Inspiring the Youth to Save their Environment
25 th May 2016
The air was filled with laughter and chatter. As Rahama and her club members oozed with a sense of comradeship harmony as their hands mixed the soil with water in preparation to plant tree seedlings. In doing so they were planting hope for their future. as Somalia is in need of trees.
Cagaaran village in Mudug region, besides its beautiful landscape of lush greenery and tightly knit communities, is home to Sh. Daahir Hassan Secondary School, an extraordinary institution which now serves as a focal point advocating for environmental preservation as well as changing the community’s attitude towards the environment.
Students get involved and play a key role in the process of restoring the environment. They take part in the formation of working groups which then come up with plans and solutions to the pressing issues relating to environmental devastation such as land degradation. Their solutions may be small however their impact is huge.
Rahma Adan is an active member and one who contributes immensely to the Child-to-Child (CTC) environmental club in her school since it is the establishment in March 2014. The formation of the club is part of Your Environment is Your Life program in an effort to integrate environmental awareness into primary and secondary schools in Puntland. The program strives to introduce fun, and hands-on activities that the children can be part of while preparing them to become good stewards of their environment.
Rahma in the middle and her friends Hawa and Fatima planting seedlings in their schoolyard, March 2016
Last year, Rahama and her friends successfully led a tree planting campaign in their school and managed to plant 200 seedlings. This year the club managed to fundraise money from their fellow students, as a result they purchased 100 seedlings that were planted in their school and around the village in celebration of World Mother Earth Day.
The environmental club creates a sense of ownership and a collective investment in what truly matters to the students, their communities, and the environment. Perhaps equally important is the morale Rahma and her friends get from being able to engage in such platforms.
“I have gained confidence in myself since I joined the club. I never thought that I could speak in front of my classmates, let alone speak in front of the whole school and my teachers. The club has given me and the other girls a voice and something to be passionate about. Now I look forward to Thursday’s environmental program. I can’t wait to share what I learned in the training and from my own research with my friends”. Explained Rahama
While saving the environment cannot be accomplished in one day. Being part of the club has given the students a sense of purpose. All the while getting the chance to feel good about not only their participation but also the impact they are making in trying to save their environment. As Rahama puts it.
“The club has given me a passion and a purpose. Many of us youth see all the things that are wrong around us, but don’t know what to do about them. With the club I have found out that my passion lies in protecting the environment, and the very land that our livelihood depends on”
‘Your Environment is Your Life’ is a four year program funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by Adeso and CARE in collaboration with Puntland’s Ministry of Environment Wild Life and Tourism (MoEWT). The project seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity by improving rangeland conditions in the Puntland State of Somalia
Author: Muna Ali