During our Leadership workshop, students learned about environmental challenges and how each of us can make a difference. High-achieving students from Arusha Girls High School and Henry Gogarty Girls' Secondary School joined us.
During the week, several speakers discussed environmental problems including climate change, soil erosion, deforestation, industry pollution, carbon emissions, methane gas, and rising sea levels, poaching in the Serengeti and blast fishing in Zanzibar and how each of these factors has a negative impact on Tanzania's economy, productivity and health.
From the local staff of Jane Goodall's program, Roots and Shoots, we learned how to plant a keyhole kitchen garden and fruit trees at The Girls Center.
When building the garden the students added leaves, compost and chicken manure to enrich the soil. They built a column of rocks in the center of the garden which filters grey water waste. Now our students pour their soapy laundry water down the rocks to water the garden.
Rachel Musson, an English teacher, activist and Founder of ThoughtBox, an innovative curriculum based on critical thinking skills, challenged the students to think about their personal impact on the environment.
One exercise changed how the students think about garbage. They identified how long everyday items, such as a plastic bottle, take to decompose after you throw it away. Now we are recycling at The Girls Center!
Students created art out of garbage in their upcycle projects. They had so much fun creating magical hats and purses out of plastic bags, flip-flops from cardboard, jewelry, plastic flowers, and decorative art objects.
Merina Edwin, Director of Global Sustainable Partnerships discussed the importance of personal hygiene and clean water. Merina also shared her career path and life story, encouraging the students to focus on how to achieve their educational dreams. Merina emphasized how important it is to make a plan because "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Merina presented a cake for the students on graduation day.