On the 6th of May 2017, Partners For Conservation in collaboration with Plant For The Planet carried out the first “Academy” of 80 children from 4 schools from Musanze District. The schools included Groupe Scolaire Shingiro, Groupe Scolaire Bisate, Groupe Scolaire Muhingo and Groupe Scolaire Ruhehe. The academy was held at Groupe Scolaire Shingiro where all children were gathered for the training in Climate justice upon which, they joined a worldwide network of children dedicated to fighting the climate change as “Climate Justice Ambassadors”.

The academy is a comprehensive approach where children learn various issues related to climate change, causes adaptation and mitigation through kids activities such as games, working groups, presentation, tree planting etc.

Games, such as the World Game, provides children with a comparative understanding of the world in terms of its population, income distribution and CO2 emission. For instance, during this academy, children learnt that despite the highly populated parts of the world are less privileged in terms of economy, they represent a high level of CO2 emission.

Through tree planting, beyond the symbolic action, children learnt the importance of tree in CO2 distribution, learnt about causes and effects of soil erosion in climate change. It was an opportunity for them to commit their contribution in tree planting campaigns and protected the panted one. 

The World café was an opportunity for the pupils to discuss and present their ideas, on how they can actively contribute to the climate change mitigation. First of all, children randomly formed small groups to discuss possible approaches to follow for mobilizing other members of the community and how to organize events on climate justice. Afterwards, children formed groups per school to allow them assess the climate change issues in their surroundings; propose strategies for adaptation and mitigation as well their contribution towards environmental protection and conservation in general. Through presentations to the plenary, children gave plans of action for their priorities and pleaded to Partners For Conservation, Plant For the Planet, school authorities and other stakeholders to help them meet their targets.

Despite the ongoing rain of May, the academy was successfully accomplished and was concluded by appointing 80 children as CLIMATE JUSTICE ABASSADORS by receiving certificates.

The central goal of a Plant-for-the-Planet Academy is to raise awareness amongst the children about the climate crisis and to inspire them to take action. The goal of the children of Plant-for-the-Planet program is to have empowered 5 thousand children as “Climate Justice Ambassadors” in Rwanda through Academies until the year 2020. As Climate Justice Ambassadors, the newly empowered children committed to engaging actions once a month after designing their own action plans. We remain convinced that the training provided them advanced knowledge to carry out necessary courses and presentations on climate change issues at all levels from schools to families.  

Plant-for-the-Planet is supported by UNEP and is widely recognized at international level.

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