Green-Schools celebrated the first International Linking Event with our colleagues and friends in Eco-Schools Kenya and Kenya Organisation for Environmental Education (KOEE) on the 17th June 2021. Le Chéile NS were delighted to be part of this project.
The project began in late 2020 with the aim of the co-creation of five workshops on five Global Goals: Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water, and Goal 15: Life on Land. Each school in Ireland and Kenya participating in the project was required to take action on their assigned global goal, creating an environment of interconnected learning and a greater understanding of the things the students have in common and things that may be different.
In October 2020, Green-Schools Ireland created five workshops focusing on five different global goals with pre-recorded videos, presentations, demonstrations and activities. Following meetings with KOEE, five Kenyan schools joined the project with 12 Irish schools. It was envisioned that, in both countries, participation in the workshops would culminate in the schools creating an exhibition of their work to be showcased at a virtual event of shared learning. In order to create opportunities for easier sharing of information from Kenyan schools, Green-Schools investigated the possibility of funding IT equipment for the schools from Kenya participating in the project and secured funding for laptops and projectors for five schools in March 2021.
The virtual event followed 12 workshops delivered by Green-Schools to the participating Irish schools and five workshops delivered by KOEE staff to the schools in Kenya. As school closures over the year meant that schools weren’t able to work on their project for as long as hoped, both organizations decided that the exhibition element had to be changed to a video submitted by all schools that would culminate in today’s event. Schools shared videos, poetry, inventions and projects all focused on the five SDGs chosen at the start of the project.
The event included welcome messages and activities from: Daniel Schaffer, CEO, FEE – Foundation for Environmental Education; Féilim McLaughlin, Irish Aid, Director of Global Programmes and Development Education Unit; Jill Clements -Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation at the Irish Embassy in Kenya; Dr. Dorcus Otieno from Eco-Schools Kenya; and Danson Matekwa from KOEE.
In what has been a challenging year for all schools and teachers, we ensured that we carried out our proud tradition of engaging with the Green Schools Project. Thank you so much to the fourth class teachers for all their enthusiasm and help. A special mention must go to Mrs Brosnan and Mrs Considine for their fantastic work in engaging with the project. The children in fourth class were so knowledgeable and engaged with great vigour and enthusiasm. This has really given them an insight into how we can become better global citizens and how we can look after our environment on many different levels. We are already looking forward to what is in store next year. Well done all!!!!