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More than never, today mankind faces a great challenge

for the continuity of life. According to the last report by the


United Nations Program for Environment, (PNUMA) (2),
between 2030 and 2040, the total of the tropical icebergs
of the region will have melted, thus causing a serious
problem regarding water supplying for both domestic
activities and agriculture and industry as well. According
to the United Nations Organization for Agriculture and
Alimentation (FAO), the deforestation is widespread.
Between 2000 and 2005, the region annually lost 43.500
square kilometers of woods. Such cipher is equal to lose an
area larger than Switzerland every year. These are just 2
brush-strokes of the changes that are being produced in
our region due to the Global Heating, caused by the
pressure that we exert over nature through our present
forms of production and consumption.

The consequences for life in the planet are under risk. The
loss of habitat that presses towards the extinction of
innumerable species of fauna and flora; the increment of
diseases by the presence of new vectors, by pollution
and/or a deeper penetration of UV rays, make urgent a
change towards a new life paradigm. It is a way of living
and becoming related to ourselves, with the others and
with nature in the most harmonic and respectful manner.
(2) Atlas of an environment under transformation. PNUMA. 2010. In www.cathalac.org.

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So our proposal supports the promotion of infantile leaders in environmental
care, capable of encouraging positive behavioral changes, not only among their
peers, but also among the adult population. Along this process, they will be
strengthening their emotional and affective world (towards leadership). In his
last book titled “Ecological Intelligence”, Daniel Goleman deals with this matter,
that is, by working on behalf of environmental care, we expect that children
grow confidence regarding the valuation of their setting and the need to
accomplish solidarity to face the ecological crisis that our present world is
passing through.

Over the basis of such premises, the project is structured in 2 phases: the first is
oriented towards the development of a formative program that includes 14
training sessions, educative visits for knowing initiatives of environmental care,
and journeys of field observation for recognizing natural environments and the
environmental problematic in their community. The second phase consists in
the formation of environmental clubs and the implementation of initiatives on
behalf of environment.

Essentially, our pedagogical proposal deals with boys and girls learning on the
basis of experimentation: feeling, smelling and closely watching the
environmental problematic, its consequences and the choices for solution.
Over such recognition, they should undertake initiatives that will contribute to
oppose to the environmental deterioration. It is a kind of “leaning by doing”; it
is also to bet for a new life ethics: freer, more responsible, creative and
harmonious with their own environment.

Together with the execution of the initiatives, children make use of information
tools, such as Blogs, to disseminate their activities and the results of their
environmental findings, share news and socialize their recommendations; all
this leads to generate larger synergies that will contribute to look after the
planet. In order to strengthen such effort with boys and girls, we also work with
the family parents through information meetings about the progresses of the
project, tackle the environmental problematic and converse about certain
topics, such as: Assertive Communication: How to strengthen our children's
self-esteem?. What to do in case of school harassment?, and so on etc.

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From September 2009 to December 2010, a pilot phase was
implemented with boys and girls of the 5th grade of primary of the
educative institution “FE Y ALEGRÍA N° 37”. With this group and after
the formation program was over, 3 environmental clubs were
compounded:
? Eco club “Boys and girls go rescuing water”. The children staged a
puppets theatre play in order to sensitize about the importance of
water care. The puppets were made on the basis of recycled
products.
? Eco club “The Children's Park… Our green planet!” The children
transformed an arid terrain into a green area, and
? Eco club “Natura Kids”, where children sensitized and train the
merchants of the Model Market of Motupe, so that they would
learn how to dispose of their solid waste.

These clubs have just finished their environmental initiatives, and


now are ready to share their results and lessons learned.

From September to December 2010, a formative program was


initiated with boys and girls of the 5th grade of primary of the
educative institutions “Crisanto Salinas”, “10 de Marzo” and “Fe y
Alegría Nº37”. 110 boys and girls from these educative Institutions
have participated in the workshops, field observations and educative
visits. From January 2011 on, a number of new environmental clubs
have been compounded, which will implement their initiatives all
through 2011.

This has been – and will keep on being – a very rich experience of
mutual learning. These boys and girls have given us back the hopes
and conviction that our work, efforts and eagerness have fructified.
Not only they became transformed along this process, we also did,
and now we are moving on together towards a new way of living and
coexisting.

(3) We should remark that these initiatives are chosen by the members of the ecological
clubs, taking into consideration certain criteria, such as relevance of the problem for the
community, feasibility of success, and likelihood of counting with the necessary resources

Ecokids 7
The Children's Park…
¡Our green planet! By Elizabeth Nichols

Turning an arid terrain into a green area was a project envisaged by


the boys and girls of the group “AIRE” at the end of this year.
Presently, they cay say “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” But it was not
only “to make a park”; along the process, they learned many things.
In their own words, they learned “to work in the field, dig the holes
for sticking the poles for the fence, fertilize the lands, and so on”.
Something very nice was that they learned that they can accomplish
their goals, work happily and in teamwork.

Listening to the 12 boys and girls that compound this Eco Club has
revealed to me that “making a park” can be much more than a
physical work in the field; it has confirmed to me the richness of
teamwork and the big chance to develop capacities through
collective activities. “I learned that we can do anything if we plan it
well, and I learned to value the talent of others” – says Jacky. And
Josué adds: “I learned to communicate with other people; I used to
dispose things without counting with anyone else's opinion”. Noemí
affirms: “I learned and understood that not all are equal, and not all
can give the same”. In turn, Abel, Josué's older brother, and one of
the most committed and engaged children, manifests: “I learned to
tolerate other people… I understood those who delay more”.

After Before Air Group


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