81 students from 8 schools attended the academy in Dynasty Modern Gurukul Academy, Chhinki Farm, Uttarakhand, India.
This academy was made possible with the dedicative commitment of Plant-for-the-Planet foundation, Dynasty Modern Gurukul Academy Chhinki Farm and TGIC Eco Club, YCSG members. All children, who were aged 10-14 years, could attend the event for free. Special thanks goes to Plant-for-the-Planet academy staff Adelya for helping me throughout the academy preparation. I would also like to thank Mrs. Anju Bhatt, Mr. Dhirendra Chandra Bhatt and Mr. Narendra Rautela for helping us contact all schools and a very special thanks goes to Mr. Dhirendra Chnadra Bhatt (Head of Dynasty Modern Gurukul Academy) for providing us venue and all other basic facilities for the academy. Not to be forgotten are the many helpers and supporters, without whom the implementation of the Academy, venue, technology, tree-planting event and much more would not have been possible.
After a brief welcome and registration process the full attention of the children turned to the presentation "Now we children save the world! Which was held by Plant-for-the-Planet Coordinators Dharmendra Kapri and Rohit Bisht. The presentation covered these topics: Introduction of Plant-for-the-Planet, sources of CO2, greenhouse effect, global warming, photosynthesis, climate change, climate crisis and global justice. These topics were explained in a very simple language and easy way. After the presentation the children had the opportunity to ask questions in an answer session.
After a short break, the children were divided into six 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. The figures were respective of the world’s population, wealth and CO2 emissions. Each group had one moderator from our academy team to help them understand the rules and the process. The children were first asked to distribute the balloons, candy and tokens as per as their knowledge and later on corrected by the moderator wherever needed. Eventually, the CO2 emissions and wealth were distributed fairly – everyone has equal rights
After playing the world game the children formed six public speaking groups in which they prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation that they had seen at the start of the day. Furthermore they gave each other tips on how to improve their presentations in the future. After that a short session on how to give a good presentation was conducted by Dharmendra Kapri.
The children then broke for lunch and were able to relax a little and to discuss the topics covered so far.
As the children were very curious during the presentation session, they wanted to know more about Plant-for-the-Planet and how we plant trees all over the world the afternoon kicked off with short introductive videos on Plant-for-the-Planet and how Plant-for-the-Planet plants trees in Mexico.
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 Eco club member in charge Mr. Ajay Bhatt and Gardner Mr. Mohan Ram. Mr. Ajay explained how and when to plant trees, and also showed the children how to care for the trees to make sure they survive. In total they planted 15 trees (Azadirachta indica, Cassia fistula, Magnifera Indica, Indian Gooseberry, Psidium guajava) in just 45 minutes with the assistance of the Eco Club Members of Dynasty Modern Gurukul Academy and YCSG members.
After a short break the children went back to the program. 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 children were asked to present their thoughts and future plans in front of other students and teachers.
After the World Café the children were asked to present shortened versions of the presentations held in the morning. They also presented their future plans and outcomes of the school groups and group discussions.
After a long, productive, and enjoyable day, all 81 participants received their certificates from Mrs. Anju Bhatt and Mr. Dharmendra Kapri, which recognized them as a Climate Justice Ambassador. 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.
We especially want to thank the organizing team of the Plant-for-the-Planet academy Chhinki Farm, India. Also we would like to thank all those who were involved, for their help and support to make this academy possible.
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All photos taken are available here.