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February 4, 2020

80 new Climate Justice Ambassadors in Kigali, Rwanda

On 7th October 2019, in cooperation with a dedicated team of environmentalists (Emmanuel Sindikubwabo and Serge Hategekimana Senga) and together with the schools supports, the Academy took place at Camp Kigali School, Nyarugenge District in the City of Kigali. 80 participants were present and planted 26 trees. All children were gathered for the training, discussion and knowledge sharing on climate issues. Camp Kigali School is a school with secondary education, primary and nursery educations.  

Rwanda is a landlocked country located near the equator in the eastern part of Africa. The landscape of the country is made of mountains and hills which gives Rwanda a chance to receive rains within 8 months a year. The pressure of booming demography in Rwanda threatens the flora and fauna. Following this ecological situation, a group of young Rwandans and me as the Plant-for-the-Planet Program Coordinator are committed to protect the plants of Rwanda through reforestation in and through communities. We want to enhance the live toghether of humankind and biodiversity. In this regard, on 7th October 2019, an Academy was organized to raise the awareness of the youth and children on climate and environment issues and motivate them to start early, acting as environment actors. In collaboration with school leadership and students representatives, including environmental clubs we made it possible to carry out the Academy with all its activities and the 80 students from the aforementioned school.

Moreover, there was support from other people such as teachers, private tree nursery agents who facilitated the acquisition of seedlings that were planted. Altogether, we made the Academy a success. After a welcome note from the head teacher of the school, children performed a cheerful song to welcome the team of Plant-for-the-Planet. The trainings and discussions were led by the Plant-for-the-Planet program coordinator with the inputs and support from Serge. Emmanuel joined us the next day for the tree planting of remained trees. Using presentations, books, videos and other tools received from the Plant-for-the-Planet foundation, the children got the chance to read books and brochures. Team members worked hand in hand to ensure the comprehension.

During the Academy various techniques including songs and games as well as icebreakers were used to help them quickly and easily learn about climate crisis issues and interact with each other without fear. Children were invited to sing songs about the importance of trees, team working and pure air. The facilitators also helped children learn new songs that allowed them to extend their knowledge about CO2 emissions. All these songs helped children to come up with a comparative understanding and tangible message of the world in terms of its population, income distribution (earns of plants) and CO2 emission. For instance, during this Academy, children learned that highly populated parts of the world are less privileged in terms of economy.

Children were put in groups to discussed climate change related issues that are observable in their community where they were requested to present what they discussed. They were also asked to explain how trees can participate to resolve those issues at school or in their homes and communities. This session enthusiastically motivated children and challenged them to think about how the proper behavior of humankind can guarantee a decent world for future generations. Erosion, heavy rains and draught and varying temperature were the main issues in this section. In the presentation section the children got the opportunity to nurture and practice presentation skills. They also collaborated to propose answers to identify issues and committed to take the lead.

After the indoor sessions, the activities of the Academy proceeded with the plantation of the tree seedlings. Each and every child has to make sure that the planted trees grow well at his/her time at the school. These are the words of one of the teacher in charge of discipline who wanted each child to regularly visit their trees and ensure they lack nothing and grow to serve the purpose. Various trees were planted also including fruit trees. In the end 26 trees were planted.

The Academy made the students aware of the climate crisis and taught them the culture of environmental protection and conservation at their early ages. The future Climate Justice Ambassadors, left the school environment green and made it a better and more comfortable place to study and work. Both the school and the community around benefited from clean and fresh air coming out from trees planted along the school. Furthermore, the school harvests fruits from their own trees planted during the Academy.

The organizing team of Plant-for-the-Planet Academy Kigali, Rwanda would like to thank all those involved for their help and support to make this Academy possible.

All photos taken can be downloaded here

Do you want to become a Climate Justice Ambassador yourself? Register for an upcoming Academy here.