By Kondwani Ngoma, Facilitator, Lusaka
After four days of intensive training and skills building, the Zambian Children’s Climate Conference (ZCCC4) came to a close with 103 delegates being designated as Climate Ambassadors.
The ceremony was graced by the Brothers for life ambassador Kangwa Chilesha. His presence symbolised the role model we need in advocating for an HIV free generation. Kangwa challenged the delegates to adopt healthy lifestyles if they are to attain their goals. “You are the generation that is going to change our country and continent, but that can only happen if you remain determined and focussed. Practice safe sex, respect people from the opposite sex especially boys,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, UNICEF Chief Communications officer, Patrick Slavin expressed delight at the optimism exhibited by the Climate ambassadors in coming up with work plans. “In the short time you have been here, you have done extremely well. What is important is to engage with your peers and become actively involved in conservation,” he said.
15 year old Stephanie Sitali from Lusaka spoke on behalf of the delegates. She described the conference as a huge success. “We had a great experience from day one, we plan on using the information we received to sensitize our communities,” she said.
The closing of ZCCC4 is only the beginning of great things to come, years from now we will look back and marvel at the enormous progress we will score. Bear in mind where it all started and do not lose focus.
By Climate Ambassador Stephanie Sitali 16, Kamulanga High School, Lusaka and Kondwani Ngoma, Facilitator
Being a youth is incredible, it is the one stage in life were potential is at its fullest. It can also be a dangerous phase if not properly handled. It is with this in mind that the life skills session held on Wednesday at ZCCC4 was important.
Life skills are meant to equip one with problem solving techniques that can be used in the management of personal affairs. The HIV skills training centred on the topics; delay in sex, stigma and discrimination, care and support, HIV and Gender.
16 year old Jeff Tembo from Chipata described the session as interesting, knowledgeable and inspiring. “I learnt that we do not have to discriminate but communicate with people infected with HIV and AIDS,” he said. As ambassadors, we must view HIV and AIDS as a titanic and the safest lifeboat is abstinence.
Self confidence and self assertiveness are key components in ensuring that children do not give in to peer-pressure. Not only does it lessen vulnerability but also helps build a society in which we can communicate and empathise with our colleagues.
The greatest ship is acknowledging HIV exists, working hand in hand to fight it by giving support and equality to all human beings and by saying no to HIV. We believe we can get to zero HIV infections!
By Naomi Moseni, Matero girls High School, Lusaka
Talking walls was extraordinary. We got to paint our faces and some art work. I had so much fun because I got to express my views on climate change to the illiterate. My favourite part was the face painting because it was fun and both interesting to me and others.
By Adellaidah Musenge 15, St. Magrets Secondary, Chipata and Stephanie Sitali 16, Kamulanga High School.
We had so much fun, we learnt about the good and bad communication skills which we hardly knew existed, we learnt how to act and dance. When we tried them out, we got to learn that everyone has the ability to make a change through music and theatre. When we go home, we are going to impact the community on Climate change.
By Vanessa Njovu, Facilitator, Lusaka.
Over the past few years, the topic of Sustainable Development has raised great concern and brought about a lot of debate. This is because with the growing economies in most countries, environmental conservation is overlooked and more attention is focused on various developmental ventures.
Decision makers have to critically think about the current situation that the majority of Earth’s population is living in. Secondly come up with ways to sustain life, and at the same time protect our environment. A good question that we can ask ourselves is; how can we provide access to clean energy for everyone, and make sure that the energy we produce doesn’t contribute to climate change?
A good forum where such issues can be discussed is Rio +20. This is a UN Conference on Sustainable Development aimed at making policies that ensure a better future for mankind. This includes the creation of more jobs, access to clean drinking water, greater security and generally a better standard of living for all. The key thing is that policies that are implemented do not endanger our environment.
Echoing the words of the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, Georgina Fekete. “RIO +20 starts and ends with you, start by helping formulate policy at youth level”
By Climate Ambassador Angel Kunda and Facilitator Kondwani Ngoma.
From time immemorial man has depended on energy for his livelihood. The two are almost inseparable, from lighting a fire to one using a geyser just to take a bath. But in the face of climate change, we are challenged to explore options that will ensure our planet is saved from destruction.
70% of Zambians use biomass that is wood fuel and charcoal. Deforestation accounts for 25% of man-made emissions. It is with this in mind that one of the four climate sessions at ZCCC4 is renewable energy. We have a number of renewable energy options ranging from solar, wind to geo-thermal. Solar energy presents us with the best prospects according to the energy expert from University of Zambia (UNZA), Mr Chengwe. 16 year old Stephanie Sitali echoed his thoughts. “Even if it is tough, we have to raise awareness especially in the rural areas where information is quite low. We to need to advocate for solar geysers and equipment that is energy efficient,” she said.
It is an inspired generation that will facilitate a green economy in Zambia. That generation is here, we can cling to these children for a clean planet. Meanwhile, lets heed to their calls that action is more important than words!
By Prudence Bwalya, Lusaka High School, Grade 10.
The term digitale is made of two words; digi which stands for digital and tale which means story, so a digitale is a digital story. It can be used as a means of communication with people who are blind or deaf, who do not like reading and even those who do not understand the language being spoken.
A digitale can be about anything, it can be about imagination, emotion, circumstances, history and many more.
A sound recorder, digital camera and a computer are the instruments used in making a digitale because a digitale must have pictures in motion accompanied by sound.
A digitale must be clear and understandable, lasting not more than two minutes. Digitale pictures must have a well narrated story and the music must express the emotion of the picture. It must be very interesting to people of all kinds and ages.
The first stage in making a digitale is planning how it’s going to be and what story you’ll tell; starting with the title, then the introduction, climax and lastly the ending. The end of every digitale must have a Thank you to show appreciation to the viewers for watching.
By Climate Ambassadors Taonga Kamanga 14, Lusaka and Mary Mubanga 15, Mpika
On the first day of the conference, 16 April 2012, we were divided into four groups with each group attending sessions on one of the following: theatre and music, radio and broadcasting, talking walls and digitales.
The first session we attended was theatre and music. Singing, dancing and acting are just a few of the things we learnt. One of the main reasons we enjoyed the session so much is that we not only learnt but also practised what we were learning. We created and acted out short plays which helped us improve our creativity levels.
Our next stop was the radio and broadcasting session where we learned how to conduct interviews and the rules that must be followed when carrying out an interview. We really enjoyed learning how to use a digital sound recorder as this was the first time we were using one.
The first day of ZCCC4 was both motivating and inspiring, and we are looking forward to sharing whatever we learn when we get home.