Green School Kids Initiative
Created in 2019, Voice of Nature (VoNat) is a Cameroon community-based biodiversity conservation and sustainable development non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the environment and saving lives with community kids/youths through media & arts, livelihoods supports, capacity building, research, outreach and community engagement.
Overview of the project
The town of Buea, South West Cameroon, is one of the places facing the worst effects of urbanization and climate change, with scores of youths and kids affected yearly by deadly floods, extreme whether conditions, and pollution amongst other consequences.
Efforts to address climate change, and other environmental challenges and their consequences by both the Government and some civil society organizations have often taken the top-down approach, while the few lessons about environmental issues in schools remain theoretical and examination-oriented. Not only is this approach not effective, but students and pupils, who hold the key to future environmental sustainability, and their concerns are left out.
The United Nation Frame Work Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calls for the active participation of kids in actions against climate change. Youths and children all over the world have refused to be passive victims of climate change and other environmental crises, and are proffering solutions and demanding greater actions from their governments; those in Buea, and other parts of Cameroon are increasingly worried and feeling helpless with relatively limited understanding of these challenges, and especially what to do to solve this climate change crisis.
It is against backdrop that we, at Voice of Nature (VoNat,) have decided to liaise with schools to kick-start an aggressive campaign drive to empower and engage these youngsters, in order to find solutions to the environmental problems via the experiential learning approach.
Key activities of the initiative include:
- training on environmental arts and craft production (drawings, paintings, debates, poetry, story telling, music, short films)
- nursery management – tree planting in schools and public spaces, and vegetable gardening
- training on environmental journalism and social media management
Through this initiative, we hope to instill a culture of environmental protection in youngsters, and inspire some to take up a career in mitigating climate change, and/or in species conservation.
This project is aimed at empowering and involving students and pupils in providing solutions to climate change, and other environmental challenges in their schools and communities.
Project still in progress
- Over 120 students and pupils from both Government Primary School Ndongo and Government High School Bokova were educated on some key environmental challenges, and key actions that they can take to fight against pollution
- Some 20 trees were planted in the schools
- Both heads from these schools were so trilled with the package that they have already allocated land to the organization as demonstration sites for vegetable gardening, and tree nursery establishment
- The love for environmental protection, and a strong interest in fighting climate change and other environmental issues were triggered in students and pupils
- Most of the students and pupils promised to be environmental ambassador in their schools and communities
The project was funded thanks to individual contributions.
Voice of Nature (VoNat) activities are grouped around:
Species Conservation & Environmental Sustainability
Conserving species, their habitats, and enhancing environmental sustainability with community kids through media & arts, training, research and sustainable livelihoods supports. We engage communities in taking actions that protect wildlife and the environment via the production and screening/distribution of short environmental films and magazines based on belief systems & local knowledge. Children are also engaged in finding solutions to environmental problems and showing love and respect for nature through storytelling, media & arts, reforestation, visits to natural sites, capacity building etc.
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Finding solutions to climate change challenges with community kids/youths through media & arts, training, research and sustainable livelihoods supports. VoNat also plants trees in green spaces, individual and public areas to mitigate environmental challenges posed by increasing urbanization in Cameroon cities and urban areas, such as air and noise pollution, greenhouse gas emission, over heat, depletion of natural environment/wildlife habitat, disconnection with nature etc.
To raise awareness on environmental issues, stimulate debate and promote responsible natural resource management while grooming future environmental journalists. We leverage on the strength of information, the media, and communication technologies to speak for nature, and to groom and orient youngsters toward taking up a career in environmental journalism via VoNat Media Group.
Our environmental reporting site, Voice of Nature News is available at: http://voiceofnaturenews.info/