As part of the Education for Sustainability project in India, we have continued work with our partner Zest Youth Movement, focusing particularly on awareness sessions as one of our main initiatives.
There is an urgent need to educate people in general, youth and children in particular, on sustainability, as knowledge and information can be a tool of great empowerment for change, and this is the only way we will become more sustainable. Therefore we use these awareness sessions and workshops to reach out to thousands of students directly to teach them about sustainability, inform them about sustainable lifestyles, and make sure they are aware of key environmental issues.
We recently conducted an Education for Sustainable Development awareness session at Yashwantrao Chavan Secondary School and Vishwakarma English Medium School, in Pune, India. More than 500 students and 20 teachers attended the session.
The awareness session was just one part of the Environmental Awareness Week program organised by Pune Municipal Corporation. We also held a Best Out of Waste session and hosted a screening of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s documentary HOME.
Through these sessions, we hoped to achieve multiple goals:
- To reach as many students as possible, and contribute to making them aware of environmental issues and sustainable lifestyles.
- To have an additional successful activity which can be used to strengthen advocacy arguments by showing how schools and students are interested in sustainability.
- To enable the realisation that we have a shared responsibility to care for the earth and that individuals have the power to become agents of change.
- To spread the message of UNEP – Every action counts, and when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact.
- To help children and young people understand that resources need to be managed carefully to be sustainable.
- To address global environmental issues like excess waste, food, deforestation, climate change, etc.
- To encourage students to take action to improve their local environment by making it cleaner and safer.
As well as the awareness session and the documentary screening, there were several other activities for students to engage in, from other videos to open discussion sessions.