The first academy in Khatima took place on July 20, 2018. 78 children from 10 different schools were keenly waiting for the academy to start. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children, aged from 8 to 14.
The academy began with a brief welcome and registration progress. Shortly after, the full attention of the children turned to the presentation “Now we children save the world!” given by Dharmendra Kapri. Complex topics, such as sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the climate crisis and global justice were presented in a suitable way for children.
After the presentation the kids had the opportunity to ask questions. For the following module the children were divided into small groups, to learn about global distribution and global justice with the so called “World Game”. The children had to distribute tokens, candy and balloons among the continents displayed on the world map. The three playing figures symbolize the world’s population, wealth and CO2 emissions respectively. After seeing the real life distribution of these resources, all the children agreed that the distribution was unfair: although only 0.5 percent of the world population live in North America, they possess almost 30 percent of the world income and emit 20 percent of CO2 emissions.
Henceforth, the children redistributed the sweets and balloons, in order to visualize how a fair distribution would look like and to keep in mind that everyone should have equal rights. In order to take action and speak up for their future, the children need good public speaking skills. Therefore the participants prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation they had listened to in the morning. They gave each other feedback on how to improve their presentations in the future. After a short lunch break, the children had the opportunity to take action for their future right away: They went to plant trees! In addition, they received information on how to plant trees, when to plant them and how to take care of them. In return, the participants were able to show off their newly gained knowledge about the role and importance of trees. In total they planted 30 trees in just 60 minutes. The children finished the planting event with a magnificent Stop Talking, Start Planting battle cry!
Back to Rajeev Gandhi Navodaya Vidyalaya a small group practiced the final presentation for the evening event and the rest of the children started the World Café. During this activity the participants were collecting ideas to the questions how to get the attention of the media, how to motivate adults, friends and classmates and how to organize a planting party. Afterwards the children gathered in their school groups and planned their own project, which they would want to implement after the academy.
At the end of the day, family, friends and guests arrived for the evening event. The children proudly presented their presentation and their ideas from the World Café. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all participants were appointed as Ambassadors for Climate Justice and received a certificate, a Plant-for-the-Planet T-shirt and the book ‘Tree-by-Tree’. The organizers and guests were very impressed by the performance of the children.
The academy was only possible thanks to the team of local organizers. Special thanks goes to the Plant-for-the-Planet Program Coordinator Adelya and Rohit Bisht, also to teacher Mr. Narendra Rautela (Air NCC Officer and International Hidden Eco Hero recipient) and Mr. Santosh Kumar (Head Teacher of TGIC).Huge thanks to all the assistants around the venue, technology, food and tree planting event.