Story 1

Rajnish Prasad Rajesh
India

After enrolling in the course it changed me a lot and improved me a lot in the way of thinking, acting, and taking actions. It made me smarter and more skilled. It changed my lifestyle in a very lucid manner to think broadly.  Now I educate the farmers by saying that there is never too late until or unless we surrender ourselves and become helpless. We all can become the soldier of this announced war by doing simple and easy things even though we are poor and uneducated like planting trees more and more, save fuels, avoiding the use of plastics, minimizing the use of pesticides and insecticides, avoiding the wastage of electricity, preferring green and renewable source of energy, saving water on a daily basis and irrigating the field only when necessary and as per the crop need, etc.

Recently I have made a group of agriculture students named AGROMET SOLDIERS, these students are promoting weather-based agro-advisory service. These students are now acting like a warrior who is making aware others of climate change and its impacts, How to mitigate it, planting trees on large scale, etc. Farmers are now motivated to produce and use biofertilizers and green manures in the field and for the feed of livestock as well.

Story 2

Anita Singh
United Arab Emirates

The course on Sustainable diet has made me rethink my purchases more responsibly. I buy more locally produced fruits and veggies taking into consideration that they have been grown and harvested keeping the interest of the local producers in mind. I consume responsibly and do not waste food and have stopped eating red meat. I follow a vegetarian diet except for a day or two every fortnight where I eat either fish or chicken. I have started to carry my own bag to buy my groceries the groceries, I carry my bottle of water when I go out to avoid it so that I do not end up buying a bottle of water. The electrical appliances are always switched off when not in use. I recycle my clothes and utensils with the lesser privileged which not only helps them but also reduces landfill dump.

In school, I have been part of a team involved in recycling plastic bottles. We collect it from students and give it to one of the firms who then recycle it to make T-Shirts and other products. We also engage our children in activities to create awareness of climate change around the world and highlight the endangered species. The pandemic has not stopped us from engaging our students in sustainable living. Students were encouraged to grow 2 to 3 vegetables at home as an initiative to growing your own food. The happiness and joy shared by the students were too good to be seen to believe. One small step taken by oneself adds to the overall impact.

Story 3

Thambiliya Godage Supun Lahiru Prakash
SriLanka

This has led to making a paradigm shift in my way of thinking on Climate change. I took it as a serious matter than other day-to-day issues. I searched for new knowledge on climate change and completed the Climate Change online course conducted by the University of Melbourne and the Climate change policy and Public Health online course by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Due to my enthusiasm for Climate change, I was appointed as one of the steering committee members of the project ‘Towards A civil society climate action plan for Sri Lanka’ by the Centre for Environmental Justice in partnership with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

I learned that language is a bottleneck in climate education in Sri Lanka and very limited opportunities were there for the local people who communicate in Sinhalese to aware of climate change. Therefore, I have started to write the column entitled ‘Climate talk’ for the Irudina newspaper (one of the National newspapers in Sri Lanka published in the Local language Sinhalese) on 14 February 2016, and later it was converted into a blog and now it reached more than 4500 views. I have done some awareness campaigns to make aware of the public on climate change and public health inspector trainees and certain other youth groups have belonged to the audience.

Story 4

Asha Alexander
United Arab Emirates

It is difficult to pick a precise point to begin this story as it grew organically in pockets within the school’s curriculum. One morning, as the Head of the School, I chanced on a newspaper article that talked of a local schoolteacher becoming a ‘climate change’ teacher.  Seven days later, I was armed with a certification from UNCC and more knowledge than I had ever imagined possible about climate change. I knew then that the time had come to change our school and every school in the world. It was the summer vacation when I pushed out the link for becoming a certified climate change teacher at our school. It was a surprise to see that within a week the numbers attaining certification had grown from tens to hundreds.

Within a month the school had 327 UN-certified climate change teachers and every one of its 162 classrooms was now prepared to deliver climate literacy on the curriculum. 67 parent governors had also been certified and the momentum of learning had begun. Our teachers spent weeks mapping the climate literacy objectives to the school’s existing curriculum carving space and connecting it to the real-life problems that existed around us in the desert- from water conservation to ridding the school of plastic. The children were enthused and began the fall season with a pledge to plant 15,000 trees each year. Within two months of the Plant A Legacy project, our students traveled to the desert to plant the local Ghaf tree and engaged with more than 40 local organizations to plant trees on their premises to ensure that there would be caretakers for the saplings they would plant. The world’s first School Conference of Parties Expo was born leading to 50 schools registering at SCOPE 2020 to participate in climate debates and discussions to change the world. What began as a venture to amplify our students’ voices at GEMS Education, has now expanded to include students from fifty schools from the local as well as the global contexts with schools from Costa Rica and Australia being a part of this very first edition.