On 21st december the first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Benin took place in the Infangni commune, Daagbe. Children from schools in Djegou-Nagot, Gbenokpo, Djegou-djege and CEG Daagbe participated at the event as well some friends from the capital city Porto-Novo who were interested to see how the Academy is working in order to be able to organize an Academy themselves in Porto-Novo. All in all, som 90 people participated at the first academy.
The participants were welcomed by Julien, a student from the CEG Daagbe
Afterwards, the students listened attentively to the presentation about climate change and the local effects. At the end of the presentation a lot of questions were asked. Questions about the missing rain, about the disappearing of some animal and plant species, about the desertification of the soil and the rising of the sea level. A lot of this problems are caused by human deforestation.
The children also focused on the important role that trees play on the earth.
In the second stage the history of Plant-for-the-Planet was subject of the presentation. Especially what has been done since the foundation and most students were touched by the activities of Felix and Wangari Maathai. Motivated, the children reaffirmed their commitment in fighting for nature conservation just like Felix and Wangari.
Afterwards a break was taken for luch. A hundred sandwiches and Bi sape were distributed to reload the energy of the participants before continue of the program. Now the students were splitted into groups to think about how they can become active and to develop their own action plans. The school groups developped a lot of good ideas for taking action, for example tree planting in their schools and reporting in their families and school classes about what they have learned.
Next step was the tree planting action. In the final event, each participant received a certificate and its own book "Tree by Tree".