The Environmental Education Programme educates and empowers students in secondary schools across Africa to identify environmental challenges and needs in their communities, and develop solutions to the challenges by applying the knowledge they have acquired from science and arts courses in school. The students work in groups with advisors with relevant experience from across the globe, thus enabling the students acquire new knowledge and skills through peer learning and mentorship. The programme seeks to empower secondary school students with actions competences which will enable them to develop long term commitment to sustainability for everyday life, career engagement or voluntary service as environmentalists or influencers for the environment.
Secondary schools, represented by a team of students and a coordinating teacher, across Africa are invited each year to apply for admission into the programme through an online competitive application process. In completing the application, each team are required to identify an environmental challenge or need in their localities and propose project ideas on how they would address it. Five secondary school student teams in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa were selected through a competitive idea competition which received 34 applications from seven (7) countries across the African continent in the last cohort(2020/2021). School teams are selected based on several factors with priority on the strength of their ideas and the potential impact.
Selected school teams are supported by accomplished experts with relevant experience from around the world through top-notch mentorship in refining and implementing their project ideas. Each team are also provided with funds to implement their project ideas, supported with mentorship by experts from across the globe and a member of ISNAD-Africa’s team who meets with the students averagely once in a week. The best schools at executing their project are also awarded a cash price after completion.
Featured below are the three schools that won the cash price after completion of their EEP 2020/2021 Cohort project in no special order.
Recycling plastic waste into building floor interlocks
The Creative Planet team in Kaduna, Nigeria recycled 1347kg of plastic wastes into interlocking blocks for building floors. The team conducted an awareness outreach to secondary schools on the need to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic waste. The students who benefited from their outreach were tasked to collect plastic waste in exchange for learning materials. The team gathered 1347kg of plastic bottles which was recycled to 300 interlocks for building materials and paved about two square meter area of their school passage.
Recycled Plastics into Multi-Channel Irrigation System and FarmHouse
Fruitful Vine team in Ibadan, Nigeria sourced for 6,000 waste plastic bottles which were causing erosion among other environmental challenge in their community. Structural and architectural designs and prototypes were made from local material -papers and plastics- which guided the implementation. About 1,500 bottles were cut and fitted into a multi-channel irrigation system while another 3000 bottles were filled with sand, cement and clay to construct the 4m x 4.5m storage barn.
Propagation of 340 Spekboom plants
The ImagineScholar team in South Africa discovered a drought-resistant and carbon-sequester plant that is indigenous to South Africa. The collected about 170 waste plastic bottles which formed nursery bed for planting 340 Spekboom plants. The team also recruited 15 volunteers to assist in the propagation of the plants to about 150 families and the rest among the volunteers and friends.
ISNAD-Africa works with various institutions to organize webinars for peer learning, as well as outreaches to share the outcomes of the projects.
The EEP webinar 2019 featured speakers based in the United States and Qatar, both members of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAEE). Maureen Ferry, Founder/Creator HouseStories introduced the ‘Urban Engineers’ framework which provides models for students to apply systems thinking to their specific geography and environmental realities. Maureen Ferry who serves as an advisors of the EEP, understands the impact of the built environment on our planet. Her organization HouseStories helps youth learn about and design resilient and adaptive cities. You can read more about Maureen and her work here.
Through her role as an Advisor on EEP, Maureen Ferry, a Environmental Consultant, got interested not only in the project for which she served as an Advisor but also on the diverse environmental initiatives of ISNAD-Africa. Being thrilled by the novelty and the impact of the initiatives, she facilitated Adedoyin Adeleke, ISNAD-Africa Executive Director’s invitation as a Keynote speaker at the 2021 Edition of “Actionable Science unConference, a non-conventional conference oriented at sharing on the implementation of scientific knowledge. The conference was organized in partnership with diverse universities across the globe and had in attendance professors from leading universities across the globe.
The UNESCO Chair in Energy for Sustainable Development in the Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), Italy hosted the teams of students participating in EEP 2020/2021 in a webinar.
At the webinar, all the five EEP students teams selected to participate in the programme presented their projects with master’s degree students at the Politecnico di Milano. The master’s students were carrying out an outreach to Italian Secondary School students on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, the students from Politecnico di Milano made presentations to the EEP students on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sara Windjue, a capacity development specialist with University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, who served as an advisor facilitated a webinar which was organised in partnership with the Wisconsin K12 Energy Education Program for the Nakuru Day school team from Kenya. At eh webinar, the students presented their Biogas plant project with high school students in Wisconsin state, USA. The webinar had students from about 30 schools in attendance. The project presentation spurred interactions among the students and motivated to also take action to develop innovative solutions to environmental challenges in their communities.
The Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education also organised a webinar which hosted the teams who participated in EEP 2020/2021. The students shared the outcomes of their projects with students from various schools from Wisconsin state.
To be get an opportunity to be part of the next cohort, apply here.