WINDHOEK – The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) recently welcomed back 21 of its students who took part in International Youth Climate Change Week in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Youthinkgreen, the Germany- based educational initiative, organised the youth week to train school aged participants to become critically minded climate ambassadors. The DHPS environmental group met close to 200 young people from April 11-30. “ Our ecological problems today have become worse and problems are far greater, right now we are undergoing the worlds sixth massive extinction and the last one was sixty five million years ago and the problem with this extinction is that it is caused by us on earth,” says Namibian Environmental Climate Ambassadors (NECA) Head of Public Relations, Teresa Thaimaier.
She adds that there is a need for the general public to take action and save the planet, and people should speak up if they care about the world around them so as to save it from future extinction. The Youthinkgreen summit helped learners from various backgrounds to come up with ways to save the planet. “We attended the international climate week in Wolfsburg, and there were so many impressions in that week, so many amazing experiences and people,” says NECA’s Monika Carl.
She further explains that everything from speeches and group projects took place during the week were groups often had to tackle issues and come up with realistic solutions related to the climate. She says the solutions had to be presented to a group of up to 300, which she adds, allowed the groups to learn valuable presentation skills. Energy was one of the main topics the groups dealt with as well as mobility.
“Due to all the knowledge that we gathered in Wolfsburg, we came back with environmental project ideas so that we can start making a change. In total we want to tackle three of such projects at DHPS so that it is not only a leading example to schools but also to society,” says Head of Film, Jennifer Eises.
She explains that the first projects tackle transport to and from school and most learners make use of cars and there is no public transport system expect for two busses which transports a minority of the school population. “We want to plan and put into action an extensive bus system that allows each and every student to reach school in a much more sustainable way. This project will be in cooperation with the School of Natural Resources of the Polytechnic of Namibia,” she says.
She adds that this year’s annual bazaar will be a green bazaar, with less rubbish and more organic food and the third project will focus on solar energy. “Namibia together with Botswana has the best conditions for solar adaptation in the world. Our school only recently increased its carbon foot print tremendously by installing almost 100 electric backboards. The least we can do is supply the much needed electricity in a much more sustainable way. If you want to change peoples minds that is exactly what you should do,” she says.
She further explains that the group will convince the administration and management to install solar panels at the school to help this become a reality. “We are looking at ways to make our school, our town and in the end our country to become a better role for us and our future. We still need more people to support us to enhance our results. What we are doing is not an easy job, we want to change people’s habits,” says NECA’s Carsten Antoni adding that there is nothing harder than changing people’s opinion and behaviour and the effort should be on changing mindsets.