The Ishpingo association is carrying out an educational project aiming at raising the awareness of young generations about environmental issues.
#1 Sensitize communities to environmental issues
In partnership with Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment and the directors of schools located in communities participating in our reforestation projects, Ishpingo sets up awareness workshops for young people.
These activities address the theme of global warming, sustainable management and the conservation of forest areas and rivers. We also address topics with a more local dimension such as sorting and recycling of waste or preserving mother trees within their parents property.
Scheduled on the school calendar we plan to perform one or two meetings a month in each of targeted schools :
1 – « Mingas », or collective works, are held outdoor within school grounds.
2 – Our interventions are organized as environmental education courses. We use means such as drawing, videos, discussions and role play games to get the students involved. It is important to keep in mind that the activities we propose should remain playful in order to facilitate exchanges between the students, the Ishpingo team and the teachers. The latter are present and involved in every single activity because we need them to be able to replicate in the future what we’re doing.
3 – We organize trips in the primary forest with the guardians of the Llanganates natural park. It is a good way to let the students discover or re-discover deep forest landscapes that are way different of the fincas in which they live their everyday life.
#2 Introducing reforestation techniques
In addition of the activities presented above, we are building with the students small tree nurseries in their respective schools. Those small nurseries are intended to become places of experimentation, learning and work to introduce the theme of reforestation.
Indeed we choose with the children which kind of plant they wish to grow up in their garden. We then make sure to find them, plant them in the tree nurseries and take care of them throughout the school year. That way the students will be able to bring the plants back home at the end of the school year.
The working methods are the same as those we use with grow people. We try to make sure that everyone involved in these workshops (students, professors, directors) learn how to take care the plants of a tree nursery and understand the challenges of reforestation. Raising youth awareness is an integral part of Ishpingo’s strategy. Our purpose is to make sure they can reproduce the gestures we instil in them in a natural way. In addition we keep in mind that children are often the best prescribers. They are therefore likely to encourage their parents to adopt sustainable behavior in their properties. We also hope that the teachers, whom we encourage to participate as much as possible, become able to replicate this awareness raising approach in the following years, without the support of Ishpingo and the Ministry of the Environment.