We were humbled by a visit to Baptist High School (BHS) Awae in Yaounde on Monday. Lucy Diffang, ISTP Education Advisor introduced the school to PACE back in June. When students in the Environment Club heard that the PACE Coordinator was in town they asked their principal to invite us to visit, to see what they have been doing, are planning and to problem solve together.
BHS Awae has a compact, walled site on the edge of the city. The Environment Club, which has 50 members, is working to ‘Green’ the campus, they say they can make it a more attractive and comfortable study and living space and at the same time raise awareness of environmental issues amongst their peers and teachers. School Principal Mr Isaac Nchi clearly has confidence in the students and wants not just 50 but all of them to understand and promote environmental issues – he called an extraordinary whole school assembly and gave the environment club the stage. Their entertaining debate “Should waste be burnt?” captivated fellow students (right) at the same time as presenting different causes and solutions to our climate change crisis.
They explained the purpose of their club, what they do and how, explained the benefits of trees, a clean and green environment and Sustainable lifestyles.
They outlined their goals for the year, those they have realised to date and some of the problems encountered.
They have planted trees in different areas of the school, have experimentally planted grass in another (and are determined to ensure it establishes, despite more than occasional disrespect from other students).
They have set up waste bins, and they sort and organise school waste so that recycling and disposal can be more effective.
Waste management is a difficult task in such a highly populated space with poor refuse collection services. These young Environmental Ambassadors were an inspiration in their determination to find solutions and to recruit others to their environmental crusade. They have already influenced how their school is managed, how amazing if the impact continues as they progress through life.
Attentive students watch the Environment Club presentation (above) and discuss in depth with the PACE coordinator (right).