In order to take action and speak up for their future, the children need good presentation and speaking skills. Therefore the particpiants prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation they had listened to in the morning. They gave each other feedback on how to improve their presentations in the future.
Children created 10 actions plans for their community. Basically, their ideas were to save the water, plant trees and empower other children.
After a short lunch break, the children had the opportunity to take action for their future right away: They went to plant trees! In addition, they recieved information on how to plant trees, when to plant them and how to take care of them. In return, the participants were able to show off their newly gained knowledge about the role and importance of trees. In total they planted 3 tree species. The children finished the planting event with a magnificent Stop Talking, Start Planting battle cry!
Back to school a small group practiced the final presentation for the evening event and the rest of the children started the World Café. During this activity the participants were collecting ideas to the questions how to get the attention of the media, how to motivate adults, friends and classmates and how to organize a planting party. Afterwards the children gathered in their school groups and planned a their own project, which they would want to implement after the Academy.
At the end of the day, family, friends and guests arrived for the evening event. The children proudly presented the prepared presentation and their ideas from the World Café.
An interesting day had come to an end. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all participants were appointed as Climate Justice Ambassadors and received a certificate, a Plant-for-the-Planet T-shirt and the book ‘Tree-by-Tree’. Organizers and guests were very impressed by the performance of the children.
The Academy was made possible thanks to the commitment of Elementary School Tenochtitlan and its professor who hosted us in their place and due to the team of local organisers. Special thanks goes to the Plant-for-the-Planet Programme Coordinator Darinka Quintal and also to Helkai Sanchez as Co-Moderator for the Academy.
A huge thanks to all the helpers around the venue, technology, food and tree planting event. Without their support the academy would not have been possible.
You can see all the photos from Academy in our Flickr Album.
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