The second Academy in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) took place on August 01, 2018. 40 children of two different schools were keenly waiting for the Academy to start. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children.
The Academy began with some welcoming words of Kira and Manelisi. Then the full attention of all children turned to the presentation “Now we children save the world!” given by Climate Justice Ambassador and exchange student Scott. 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 participants had the chance to clarify their questions.
For the following part the children were divided into small groups, to learn about global distribution and global justice in the so called “World Game”. The children distributed tokens, sweets 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 children agreed that the distribution was unjust. Although only 0.5 percent of the population live in Northamerica, they possess almost 30 percent of the world income and emit 20 percent of CO2 emissions. Therefore 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 presentation and speaking skills. Therefore the particpiants prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation they had listened to in the morning.
After a short lunch break, the children had the opportunity to take action for their future right away: They went to plant their own trees! In addition, they recieved 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 three tree species (oliv-, lemon- and orangetrees).
Back to Seyisi Primary School 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.
An interesting day had come to an end. Apart from the experience and newly found knowledge, all participants were appointed as Climate Justice Ambassadors and received a certificate, a Plant-for-the-Planet T-shirt and the book ‘Tree-by-Tree’. Organizers were very impressed by the performance of the children.
The Academy was made possible thanks to the commitment of the Masifunde e. V.. This Academy was a part of the Fit4Life Program by Masifunde. Special thanks goes to Kira and Scott who have organized the Academy. Great for having the opportunity to hold more Academies in the near future in cooperation with Masifunde e. V. in South Africa.
A huge thanks to all the helpers around the venue, technology, food and tree planting event. Without their support the Academy would not have been possible.