The 1st Academy in Bundung took place on October 5th , 2018. Fifty-five children from more than five different schools were keenly waiting for the Academy to start.
The Academy began with some welcoming remarks from Fatou Jeng, a Plant-for-the-Planet Program Coordinator. Then the full attention of the children turned to the presentation Now we children save the world! given by Abubacarr Jawara. Topics such as, global warming, Climate Crisis and tree planting were presented in a suitable way for children – and nobody could be better for that task than a child of the same age like Aji Kura Jobe, participant of the first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy.
The children were divided into small groups were they imitated world leaders from different continents and learned about global distribution and global justice in the world. The children in their small groups put tokens on a world map as symbols of the world’s population, wealth and carbon dioxide emissions respectively. At the end, tokens were evenly distributed among the countries to demonstrate how a fair distribution would look like and to keep in mind that everyone should have equal rights.
After the World Game, participants remained in their groups and prepared short presentations about Climate Justice. Topics that we had the rhetorics were:, Climate Сrisis a root to under development, encouraging afforestation, pollution a catalyst to Climate Crisis etc.
After an hour lunch break, the children had the opportunity to do something meaningful for their environment the discussion of how you can -plant trees! They got information on how to plant trees, then how to plant them and how to take care of them.
After we had the discussion on how to plant trees, we went to the Gambia Pastoral Institute to plant some trees. We were able to plant 8 trees, 4 mangoes, 2 oranges and 2 guavas. Some participants took few more trees to plant in their respective schools. After the tree planting, the kids gave a loud cry on Stop Talking, Start Planting.
After the tree planting discussion, the kids were divided into a new group again, this time for the World Café. The kids used posters to draw and design a format of their presentations on different issues of Climate Justice engagement .They discussed on “the role of media in combating climate change”, “ How to organize a tree planting event”, “ How adults can also take part in the crusade” and “how to get other children involve in climate justice activism. During that 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 day.
At around 6 p.m., the event finally came to an end, the children proudly made their declarations to fight for their environment and plant trees whenever they have the opportunity and to be Climate Justice Ambassadors.
The Academy was made possible thanks to the help of Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation. Fatou Jeng wants to appreciate participation of co-moderator Teslima Jallow, a Climate Justice Advocate, to Ya Sally Njie for working on the catering, Caleb Macuely for the registration, Ousman Touray for the photography, Green-Up Gambia for supporting with trees my and climate advocate friends. Special thanks goes to the American Corner for the venue and all the teachers from all the five schools who accompanied their students to the academy and attending it throughout the day