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Medical Health Camp Jan 2016

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in India, News, Regions

On Wednesday 13th January in Pune, Nektarina Non Profit and Zest Youth Movement hosted another respiratory health check up camp. We have successfully hosted a health camp back in 2014 and it proved to be such a valuable experience for the people who attended that it was an easy decision to host another one.

health camp banner

India is home to 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, and since 2010 there has been a 30% increase in cases of acute respiratory infection. Many people do not have access to the basic health care needed to combat endemic problems, so free camps such as this one are a vital resource.

Around 65 people attended the camp, each one receiving a pulmonary function test with a follow up advice session with a doctor. At the previous camp we provided approximately 50 tests and we are looking forward to the next camp where we will hopefully be able to continue increasing our capacity for free evaluation and advice. The next camp will be arranged soon and dates will be announced when we have confirmed the details.

If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to contact Suresh More, the India country manager for E4S and organiser of the camp, at suresh@nektarinanonprofit.com

You can see more photos from the event at our flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/122900157@N06/albums/72157662825245939

pulmonary function test

Diwali Collage Competition

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in India, News

While children were away from school celebrating the Diwali holiday, we wanted to make sure that the environment and sustainability were never far from their minds, so we launched our collage competition over the break to keep them thinking.

There were many participants from schools in the Pune region and we will be arranging an exhibition for as many of the collages as we can. Until then, here are some photos from the competition including some of the fantastic completed collages.

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Essay Competition Received Almost 10000 Entries

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in India, News, News & Updates

We are very pleased to announce that our essay competition in Pune, India, is now concluded. We received nearly 10,000 entries from participants aged 10-17 from 15 schools, and from there we have chosen a select few winners.

In each school there were two age groups, and we chose three winners from each group in each school. From those we then chose three overall winners for each age group.

This competition was a huge success – teachers were keen to get involved because of the importance of the topics and the children were keen to engage with these subjects in a critical and thoughtful way.

All the winners received certificates, and there were also jute bags, notebooks, and stationery kits.

Here are some photos from the competition, and you can see some more photos in the flickr album of the event:

One of the winning essays from the junior group.

One of the winning essays from the junior group.

One of the winners from the older group.

One of the winners from the older group.

One of the prizes.

One of the prizes.

One of the classes of participants with the winners.

One of the classes of participants with the winners.

                                                   

2015 Collage Competition in Pune

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in General Information, India, News & Updates, Upcoming Events

We are going to be sharing the results and winners of our essay competition very soon, but before we do that, we have a new activity to announce!

We are holding a collage competition in Pune. This will be similar to our Best Out of Waste competition, as participants are invited to create a piece of collage art using waste materials.

While the Best Out of Waste competition aimed to demonstrate that much of what we throw away can be used in a practical and useful way, this competition is to demonstrate that art and beauty can also be found in the most unexpected places, and it is possible to create something special out of what people were throwing away.

After the competition is over, we will be arranging an exhibit to show off as many of the entries as we can. This is so the children involved can compare and share ideas, and will encourage cooperation and lateral thinking. It will also be a great experience for them to see their art in a display.

Here are the regulations of the competition:

  • For 5th to 7th std (junior group), the collages can be on any topic the participant wants, from sports to animals or anything between.
  • For 8th To 10th std (senior group), the collages should feature a landscape scene.
  • Collages should be on standard A4 paper/card.
  • We would like children to complete their collages over Diwali holidays. The entries will then be collected when school resumes.

We can’t wait to see what the participants create. If you want any further information, don’t hesitate to contact us – you can email the event organiser, our E4S India Country Manager Suresh, on suresh[at]nektarinanonprofit[dot]com

Tree Planting in Ghana

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in Ghana, News & Updates, Upcoming Events

In late July, Nektarina Non-Profit and its local partners Peter & Lisa Organization Ghana (PLOG) conducted a large scale activity planting over 200 trees in selected spaces in the Volta region of Ghana.

Over a hundred school children joined in the event, getting their hands dirty and assisting with the tree planting. There were also people from the local communities, teachers, parents, and representatives from the District Chief Office, the Education Ministry, the Forestry Commision, and NADMO, along with anyone else who wanted to participate – the event was open to all.

The trees were planted around the Quarters Area in Jasikan, with particular attention given to the hospital project land. The planned hospital will be a great benefit to the entire region and the country as a whole, so being involved in readying the plot of land with our trees was a huge honour for PLOG and Nektarina.

While the children involved thoroughly enjoyed themselves, enthusiastically getting involved with digging and planting, they were also fascinated by the reasons why we were engaging in this activity. After some educational activities and awareness talks, they left with a new appreciation for this most vital part of our environment.

PLOG and Nektarina will care for and maintain the sapling trees for six months, at which point the Teak trees will be robust enough to continue growing without frequent care. Teak trees can grow to be well over 20m tall and frequently live to be hundreds of years old (the oldest is over 1,500), so the tree planting activity was not only a fantastic experience for everyone in attendance, but will continue to provide joy to the region for many years to come.


teak treeSuch was the success of this event, the team have been asked to take on an additional tree planting activity, this time taking place over 2 days (30th – 31st October), planting around 3,000 trees!

With over 300 children expected to attend, this activity aims to educate them on the importance of environmental sustainability, particularly within their local communities. It will also teach the value of carbon offsetting, and promote tree planting as a key way people can offset their carbon footprints. This will be tied together with general lessons about climate change and the importance of forests in regulating our environment.

Representatives from multiple government bodies are expected to be in attendance, including the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Environment, Science, & Technology; the Ministry of Lands & Forestry; the Forestry Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Disaster Management Organisation. Mr. Abrampah Kilian, the District Assembly Chief Executive of Jasikan, is also expected to appear at the event. Peter Nana, the Country Manager for Ghana for Education for Sustainability, says “I can’t wait to bring this activity to the children, many of whom will not have had the opportunity to participate in a similar exercise. It is vital that we instil the value of a sustainable life as early as possible, and this is a great start to that.”

In cooperation with the Forestry Research Department, teak trees have been selected to plant, because of their capacity to have a positive impact on the environment by oxygenating the air, by providing stability to the ground, and by acting as windbreakers.

E4S in Sierra Leone

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in News, News & Updates, Sierra Leone

The E4S project was warmly welcomed by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology following several successful activities, and George of E4S Sierra Leone and The Kiradi Initiative was invited to join the curricula review team who are responsible for mapping the way forward for education in Sierra Leone.

Unfortunately, there were inconsistencies and the direction was unclear, especially with regards to key considerations such as who does what, how, when, and where. There was also some confusion about UNICEFs role in the process, exacerbated by the Ebola crisis. Then, after some bureaucratic shenanigans, the secretary and the director of the Curricular Review Office, both of whom had been keen champions of the E4S project, retired from their positions. These changes caused a general sense of confusion over the project’s next movements, and so we consulted the President’s Office for advice on how to proceed in this situation.

In the face of these continued challenges, George almost despaired of the project ever seeing any movement or progress, and came close to abandoning it to work on something new. However, he realised that the E4S project is important and relevant – anyone who found out about it agreed that it is a project which could really make some important changes. George used patience and endurance to grease his elbows, pushing the project onwards and upwards, taking the daily challenges in his stride.

After consulting with the President’s Office, it was determined that the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) would be the authority best suited for dealing with this initiative, and we entered into discussions with the EPA, looking at the project’s concept and the scope of our planned activities.

Discussions With the Environment Protection Agency

EPA Sierra Leone logoThe first official meeting centred discussions around what the EPA does, and Nektarina & Kiradi’s role in promoting the E4S project’s main tenet; that sustainability should be included on school curricula as a separate subject.

Working with the EPA is already a great step in the right direction. They have regional offices across the country and, working closely with local councils, have formed around 100 nature clubs in schools (especially in cities), and already run campaigns on environmental education for sustainability.

The Executive Chairperson welcomed our involvement in this endeavour, as all hands are needed on deck to promote our common goals. George has been co-opted onto the strategic planning team, piecing together a roadmap leading to the introduction of sustainability as a school subject in both primary and secondary schools.

The greatest challenge we face is rolling out this scheme across the nation, building on the successes we have already achieved. Gaps need to be filled, and in this our role will be paramount.

We shared our insights, our activity proposals, and our global strategic plan. These thoughts and plans were most welcomed. Volunteering will also be a vital part of these initiatives, and interns have an important role to play as we move forward. Environmental assessments need to be carried out and expert advice of varying opinions must be sought.

They are open and ready to make our goal their goal and we will make their goal our goal.

Essay Competition in India

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in India, News, News & Updates, Upcoming Events

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We are celebrating International Youth Day this year (August 12th) with an essay competition in India. We are inviting all schools in the Pune region to get involved, and we’ve provided a selection of topics for children to write about.

The topic for 5th to 7th std (junior group)

  • Are Our Festivals Causing Pollution?
  • Cycling For A Greener Earth
  • Trees: Our Best Friends

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The topics for 8th To 10th std (senior group)

  • How Can We Control Global Warming?
  • A Green Earth Through Renewable Energy
  • Conventional Farming vs. Organic Farming

Essays should be 200 words maximum.

You can find out more by downloading our invitation letter from this post, or by getting in touch with Suresh More, the India E4S project manager, at suresh@nektarinanonprofit.com

The date of International Youth Day also happens to be Nektarina’s birthday – we are six this year! So please encourage all school children in India to get involved and participate in this competition to make sure we have an excellent birthday!

Invitation Letter