Altogether 106 students from 13 schools attended the Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Government Upper Primary School, Islamnagar, Uttarakhand, India.
The Academy was made possible thanks to the dedicated commitment of Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation, Govt. Upper Primary School, Islamgar and members of YCSG and TGIC eco club. The event was free of charge for all the attending children, in the age from 10 to 14. Special thanks go to Plant-for-the-Planet Academy staff Adelya for helping me throughout the Academy and Rohit Bisht for all his hard work and effort to make this Academy successful. I would also like to thank Mrs Baijanti Rawat and Mr Narendra Rautela for helping us contact all schools and for providing us with a 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.
After a brief welcome, the full attention of the children turned to the presentation "Now we children save the world!", which was given by Plant-for-the-Planet Coordinator Dharmendra Kapri. The presentation covered: Introduction of Plant-for-the-Planet, sources of CO2, greenhouse effect, global warming, photosynthesis, climate change, climate crisis and climate justice. These complicated topics were explained in an easy to understand language for children. After the presentation, the attendees had the opportunity to clarify their question through an interactive and question and answer session.
After a short break, the children were divided into eight groups to learn about global distribution and justice in the so-called “World Game”. They 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 respectively. Each group had one Moderator from the Academy team to help them understand the rules and they corrected the results wherever needed. Eventually, the CO2 emissions and wealth were distributed fairly - everyone has equal rights
Then the children formed eight public speaking groups and prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation that they had seen at the start of the day. 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 Preeti Yadav and Mr Rohit Bisht.
During the lunch break, the children were able to relax a little and discuss the topics covered so far with each other.
After lunch was over, the afternoon kicked off with a short introduction video on Plant-for-the-Planet and how the initiative plants trees in Mexico, because the children were very curious and wanted to know more about the project.
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 the Eco club in charge Mr Mukesh Kumar. 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, Mangifera Indica, Indian Gooseberry, Psidium guajava) with the assistance of the Eco Club Members and YCSG members in just 45 minutes.
After a short break, 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 the adults?", "How do we motivate friends and classmates?" and "How do we organize a planting party?"
After everyone had the opportunity to write down their ideas to each question, the children gave a shortened version of morning presentations, their future plans and outcomes of the school groups and group discussions.
After a long, fruitful, and enjoyable day, all 106 participants received their certificates from Mrs Baijanti Rawat, which recognized them as a Climate Justice Ambassador. An interesting day had come to an end. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all new Ambassadors got their copy of Tree-by-Tree, and of course the Plant-for-the-Planet T-shirt they collected at the start of the day.
The organizing team of Plant-for-the-Planet Academy Islamnagar, India would like to thank everyone involved for their help and support to make this Academy possible.
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