In October, 83 students from nine schools attended the academy at the Gurunanak Inter College, Nanakmatta, India.
After a brief welcome and registration process, the children’s full attention turned to the presentation "Now we children save the world!”, which was given by Plant-for-the-Planet Coordinator Dharmendra Kapri. The presentation covered an introduction of Plant-for-the-Planet, sources of CO2, the greenhouse effect, global warming, photosynthesis, climate crisis, and global justice. These topics were explained in a very simple language and easy way. After the presentation, children had the opportunity to clear their doubts through an interactive question-and-answer-session.
After a short break, the participants were divided into 6 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. Each group had one host from our academy team to help them understand the rules and the process. At first, the kids were asked to distribute the balloons, candy and tokens as per as their knowledge and later on corrected by the host wherever needed. Eventually, the CO2 emissions and wealth were distributed fairly – everyone should have equal rights.
Then, the children formed six public speaking groups and prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation. They gave each other tips on how to improve their presentations in the future and a short session on how to give a good presentation was conducted by Miss Priyanka Chand and Rohit Bisht.
The children then broke for lunch and were able to relax a little and discuss the topics covered so far.
After lunch, the afternoon kicked off with the short introductive videos on Plant-for-the-Planet and how we plant trees in Mexico, as the children were very curious to know more about Plant-for-the-Plane and how we plant trees all over the world.
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 Mr. Arjun Mehta’s Eco Club. He explained how and when to plant trees, and also showed the children how to care for them to make sure they survive. In total, they planted 15 trees (Azadirachta indica, Cassia fistula, Magnifera Indica, Indian Gooseberry, Psidium guajava) in just 40 minutes with the assistance of the Eco Club Members and YCSG members.
After a short break, the program continued. The children started the "World Café" module. They worked on the following questions: "How do we ensure that the media reports about us?", "How do we motivate adults?", "How do we motivate friends and classmates?" and "How do we organize a planting party?" Afterwords, everyone had the opportunity to write down their thoughts on each question, the kids were asked to present their thoughts and future plans in front of other students and teachers.
After the World Café, some children were asked to give a shortened version of the morning presentation, their future plans and the outcomes of the school groups and group discussions.
After a long, fruitful, and enjoyable day, all 83 participants received their certificates from Miss Priyanka Chand and Mrs. Gurvinder Kaur, which appointed them Climate Justice Ambassadors. 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 had received in the morning.
The academy was made possible thanks to the dedicative commitment of Gurunanak Inter College Nanakmatta, TGIC Eco Club and YCSG members. The event was free of charge for all attending children, who were aged 9-14. Special thanks go to Plant-for-the-Planet Academy staff Adelya for helping us throughout the Academy preparation and Harshdev Punera, Rohit Bisht and Priyanka Chand for all their hard work and efforts to make this academy successful. The team would also like to thank Mrs Gurvinder Kaur , Mrs. Geeta Srivastava and Mr. Narendra Rautela for helping us contact all schools and for providing us venue and 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!