How we implemented the Children and Youth Drawing Competition and Teachers’ Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development in Cameroon

Written by Marianne on . Posted in Cameroon, General Information, News, News & Updates

Remember the E4S project implemented with support from the Cameroon-based youth-led NGO Vital Actions for Sustainable Development (AVD) a Children and Youth Drawing Competition and Teachers’ Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development. These activities took place in the city of Yaoundé during two months, from 25 August to 25 October 2014.

The Drawing Competition

The drawing competition was organized under the theme « Make a ‘Green’ Wish for the Planet » with the aim to promote education for sustainability in its social, economic and environmental pillars while also encouraging an open reflection on this theme which shall be placed at the centre of education of children, youth and citizens both inside and outside educational systems.

The competition was opened to children and youth of Cameroon, aged 10 to 20 years, students or not. They were invited to produce an artwork in the form of a drawing which represented their dream or wish for a greener and sustainable planet without pollution, where waste is recycled, sustainable energy is used and all citizens work together to protect earth from harm. Entries were also required to raise awareness about education for sustainability and inspire citizens on the topic.

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Launching of the competition
The competition was implemented throughout three main phases. The first step was the official launching which took place on Monday 25 August in Nkolndongo Bilingual Primary School with the participation of students from Bastos Educative Centre. The launch event started at 10 a.m with as its first item a welcoming word by the head of the host school, followed by the presentation of the E4S project by the local representative who also presented the drawing competition theme and the expectations from participants. The importance for children and youth to take part in the contest was highlighted by him and he mentioned the amazing prizes to win by 10 children and 10 youth. A representative from the working team who developed the WWF Youth Strategy for Education for Sustainable, delivered a short word and his intervention was followed by a group of students from the hosting school which performed a great traditional dance.IMAG1346 Ahead of and during the launching, the E4S project team has distributed flyers with information about the competition and students and other potential participants were invited to join the educative talks scheduled by the project team. The launch event ended with an open-microphone for the public which served as a free space for people to express themselves and share their opinions about their understanding of the competition and the value of education for sustainable. The launch has ended around 2 p.m with a lot of music being played and open floor.
Educative talks in the schools

After the launch event, the E4S project team in Cameroon has delivered a number of 4 educative talks in the two targeted schools in Yaoundé city, with 2 educative talks organized per school. The talks were held during two weeks, from Monday 1st to Friday 12th September. Their main objective was to enable children and youth interested to participate in the competition to get familiar with the topic, the participation rules and to receive useful knowledge and information that could enable them to have a successful participation with very good entries. The E4S project team has facilitated the talks and got support from teachers in the schools. The talks took place as follows:

Educative talks in Nkolndongo Bilingual Primary School

The primary school hosted its talks on Wednesday 3 and on Friday 12 September. The project team went to the school on these days and had an open talk and discussion with the students on the competition topic in order to achieve the above objective. The students were really interested ad an active participation was noted. The teachers who supported the talks also encouraged their school children to give special attention the activity in order for them to learn and also win prizes.

Educative talks in Nkolbisson Government High School

The secondary school welcomed its educative talks on Friday 5 and Wednesday 10 September. The facilitators from E4S Cameroon team have accompanied students by providing them with support and assistance to produce good entries and understand well the competition theme and guidelines. During the second talk they had a chance to show results from personal reflections they made on their preparation for the competition. This has enabled the team to make suggestions to improve ideas students had as well as provide them with more practical knowledge on the topic.

Promotion of the competition in the schools and collection of entries

After the educative talks were completed, students from both schools were given three weeks, from Monday 15 September to Sunday 5 October, to start producing their drawings. This period of time was agreed in order to enable participants to submit many and good quality entries. The initial deadline for participation fixed on Friday 19 September was postponed to 5 October, International Teacher Day, because it was not very easy at that time to get students focused on an extra-school activity given that they just started the school year. It was therefore necessary to adjust the dates.

During the three weeks the project team went many times to the two schools in order to motivate and encourage the students to consider the competition as serious and thus participate. This task was supported by the teachers and also by some volunteers. The promotion of the competition was also made through the installation of posters announcing the competition in both schools as well as announcements during school gatherings which take place every Monday morning.

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Selection of the competition’s winners

From 6 to 8 October a total of 232 entries were collected in both schools and external participants (students and non students) by the project team with the teachers support. Out of this number, only 200 drawings met the competition guidelines and were submitted later to the appreciation of a national jury which has chosen the winners. 169 entries came from primary schools and 63 were collected from secondary schools. At the end a number of 150 drawings from primary schools were submitted to the jury with 50 retained from the secondary school. The jury therefore needed to evaluate a total of 200 entries in order to select twenty (20) winners of the competition, including 10 in the children category aged 6 to 11 years and 10 in the youth category aged 12 to 20 years.

The selection of the winners for the drawing competition took place on Tuesday 21 October at Nkolndongo Bilingual Primary School which has offered to host the activity. The five members of the jury were chosen based on their support to the drawing competition, their understanding of the competition theme, their engagement with educational school activities, and their role as teachers or educators in both participating schools.

The jury had as main tasks to select twenty (20) best entries and rank them by merit order using a fair selection process and the following criteria: originality (5 pts), quality (5 pts), connection of the drawing with the contest theme (5 pts), contribution to the E4S project’s vision for Cameroon (5 pts) and the impact the entry could create on Cameroon ESD policy when shown to others (5 pts).

The jury meeting started at 3 p.m. and ended at 7 p.m. It was not an easy task given the good quality of some of the entries. The jury has first shortlisted some entries before making its final decision on them – the aim here was to better structure the process. Members reviewed all 200 entries one after another and then ranked them by merit order. This process was anonymous given that members were mainly teachers from the participating schools, thus knew some participants. The jury work has ended with a key reflection workshop on the competition learning which was facilitated by E4S local representative in Cameroon with a dynamic contribution from all members.

Award ceremony

The award ceremony for the drawing competition was held on Thursday 23 October 2014 in Nkolbisson Government High School in Yaoundé. It was attended by over 50 people, including the 20 winners of the contest, teachers from both schools, other students from the host school as well as special guests and family members who all came to encourage and congratulate the winners.

The event started at 12 p.m. with the singing of Cameroon national anthem by everyone. The E4S local representative in Cameroon then took the floor in order to remind the context and background of the competition. He also gave a summary of all activities that were organized. After him the President of the jury talked about the process to select the winners and how dynamic and engaging this task was, according to him. His words were followed by the opening remarks from the Head of Nkolbisson Government High School – the host school of the ceremony. She firstly recognized the importance of such initiative in empowering a new generation of young people who shall commit themselves to a better future and world. She then thanked the E4S team for their efforts in organizing the contest and appreciated the choice of her school for hosting the award ceremony. After her remarks, she invited the first prize’s winners from each category of the contest and gave them with their awards. The other winners were then called one by one in order to also be rewarded by the Head, jury members or teachers.

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All winners received prizes which included certificates signed by E4S local representative in Cameroon and Nektarina CEO, T-shirts sponsored by Plant-for-the-Planet, books and magazines offered by Plant-for-the-Planet and Planete Jeunes, school supplies, bags, drawing materials, flyers about E4S, and the promotion of their drawings during the ceremony. The winning entries were therefore exhibited during the award ceremony. Winners along with their families, friends, classmates and teachers were present and had a great time. The ceremony ended with a group photo where all winners, teachers, jury members, organizers, guests and the Head of the host school came together. After that a cocktail was opened to participants.

The Teachers’ Workshop

One very important activity to organize as part of the E4S project in Cameroon was a Teachers’ Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development. This workshop was held on Tuesday 21 October at Nkolndongo Bilingual Primary School following the selection jury. The resource persons who took part in the jury work were the same given their support to the drawing competition, their understanding of the competition theme, their engagement with educational school activities, and their role as teachers or educators in both participating schools.

The aim of the workshop was to reflect the results of the drawing competition in order to discuss how it has provided participants with a learning journey to better understand the topic of sustainability and their possible role as agents of change. Secondly the workshop engaged the participants in a discussion on how a reform in the education sector in Cameroon could lead to the insertion of education for sustainability in the school curricula at the basic and secondary levels as a separate topic that will help the government to educate and empower citizens. Based on the drawings they have evaluated as member of the selection jury, the participants were able to see a link between this overall goal and what the children and youth have shared through their entries. The workshop has used a roundtable and open discussion as the methodology to enable contribution and dynamic participation.

From this reflection, it came out that many participants from both categories mainly understand the term ‘‘sustainability’’ in its environmental dimension (protection of the nature, fight against climate change or deforestation, waste management, planting trees, ensuring a greener world, etc). It was missing the other dimensions of sustainability and this has led the workshop participants to understand that it is very important that children and youth are knowledgeable about sustainability in all its aspects so that they are able to support this and get actively involved at the end of the day. Without a higher awareness raising action, there are huge risks that young people don’t see the point or importance of getting active in sustainability. Thus the importance of educating citizens – young people included – on sustainable development and sustainability is highly needed in Cameroon if the country want to achieve a cohort of citizens empowered on this notion and topic.

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The workshop also discovered that the expected benefits of the competition on the participants are still far to be achieved and there will be a need for more focused action in a regular basis. If some participants have really shared their personal views (through their drawings) on what they wish for the future of the earth, many didn’t get the right approach or answer to the contest theme. This shows the lack of knowledge or interest on the topic, but also the lack of the educational system in Cameroon to make citizens aware of this topic and knowledgeable about.

In addition to these reflection points, the workshop participants also had an opportunity to evaluate each of the 20 winning entries in order to explore the possible ways they could be used later when the E4S project team in Cameroon would like to enter into a dialogue with the government of Cameroon and other stakeholders. This dialogue which could lead to established discussion about how a reform in the education sector in Cameroon could enable the insertion of education for sustainability topic in the school curricula of the basic and secondary education in order to educate and empower citizens with related skills. It would have been a great opportunity for the participants to also discuss directly with representatives from the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders such as UNESCO National Commission in Cameroon in case they would have attended the talks.

Finally, we are glad to invite you to see all the pictures of this activity and a selection of drawings on our Flickr page. 

“You Have Not come here to just enjoy Lima”

Written by Anam Gill on . Posted in Anam's blog: Global issues, Cameroon, General Information, Ghana, Green Economy, India, News, News & Updates, Publications, Regions, Sierra Leone, Take Action, Trinidad and Tobago

1017932Manuel Pulgar Vidal , President of COP20 addressing the audience in Lima

Photo Source: Google

“This is the time to take decisions…we want to give a clear and strong message that we want to take this process forward…you have not come here to just enjoy Lima…we must not accept to leave Lima with empty hands ” Manuel Pulgar Vidal said in a passionate appeal to the negotiators on the second last day of COP 20.

Vidal who was acting as the President of the conference or COP 20 (Conference of Parties) shared the disappointed of many that no progress was made on the negotiating text. With just one more day to go till the end of the conference and negotiations it was indeed saddening to see another deadlock looming on the horizon.

When we talk about global climate agreement one question that pops out is; with the global political crisis, where most countries are at war with each other both physically and otherwise, will they ever be able to negotiate in terms of climate justice?  I have been asking this question a lot and have never come across a sane explanation. In an extremely unjust world ruled by people who value profit is it even possible to talk about climate justice? Are we just fooling ourselves trying to make a difference by attending these important meetings visited by the many heads of states who are good at posing for photographs with the delegates but not drafting sound agreements?

Climate talks have remained deadlocked be it Brazil or Lima. Defeated in Brazil we thought we have a battle to fight in Lima where we may win and now we are looking forward to Paris in 2015. Is it just about wasting another year? When it comes to climate can we really afford to waste these many years? What are we waiting for?

These glorious opportunities that bring so many countries together should be made use of properly without wasting too much time, money and energy. There was an Ad-hoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP) at the COP 20 that was supposed to decide how various countries will contribute in the fight against climate change. The contributions that will be determined nationally are called Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions (INDCs). The INDCs will form the backbone of the global climate agreement that is expected to be finalized at the next climate conference in Paris in 2015.

Unfortunately there are disagreements existing on several issues related to INDCs. Regarding the actions that have to be taken by developed countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions before 2020 there isn’t a clear understanding. By using the jargons many countries try to get away without presenting a clear action plan. The mitigation/adaptation debate over the INDCs and whether these contributions should be put to an international review had been slow.

The frustrating slow pace of the Lima negotiations does disappoint many around the globe including the developing world that is mostly on the receiving end. Developing world is most affected by the decisions made by the developed world that even ship its waste to the global South. Also some countries in the developing world  clearly have other priorities.

According to Al Jazeera “China has said emissions will peak by 2030, while India chose to put economic growth ahead of emissions caps.”

How many more conferences and drafts do we need to understand and acknowledge the unforeseen adversity in the years to come?

AlJazeera reported :

 “ In Peru, the venue for this year’s crucial climate change conference, illegal logging continues at unprecedented rates.”

 “The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, is a city under threat as it is sinking at a rate of seven centimetres every year. By 2030, according to experts, half of the city will be below sea level. Step Vassen reports from the Indonesian capital.”

 “In South Sudan, many people are chopping down trees just to exist. The country’s oilfields generate billions of dollars a year, but all the oil is exported, leaving millions of people to rely on wood and charcoal for fuel. The current rate of deforestation will mean no forest will be left in South Sudan within three or four decades.”

And the list goes on. The empty slogans made by the politicians demanding actions against climate change in not enough. Someone rightly said that with great power comes great responsibility. Here I would like to make an urgent appeal to the world leaders/politicians to take up this responsibility without wasting more time.

Education for Sustainability drawing competition launched in Cameroon!

Written by Marianne on . Posted in Cameroon, News, News & Updates, Upcoming Events

Nektarina Non Profit has recently expanded its activities as part of the Education for Sustainability project (E4S) in three new countries, including Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. This expansion arises at a moment when the urgent need to educate citizens in general and young people in particular on sustainability all over the world is crucial for achieving a more sustainable planet. The role of these local representatives, is therefore fundamental for a successful project.

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In Cameroon our local representative of the E4S project, Jean Paul Brice Affana, is presently implementing a Children and Youth Drawing Competition and Teachers’ Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development. The drawing competition was officially launched on Monday 25th of August in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon. The event took place in the Bilingual Primary School of Nkolndongo with the presence of students from Bastos Educative Centre the second school targeted by the project. Organized under the theme ‘‘Make a Green Wish for the Planet’’, the competition is opened to children and young people aged 10 to 20 years, and who are students or not. They are called to produce very attractive and inspiring drawings that reflect their vision and wish for a better planet where sustainable energy is used, waste recycling and management is better organized, and where all citizens protect their planet. Participants will have to ensure their entries connect to the contest theme and also highly related to education for sustainability, in its social, economic and environmental aspects.

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The launch of the activity started at 10 am and was held during four hours length. The first item was a welcoming word by the head of the school, followed by the presentation of the E4S project by our local representative who also presented the drawing competition theme and the expectations from and by the participants. He highlighted the importance for youth and children to take part in the contest and share their views and expectations about it. He added that amazing prizes that are to be won. All participants will benefit from educative talks and a closer support provided by the project team. After our local representative intervention, Mr. Emmanuel Sonwa, a representative from the working team, who developed the WWF Education for Sustainability Youth Strategy, made a short word.

This was followed by a cultural animation, which enabled a group of students from the hosting school to perform their traditional music. It was an amazing moment! Ahead of and during the launching, the E4S project team has distributed flyers with information about the competition. The event ended with an open-microphone for participants and served as a free space for people to express themselves and share their opinions about their understanding of the competition and the value of education for sustainable. The launching was finally ended around 2pm with a lot of music.

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After this great launching event, the E4S project will continue in Cameroon, and mainly in Yaoundé city, with the organization of four educative talks, two in each of the targeted school (Bilingual Primary School of Nkolndongo and Bastos Educative Centre). The educative talks will be held from 1-8 September and will enable youth and children from the schools to benefit from knowledge and information about the theme of the competition so that they are able to understand what is expected from them in a better way and later propose very good entries while participating. The E4S project team in Cameroon will facilitate the talks and will be going around the schools during the whole week.

Following the closing date for participating scheduled for end of September, twenty (20) winners of the competition will be selected by a jury which will meet and decide about the best entries. The winners will include ten (10) children aged 10 to 15 years and ten (10) young people aged 16 to 20 years. All winners will receive certificates and amazing prizes supported by Nektarina Non Profit.

 

Written by: Jean Paul Brice Affana, E4S Project Manager for Cameroon

Project’s expansion

Written by Marianne on . Posted in Cameroon, General Information, Ghana, News, Sierra Leone

Nektarina Non Profit is happy to announce the expansion of the Education for Sustainability project in Africa. As we care about adapting our global approach to local contexts, having representative and partners in the countries we are active is fundamental. After contacts and fruitful discussions with local representative, three countries have been added to the project.

In Ghana, we are now working with Pet & Lisa Organization to implement the project. The Ghanaian non-profit organization, led by Peter and Lisa Obrempong, was founded in 2011 to ‘Recruit, support, educate, empower and establish the poor, needy, street and homeless children and youth in their future livelihood and career development’. The first significant event we are implementing together aims to inform and sensitize youth of the Volta Region on sustainability issues and on the need for sustainability education and practices as a way of life.

The E4S project is being implemented in Cameroon through our local representative Jean Paul Brice Affana in Yaoundé. With a solid background on tackling sustainability issues at national and international level, and experience in promoting the importance of education for sustainable development, our partner has now started the implementation of the project in Cameroon. The ‘Children and Youth Drawing Competition and Teachers’ Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development’ is ongoing.

While we were partnering with our local representative in Sierra Leone, the Ebola virus outbreak emerged and developed in the country and its neighbouring countries. The Ebola is one of the most serious viral diseases in humans. The case-fatality rate can reach 90%. The current outbreak occurring in West Africa has generated more cases and caused more deaths than previous outbreaks. A state of emergency has been declared by the president to fight the disease. All charities and volunteers have been alerted and requested to carry out sensitization, education and material support in their areas of operation as an addition to government’s efforts to government’s effort. We are supporting our local representative George Mansaray, a social worker and sustainable development teacher, in all the activities he is carrying out with communities.

You will find more information about all these activities soon on our website, facebook page and Flickr.