"A green school is a school where students are surrounded by trees, a vegetable garden, toilets and clean water points. It is a school where we can learn good eco-responsible behaviours at an early age and train a new generation that is more respectful of the environment," concludes Aicha Yele Soro during his pitch for greener schools in Côte d'Ivoire.
Along with nine other young people, she appealed to the ministry of forestation and member of the government during the launch of the new Youth Advocacy Guide in Côte d'Ivoire.
The Guide, co-written by ten Ivorians and other young people from across the African continent, was officially presented to the authorities. The young people shared their experiences of writing the Guide with members of the government and media, and discussed the dangers of pollution for the population, especially young people, and the urgent need to implement effective solutions.
5 days before the ceremony, the ten young people engaged with environmental and communication experts (Who else?) in the field to learn more about the topic and help them produce their advocacy strategy.
In most schools, children are exposed to an unhealthy environment. They do not have toilets or water points to wash their hands and drink water. Green schools are the solution that these young advocates propose. For their advocacy project, they are planning a system for cleaning and collecting plastic waste, the creation of green spaces, the development of a green manual for schoolchildren and the facilitation of a ‘green competition’.
Three of the UNICEF-built recycled plastic brick schools will initially house this project. The young people asked the authorities to quickly extend the project to all schools in the territory for maximum impact. The well-being of children depends on it.
Until then, the youth do not intend to sit back and wait for the authorities, instead, they decided to set an example. The day after the ceremony, they went to Gonzagueville Public Primary School to clean it up and plant trees.