CAPACITY BUILDING ON Climate Change Capacity Building FOR AND WITH CHILDREN IN NIGERIA
UNICEF’s 2021 Index Report had that over 920million children in the world are direct victims of climate change and that Nigeria is the 3rd most vulnerable in the world with her children bearing more of the risk, especially children in the Northern and South-Southern Regions of the country, whose lives and survival are dependent largely on their polluted environment, scarcity of water, high rate of poverty which characterize their regions. Quite unfortunate that these children see the polluted environment as being normal, are unaware of how much their climate has been adulterated, how they consciously or unconsciously contribute to the damage or even how they could make a turn towards preserving the environment, to become habitable for them. The report also claims that in deaths of four children, one is (likely to be) a product of the climate change. Those sparked the passion of Cultural Youth Initiative Movement of Nigeria to join the world to change from words to action by being proactive and intensifying the campaign for Climate Change Capacity Building for children in Nigeria.
The project among others had the objectives of educating, engaging and sparking interests of children towards conscious preservation of their environment, desisting from conscious acts that continue to pollute the environment upon which their survival depends etc. It indirectly targeted parents with the belief that the knowledge invested in the school children with be taken home to educate their immediate families who will in turn educate their communities. If a child gets educated, he/she educates if not five more, at least two. The fire continues to spread until everyone is fully aware.
The capacity building project targeted SCHOOLS (CHILDREN), to directly engage and educate them, empower them to be change actors; SCHOOL TEACHERS for the same end; COMMISSIONERS OF EDUCATION in all our target states and indirectly, PARENTS. For the timeframe, the project took a regional approach as a stepping stone to engaging the whole nation, Nigeria. It identified schools, collations of teachers and commissioners of education in the South West and South East regions of Nigeria and directly engaged them.
With the huge support from the World Council of Churches, frontiers of this campaign, the CYIMN successfully executed the project in all the 11 states of the South East and South West regions of Nigeria.
SOUTH-EAST: Abia, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra States
SOUTH-WEST: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo, Osun States
44,000 Children, 3,100 Teachers, 85,000 Parents
- The team organized physical and virtual Train-the-Trainer sessions to ensure that the messages are uniform
- Visit to Commissioners of Education of the states
- Visit to about 100 schools in the target 11 states of the country
The project showcased the urgent need to reach out to more students and teachers as the willingness and intense urge to get more educated and become change actors in their small circles was huge. The just-concluded phase was trailed by the following indicators;
- A rise in the interest of other schools willing to have the engagement in their schools. At a number of engagements, our team met with some other school owners (not in the target) who requested for the same in their schools
- A grown interest of students willing to form clubs in their schools to carry the project on. After the sessions, we have a record of a number of WhatsApp groups created by volunteers to take the project forward
- The willingness of Commissioners to meet us at more convenient periods to discuss how a curriculum can be designed for the subject and introduced in schools
- An active participation of students during the engagements. Many of them raised questions and were jotting during presentations
- The urge of more students willing to be like their colleagues who had been trained and stood before them to train them
- The willingness of teachers to be part of the movement
- The observation of teachers adding to their knowledge making notes during presentations
PROSPECTS AND PROJECTIONS
- To equip volunteers more through series of education and orientation
- To make the project rone another ends of the country. Nigeria has 6 regions and only 2 has been reached so far
- To get all Commissioners of each of the 36 states involved in the process
- To engage the Minister of Education to see the possibility of introducing a subject in the curriculum that will be majorly on Climate Change, Justice, the roles of the government, religious institutions, schools and citizens and all related to it towards a Nigeria habitable for humanity and a comfortable future for her children
We strongly believe there is nothing more beautiful than going out of our way to make life beautiful for others. We have carried out a vast number of life-changing projects to prove our dedication to this cause.