This article is written by Deepak Raj Joshi.
On February 22nd, a one-day climate academy was organized by Plant for the Planet, at Janata high school, Phapharbari, Makawanpur (Nepal). Phapharbari is a remote part of this district about 45 kilometers from the main city, it is mostly inhabited by the marginalized Tamang community. 75 students and teachers from eight schools participated in the program. Pariwartan Nepal, a local NGO, was the local supporter of the academy.
The main objective of the program was to teach students about climate science and motivate them to live a green life. Students learned many new things from the academy, it was the very first program of this kind in this remote area. Sumitra Rai, a 13 year-old student shares: “I have never watched such a presentation in my life. It was even my first experience with a laptop. It is really great to learn so many things about climate change and how it is impacting our life”. Similarly, another student Santosh B.K, 14, adds: “I’m now sure that I’ll do something in my school. I’m very excited to talk about climate change to my community and at school; I hope everyone will support me in the coming days as well”.
School teacher Rina Lama explains that the day was not only designed for students: “This academy also trains us, the teachers. We learned many things about how to motivate students to act about environmental issues, or how developed countries bear the responsibility for climate change”. Eco Clubs were formed in multiple schools. All made commitments to plant trees and to engage in green activities.
During the entire day, students and teachers also planted trees. Around 78 different plantlets of five different species – mango, litchi, sapota, neem, jack fruit and guava – were planted in the yard of Janata high school. The principal and the Eco Club of the school took responsibility for the care and management of the young plants. During the closing ceremony, the principal of Janata high school, Ram Bahadur Thokr, extended his thanks to Plant for the Planet and other helping hands. He further added that these programs boost students and teachers, and that he hopes to see more good actions of the kind in the community.
We are always ready to help in any way, and will continue and double our efforts to engage students in such activities in the future.
About the author: Deepak Raj Joshi. Bachelor in Agriculture Science (B.Sc.Ag), Participating in CliMates research project on Water Vulnerability, Agriculture Program Officer WOREC-Nepal , Action Partner (OXFAM International Youth Partnership 2010-2013), Global Environmental Advocacy and Production Association (GEAPA)