105 children and 30 teachers from 14 Kasiisi Project schools and 12 primary schools from Fort Portal came together on World Environment Day to learn to become Ambassadors for the Environment, at a day long Plant for the Planet Academy. Plant for the Planet was initiated by 9 year old German student, Felix Finkbeiner who, inspired by Wangari Maathai who planted 30 million trees in Kenya, decided that “while adults talked children from all over the world could plant one million trees and thereby offset CO2 emissions all on their own”. Their motto “Stop Talking – Start planting”. A short movie about the movement in Lynne Cherry’s Young Voices for the Planet can be seen HERE).
The event, which was sponsored by the Kasiisi Project, and funded by a generous donation from the Dry Creek Charity, was held to “Foster leadership in Kabarole Youth” and to train them to become environmental leaders. Partnering students from Kasiisi Project schools with those from town, extended the impact of the Kasiisi Project locally and set the stage for future collaborations.
Participants learned about the threats of global warming from a student presentation, practiced effective communication strategies, produced plans of action, planted trees in Fort Portal and returned to their schools to advocate for the environment and plant more trees.
Each school received 20-40 seedlings, depending on land available, and follow up visits will track the impact of the initiative.
Guests of honor included the Municipal Education Officer and the LC5 Kabarole District (The Ugandan equivalent of a US State Governor). We thank Plant For The Planet for sharing their resources with us and connecting us with a student “Ambassador” from Kasese to help give the presentation.