CCS 2015 – Building the Desired City

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in General Information, News, News & Updates, Venezuela

The country manager in Venezuela for Nektarina’s Education for Sustainability project, Vladimir, attended the first CCS Forum, entitled ‘Building the Desired City’. The forum took place in Caracas early in May and had several high calibre speakers, including Wynn Calder, the eminent director of ULSF (University Leaders for Sustainable Futures) and Sustainable Schools LLC. Wynn is the director of Sustainable Schools LLC, co-director of the Association of University Leaders for Sustainable Futures (ULSF), and the review editor of the Journal of Education for Sustainable Development.

Other speakers included Ann Cooper, a chef and advocate of healthy food for children; Larry Black, an expert in environmentally-friendly and sustainable architecture; historian and anthropologist Joseph Tainter; and Nancy Nowacek, visual artist and designer.Wynn Calder

The forum was inspired by and the ideal of a city which offers quality lives to its citizens and future generations, and aims to create a space for considering sustainability. Sustainability is innately linked to this goal, particularly ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy the quality of life that current citizens have, and so Wynn Calder’s prominence in the lineup was vital to ensure the success of the forum.

Mr Calder gave a fascinating presentation wherein he discussed some of the ways schools he’s worked with have incorporated sustainability into the education of their students. Many schools had in fact gone further than just this and had made sustainability part of the school ethos – a part of the student’s lives rather than just another box they have to tick.

Prominent among them is a rural school which created a garden, which has truly become a part of the school experience for students there. Now incorporating an outdoor classroom, and a produce section much loved by the school’s chef, they have ensured that each student feels a sense of ownership over the project and gets involved with it in some way.

Other tales include schools now involved in a study on Monarch butterflies, schools taking on mass clean-up actions, schools encouraging children to take more of an interest in how their food is produced and how sustainable it is, and many more. Listening to someone talk about such a wide variety of initiatives was extremely useful for Vlad and the rest of the E4S country managers (who were able to see a video of the presentation).

As I watched the video, I started to think about the differences and similarities between the projects. More than just things like whether it was an urban or rural school, or what age group was being targeted, I considered the ideas and outcomes of the projects and came to a few conclusions.

Perhaps the most important thing about these projects are that the children were not just taking part in them – they were taking ownership of them. Collecting their own data for research studies, clearing their own playing fields, growing their own plants; these schools were not simply teaching the students about sustainability, but really getting involved with it, making them care about it and helping them realise that if they want their younger sibling, their cousin, their own children to enjoy the world as they do, they must act sustainably.

As well as empowering them to take ownership, these projects inspire the children. Whether they are inspired to picture a beautiful, flourishing garden, to imagine their name on a research paper, to consider how it would feel to meet the cows that produce the milk in their cereal – what exactly doesn’t matter so much as the act of inspiration itself.

These projects have captured the hearts and minds of many hundreds of children, and that is what the E4S project aims to do. The experience and expertise of Wynn Calder has been extremely valuable in this, and we can’t wait to put these principles of ownership and inspiration into practice across the Education for Sustainability project.

Education for Sustainability in Venezuela has gain a new Partner

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

Caracas from Mt Waraira Repano, Ávila.Caracas from Mt Waraira Repano, Ávila

We are happy to announce that Education for sustainability Project (E4S) has settled its base in Venezuela. Our new country manager Vladimir de Chelminski is aiming up high with a Green school Project, video making, networking, social media presence and much more to advocate for integrating sustainable development in Venezuelan schools.

It is good to know that even though Venezuela is far behind with sustainability consciousness from the people, policies and within education, there is some kind of boom, or success right now, with activities promoted by local activists that are changing many peoples’ paradigms.

The government has removed the Environment Ministry and made a fusion with the Ministry of Housing and Habitat, having 6 vice ministers for that matter. There is a lot of concern about it. But, since there are opposite forces playing on the ground, many people have decided to make the changes for themselvesWe are part of those people and we want to unite with all the other complements of this puzzle. Bringing good vibes and showing the world a possible way of being coherent with every possible relationship established on earth, the environment and the biosphere that feed us and give shelter.

IMG_9712crossoverCreative Cofee in Caracas. Linking Earth Activist. 2014

We want to present ourselves in front of the Venezuelan society as strong people who love the earth completely without borders, and bring possible solutions to have a better planet for our kids. Focus mainly in the positive rather than the ugly and giving example on the way.

We will penetrate the learning process and offer consciousness, thinking at least for the next seven generations.

We will start by doing the work inside schools while making visual register of all our steps, in order to make an explicatory video about a sustainable vision of our schools, and then present these solid statements to the government and try to change the course of the planet in a minimum but valuable way.

If you wish to collaborate in any way you could contact our E4S country manager at vladimir@nektarinanonprofit.com. Thanks for the support.

IMG_9856Foro ambienteWhere is the environment going in Venezuela? Forum. 2014