Posts Tagged ‘schools’

Artworks exhibition and prize award ceremony in Pune

Written by Aina on . Posted in India, News, News & Updates

We are pleased to share with all our readers that last Sunday February 12, Nektarina Non Profit and its Indian partner Zest Youth Movement hosted an exhibition of  artworks from the last two activities we conducted in 2016 with students in Pune: “Healthy and Sustainable Earth” drawings competition and the “Best out of Waste” contest.

The exhibition, which was open for anyone to attend, was held in the “Indradhanushya, Environment Education & Citizenship Centre” of Pune Municipal Corporation. The inauguration began at 9 am with the traditional ribbon cutting and after a short tour of the special guests through the exhibition, everyone was invited to the auditorium for the “Best out of Waste” award ceremony.

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The ceremony programme started by watering a plant as a way to symbolize our project’s commitment towards protecting and taking care of our Earth. Afterwards our country manager Suresh More, welcomed everyone, introduced the special guests and briefly presented the E4S project.

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Mr Ravindra Dharia the Chief Guest of the ceremony and President of Vanarai, an important and well-recognized NGO in Pune working on sustainable rural development, announced and distributed the prizes to the winners of the “Best out of waste” contest. Around 60 students received a certificate of participation, a medal and a jute folder as a way to recognize their effort and meaningful participation in the activity.

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During the ceremony, some students and teachers were invited to share with the audience testimonies of their participation and in the end everyone gathered for a group photo.

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In total, around 150 people attended the event on Sunday. Students and their families, teachers and other guests enjoyed the exhibition and congratulated us for organizing the event. Many thanks to all of them for their support and participation. Specially we want to thank Pune Municipal Corporation for lending us the venue and for their continuous support to our project.

Finally we would like to invite everyone in Pune to visit the Indradhanushya Environment Education & Citizenship Centre to enjoy and reflect on the powerful and beautiful drawings that will remain in exhibition until the end of this month.

If you can’t attend the exhibition, you still can admire the artworks in our photo gallery. To see the pictures from the exhibition and ceremony that took place last Sunday click in the following link:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskUsAKkB

To keep in touch with us and know about our future events follow us in Facebook and Twitter.

 

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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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

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.

Ebola and What it Revealed in Sierra Leone

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

May 2015, Sierra Leone

Ebola became a household name when it unleashed its wrath on the majority of innocent and ignorant inhabitants of Sierra Leone in May of 2014. There was little knowledge about the Ebola virus and its transmission thread, and its symptoms were the same as malaria, typhoid fever, cholera and other common ailments prevalent in the country.

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However, despite warnings from World health organization emphasizing the deadliness of the disease, not much was in place to stop its spread. It overran the country and became uncontrollable, killing thousands of people and leaving some physically challenged and others bearing the brunt of other consequences such as being orphaned, stigmatized, and fleeing their homelands to would-be protected and safe communities where they met their untimely death.

The consequences did not stop there; it halted commerce, travel and the operations of extractive industries. Most people lost their jobs, schools and colleges closed for almost a year, farmers ate up seeds reserved for farming, and most foreign nationals had to leave. This in its entirety burst the economy with the inhabitants bearing the dire consequences.

There was seen a national and global complacency in the fight against Ebola. The nationals had ill knowledge about the disease and were generally ill-equipped to tackle the spread of the disease. The global response was very slow. Complacency and traditional beliefs overtook the real fight, disregarding the Ebola preventative messages and manipulating funds for self-gain rather than collectively using the resources to eradicate the virus disease.

However, as it became an international grand challenge, the global alliance to fight the deadly virus had a breakthrough in bringing the spread of Ebola under control. The exercises in achieving this success were very costly to the people of Sierra Leone, however, it had to be done, to save the nation from a catastrophic situation. Proactive local measures also make up part of the larger resilience in the fight against Ebola.

The times are yet challenging as the majority of the citizenry are struggling with daily survival. However, as infection rates dwindle, the government ordered the reopening of all schools and colleges on 16 April 2015 with precautionary measures put in place to protect the teachers and learners.

Learners received news of schools resuming with joy. One can feel and sense their joy as they had since been carrying on without the right to education, association and play. Many parents are still skeptical about the safety of their kids while the virus is still killing people, and every parent or guardian should take the time to remind their kids about Ebola, with messages of avoiding companionship, play and contacts of any nature. Schools hold veronica buckets as a policy for every child to wash his or her hands and go through temperature test to qualify for entry into the school compound.

  learners are happy to get back to school after the ebola crisis

The reopening of schools was not spontaneous, the government in itself was not sure of parents sending their kids to school. A national campaign reassuring parents of the safety measures already put in place by the education, health and the national Ebola response centre was done. However, the first week was unpleasant and even the second week. It gained roots in the first week of May when kids turned out in their thousands to rejoin themselves in learning after a restricted safety period of almost one year.

It is worth seeing the reunification of learners, disregarding all precautionary measures and counsel from parents hugging each other and explaining stories about the devastation of their various communities by the Ebola virus disease. They play football together, smack each other and do their tricks. In the heat, they cluster despite knowledge of avoiding body contact.

However, the first lessons are on Ebola in every school across the country. How to sustain the gains already scored in the fight against Ebola. The kids are now torchbearers at home in the fight against Ebola. They pass on the messages to their parents and other family members. They also watch with keen interest defaulters of the precautionary measures at home. They are also bold enough to tell their parents to wash their hands and even have a shower after any trip to the city centre, market, workplace or whatever.

The outbreak of the Ebola virus exposed the overall inadequacies of the country. It spans from poor health care delivery, high illiteracy rate, over-reliance on tradition over modern wisdom, selfish tendencies, filthiness, poor personal hygiene, ugly environmental decay, corrupt nature to the bones at higher levels, poor educational facilities, poor transportation service, very disgraceful social services specific to children’s welfare, greed at every cadre, unsustainable practices at every cadre of society, and disregard for the rural poor. The list has no end in sight…

The consequences are vivid, suffering of the poor in every human rights perspective. Will lessons be learnt – this remains the million-dollar question.

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There are still plenty of needs, but if charities intervene, will the grants benefit the needy or will it go into private pockets and fabulous reports written with beautiful photos to convince donors whilst the actual beneficiaries continue to languish in squalor – this is a great concern. This is borne out of experience working in a poor country like Sierra Leone…living it, feeling it and seeing it. Action taken in mind of this has been positive – frantically stepping out and making noise about it for a turnaround in the situation…this is one way of several other ways employed by the reporter.

Attention should be paid to direct foreign aid; it is worthwhile to come as volunteers to accomplish your heart’s desires of helping; or seek credible local charities to accomplish such tasks in an honest and transparent manner for the good of humanity.

Best Out of Waste Contest – India

Written by Marianne on . Posted in General Information, News, Uncategorized

Nektarina and its Indian partner Zest Youth Movement undertook the Best out of Waste Contest in Pune from November 2014 to February 2015.

The concept

Students were invited to prepare any object they want (like utilitarian or decorative objects, accessories, furniture articles, showpieces, etc), from any waste material, using their inspiration, ideas and creativity, understanding that waste material is something found in the garbage or something that is normally intended to be thrown away.

Our goal through the activity was multiple:

  • To reach maximum number of students and contribute to make them aware about environmental issues and how to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle,
  • To collect some ideas from students through self-expression,
  • Strengths advocating arguments in showing how schools and scholars are interested in sustainability topics,
  • For students to learn and progressively understand that resources should be used carefully, that they could reuse waste material and not always depend on new things,
  • Engage parents and families in the activity and moreover raise sustainability awareness among them, considering that part of the activity will be done from home,
  • Spread inspiration, awareness and sustainability understanding to other students through the exhibition of the works.
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The contest

Mr Suresh More, E4S Country manager for India organised the activity with some volunteers’ help.

Approximately 600 students, from 10 to 17 years old and from nine different schools very enthusiastically participated in the competition.

The response from the students was very good. They prepared very nice things from different waste materials, which were then put up in the exhibitions. The teachers cooperated positively as well and very much liked the topic.

We focused the competition on children, as we aim to bring them to understand the importance of preserving the environment and moreover learn more about sustainability: That we should not throw away waste things, that we could use them again for different purposes and that we should not cause harm to nature.

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The outcomes

The jury has chosen the best works at school level, out of which the 6 best ones were selected. The winners received awards (jute folders and certificates) by the hands of the Principals of Schools in presence of students and teachers representatives. An exhibition and ceremony took place in each school.

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We are very proud of the beautiful works made by the students!

Look at the selection below and all the works here (Flickr).

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Results of the Happy Lifestyle schools drawing competition

Written by Marianne on . Posted in India, News, News & Updates

We are happy to announce the results of the Happy Lifestyle schools drawing competition that took place in August-September in Pune, India.

And the winners are:

  • 1st place: Miss Tanishqa Mandar Ketkar
  • 2nd place: Miss Swamini Manish Kulkarni
  • 3rd place: Miss Mrunmayee P Chitale

About 2500 children from Pune participated to the “Happy Lifestyle” drawing competition. The 15 best drawings, selected by a local jury, have been submitted to an online vote on our Facebook page to identify the 3 winners.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks a lot to all who participated offline and online to this event!

Here are the 3 winners’ drawings and a pictures of the children preparing their drawings.

Work in progress

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