AWESOME NEWS: Do you already know about Plant for the Planet (PftP)? If not, be sure to read below. But here’s the hot scoop! 14 children and 14 youth from around the world were just elected to the Plant for the Planet Global Governing Boards—and you might know them!
Miko Vergun, 350PDX Intern and the 15 year old who helped bring PftP to Oregon and Southern Washington, was elected as one of two Global Youth Board Member representing North American and Oceania!
Isaac Vergun, Oregon Climate Fellow and the 14 year old who helped bring PftP to Oregon and Southern Washington, was elected as the Global Children’s Board Member representing North American and Oceania! Then, he was selected by Ambassadors across the world as the President of the Global Board.
To learn more, enjoy their entertaining 2 minute video, and support their efforts, visit: Verguns to Germany!
Plant for the Planet, organized locally by Climate Change Recovery, is a United Nations Environmental Program sponsored nonprofit that empowers children and youth to speak out about Climate Change. Students go through a one-day free training led mostly by other youth, called an Academy, to learn the science and human rights implications of Climate Change and how to act to slow, stop, and reverse it. These Academies are open to youth in grades 4-12, thought we have do have some awesome ambassadors who with parental support have been able to do the program at a younger age.
The Academy Day
The Academy begins with students attending a slideshow presentation on Climate Science and Climate Justice by our youth Climate Justice Ambassadors; the slideshow covers the material in a way that makes sense to both youth and adults, and Ambassadors share the material without using notes. Next, we do a hands-on activity with world maps that helps students see how the areas with the highest climate emissions are the most wealthy areas, even though they have fewer people than the areas bearing the effects of those emissions most heavily.
Next students learn about the power of speaking, and through our module on rhetoric practice begin to work with the material that the Ambassadors present and to work on their public speaking ability. Toward the end of rhetoric practice, the moderator helps students decide which slides they would like to lead or if they will be part of the brainstorming sessions. After that, they head outside and plant one or more trees together so they know the proper way to plant trees and help others to get involved in doing this.
Then, after a lunch break, students split into two groups: One group does the World Café module in which they work together to come up with ways they can make a difference in their communities. The other is made up of the students who will give their first slideshow as a group that afternoon, and so they go off with the moderator to practice together being able to teach about the slides!
Finally, they come together with their families and any community guests and watch the slideshow presented by students who heard it for the first time this morning, as well as sharing the outcome of the brainstorming sessions. This presentation is followed by a graduation ceremony in which each student is appointed as Climate Justice Ambassador, receiving their certificate and the book Tree by Tree: Now We Children Save the World, essentially an engaging manual for youth activism. We often have special guests who come to learn from the children and to talk about how the Ambassador families can work together with their offices and organizations to affect policy, plant trees, and take other actions. Past guest speakers include U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley’s Washington and Multnomah County Field Director Jagjit Nagra, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Adelantes Chicas Program Director Cecilia Girón, and Marshallese Community Leader David Anitok.
Plant for the Planet was started in 2007 by a 9-year old who saw that kids have to get involved right away because adults are moving too slowly or cautiously to protect the futures of children and their future generations. Thanks to his wisdom, as of January 2016, 46,000 Ambassadors had trained in 51 countries. Together with others, they have planted 14 billion trees so far on the way to a goal of 1,000 billion! Come plant with us!
Plant for the Planet connects families with children and teens to the work of saving our future for them and for all future generations. Children under 18 are missing from most Climate-Change-focused organizations and events, and we need your help to turn this situation around!
Though thinking about Climate Change is scary for all of us, children are hearing about it, and we need to give the tools, skills, courage, and support to act now, because waiting until they are adults will be too late since we all need to do all we can right now. Though Plant for the Planet Academies have attracted some of our strongest youth activists, most children who come to an Academy start without a lot of knowledge. All benefit from the chance to learn more, develop their skills, and be surrounded by their peers who are aware and care. Together they can work to help other youth and families to set aside some of their everyday activities to make a better future for us all, instead of trying to go on as though nothing were happening, and thereby contribute to the problem.
Join Us—We Need YOU—And We Have Fun!
Our free one-day free trainings are open to all children and youth to develop their ability to work for Climate Justice. They can be hosted by a variety of community organizations and there are many ways to help. The awesome thing is that somehow, in spite of the seriousness of the work, we all have a lot of fun when we get together. Please contact us to learn more!