First English Online Academy with 16 children collaborated with headquarters of Girl Guides, Sri Lanka
The 1st English Online Academy took place on October 11th, 2020. Sixteen children from 10 different schools, living in three different countries (Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan) joined the Academy.
The Academy began with some welcoming words by Visakha Thilakaratne, Chief commissioner of Sri Lanka Girl Guides, who initiated this collaboration since last year and Chiori Higashi, Plant-for-the-Planet Coordinator. Our Climate Justice Ambassador Miku was the moderator and Henry, Dawa, Huirong, Eleez and Thevuni supported her as co-moderators of the Academy.
After some icebreaker games, the childrens´ focus was on the recorded presentation “Now we children save the world!” given by Felix Finkbeiner, founder of the Plant-for-the-Planet children initiative.
In the subsequent part the children learned about the global distribution of environmental issues and global justice in the so called “World Game”. In this unit the children realized that the climate crisis is happening in every part of the world. The issues apply to all of us and therefore people all over the world are connected. They came to the conclusion that everyone needs to take responsibility.
In order to take action and speak up for their future, the children need to establish good presentation and speaking skills. In small groups they learned five key points for a good presentation and practiced short passages, which one child out of each group presented later in front of everyone. With the feedback each speaker got from the group, everybody learned and understood what a good presentation should be like.
After Ambassador Ryua´s presentation, the children went around their houses to count all the products made from trees. Lots of our furniture and everyday products are made from trees and everybody realized how important trees are. Because this was an online Academy, Miku showed how to plant trees successfully online in Yucatán-Peninsula, Mexico on a website she made.
It was very helpful to use Miku´s self-developed website as a tool. During the Academy the children learned how to use the educational platform for new Ambassadors and will be able to come back afterwards to continue the discussion about their plans and other important topics.
During the “World Café” – a competitional brainstorming game about how to take actions and plan goals, participants were divided into small groups and had to answer 20 questions.
After a short break, everyone watched the video “Miku’s journey as Climate Justice Ambassador” to get some ideas about how they can take action in their daily life. Afterwards children gathered in their school groups and planned their own projects.
While children were planning their own action plans in small breakout rooms, guests joined the main room of zoom for the final program. This was a great surprise for the children when they came back to the main room and saw all the guests like Ms.Nanduni Wickramatunga, Commissioner little Friends of Sri Lanka Girl Guides, Ms.Sulari Jayawardena, Deputy chief commissioner of Sri Lanka Girl Guides, Mr.Hasanka Padukka, Co-founder of Thuru and Mr. Winnie Chikhwaya, Plant-for-the-Planet Coordinator who joined at the closing ceremony to listen to all the action plans the children presented.
A fun day had come to an end. Along the experience and newly developed knowledge, all participants were appointed as Ambassadors for Climate Justice The organizers and guests were extremely impressed by the childrens´ engagement.
The Academy was made possible by many contributors. A huge thank you goes to all the helpers, especially parents of participants for setting up computers with some online tools and practicing how to use them prior to the Academy. This Academy would not have been possible without their help.
Special thanks go to the Plant-for-the-Planet Program Coordinator Chiori Higashi, Moderator Miku, Co-moderator Henry, Dawa, Huirong, Eleez and Thevuni. They all worked as a great team together and had been well prepared for the Academy. They ran the first ever English Online Academy in the world!
Do you want to become a Climate Justice Ambassador yourself? Register here.