On 31.10.2013, 50 children gathered from 8 different schools for the latest Plant-for-the-Planet in Cameroon. The Academy was organised together with the help of local organisation DAY Cameroon. Enomba from DAY Cameroon reports on the day's activities:
The Amabassador's Lecture went very well. Aya & Guiliana met and practiced with the Ambassador for three days, before the actual speech to the schools. He did very well and didn’t show signs of being nervous. The other students were paying attention, too, as the discussion and game section afterwards was very much a success.
Based on the lecture given by the Ambassador, the children were asked questions pertaining to the environment and pertinent facts. The children were separated into groups based on schools and they played a game where the first team to raise their t-shirt (1 per team) could answer and if answered successfully were given a small prize. Each school won at least twice!
Discussion of the movie: Despite the moderators having a little difficulty understanding the narrator's accent, the students concentrated throughout and were able to answer questions about the movie . They were very engaged and were able to answer correctly and with much passion and engagement.
Rhetoric Practice: This section was another great surprise. The students were actively engaged in coming up with characteristics of a good speaker, although they nedded a little coaxing using adjectives like “courage” and “boldness” towards action descriptions like “no playing with hands” and “no covering your mouth.” They worked together well and even asked for more time to finalize their presentations. Each school chose two representatives to give speeches on specific environmental issues pertaining to Cameroon, for example floods or loss of habitat. They each gave an explanation of how planting trees could affect these problems in Cameroon and how they can help promote the planting of trees within their communities.
Planting: The students couldn’t wait to get out and plant. The principal of the Besongabang schools came out for the planting and stayed for the presentation of certificates and photographs.
Local Environmental Issues: In Mamfe there are natural forests that have been the target of illegal logging and so deforestation is a real issue. The natives have also been complaining of an increase in temperature over the years. There have been on-going efforts by some non-profits in the area to address deforestation, and so having this program really caught the attention of these larger groups, who, after hearing about what we were doing, asked us to visit some more schools in the area to make kids aware of environmental issues in the area. We are currently looking into visiting schools in Bamenda, Limbe and more schools in Mamfe. We also made sure to emphasize that global warming tends to affect more those areas close to the equator like Mamfe, and the importance of peoples in those areas to re-plant to make up for that loss and the loss of trees in other areas of the more developed world. Guiliana and I also visited the local radio station there and gave an introduction to what we were doing in the schools and what we planned to do through Plant-for-the-Planet in other regions of Cameroon. The young Ambassadors also wrote up a bit about Plant-for-the-Planet for the local newspaper there. They look forward to more academies!