In total 10 schools participated in the academy. With each one bringing 8 children, 80 children attended the academy in Bolgatanga. The program was for free for all of the children aged 8-14.
The academy arrangements were made a few weeks earlier. We got to the venue around 9:10 am, we met the children around the venue waiting keenly for us to arrive, and the venue was already arranged by the children around. The program finally started. Also, we acknowledge the support of the parents and teachers of the participating children, because they encouraged them to attend the program making the academy a very lovely and successful one of its kind.
In addition, we want to thank the team of local organizers. Special thanks goes to the "Plant-for-the-Planet" main Program Coordinator Mr. Mohammed Rabiu Dannakabu, academy organizer Akolgo Doreen moderators Mr. Murtala Mohammed, Mr. Abdul Halim Adam and Mr. Jeremiah Danlogo. Finally special thanks to the Head of the school hosting us, teachers and parents of the participating schools and children for making our academy run smoothly.
A welcome speech was given by Akolgo Doreen, after which the full attention of the children were turned to the presentation "Now we children save the world!", which was given by an ambassador Abase Moris, and assisted by a moderator. We had an excellent presentation because it went with a picture demonstration for the children to have a clear picture of what we were talking about. The presentation also covered a lot of aspects. This was quite different from the topic climate crisis which was not on our old slides. We quickly discussed the few questions raised by some of the children in the presentation.
After the presentation the children were divided into 6 smaller 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.
After the World Game session, few children were taken to do the public speaking module: they were each given of the printed slides to practice a short presentation that they had seen at the start of the day. The moderators guided them on how to improve their presentations in the future. It was rather unfortunate we did not have the film aspect come on because we did not have source of power to show the movie to the children.
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". One child was selected from each school group to quickly present the ideas and solutions written down by their respective group and it was lovely to hear their wonderful ideas. The children were given the opportunity to prepare a short presentation on their own with our slides and taking into consideration all the presentation given them earlier in the day, They volunteers did a very good presentation and the impressed their few parents around and teachers.
The tree planting module by the moderators was very interactive, as the moderator explained quickly 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. The children were asked to move to the field for the planting session. In total we planted 95 trees. With the assistance of the teachers and academy moderators present the children placed the trees in some few pre-prepared holes which the rest of the holes were prepared alongside under our supervision.
After some hours, an interesting day had come to an end. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all new Ambassadors were given the "Plant-for-the-Planet" T-shirt, a copy of Tree-by-Tree, and of course a certificate at the end of the program with a pack of food. Organizers and guests were very excited by the performance of the children.
The team at "Plant-for-the-Planet" would like to thank all of those involved in this wonderful Academy Day.
All photos can be downloaded here.
If you also want to participate in one of our academies, visit our website and become a Climate Justice Ambassador!