INTO THE WOODS

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Trees at the Siddharta Vanasthali Institute

15.11.2019

The 6th  Academy in Nepal took place on 09/01/2019. 60 children from 6 different schools were keenly waiting for the academy to start. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children, aged from 10 to 13.

The Academy began with some welcoming words of Sanjiv Bhandari. Then, the full attention of the children turned to the presentation “Now we children save the world!” given by Abhash Khanal. Complex topics, such as sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the climate crisis and global justice were presented in a suitable way for children – and nobody could be better for that task than a child of the same age as Abash. 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 and chocolates 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 chocolats 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. 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 recieved information on how to plant trees, when to plant them and how to take care of them. They were also invited to big tree planting ceremony taking place in Kathmandu within few weeks.

In the audio visual room of Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute, 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 a 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 the prepared presentation and their ideas from the World Café.
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 and guests were very impressed by the performance of the children.

The Academy was made possible thanks to the commitment of Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute and due to the team of local organisers. Special thanks goes to the Plant-for-the-Planet Programme Coordinator Mr. Sanjiv Bhandari and Cohost Ms. Alisha Upreti.

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.

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