By Alvin Lansana Kargbo
In an ambitious endeavor to elevate awareness surrounding climate change mitigation and adaptation, under the project “Awareness Raising and Advocacy on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation,” the project implementing partner, Caritas Freetown, with support from Trocaire, orchestrated a transformative inter-school quiz, debate and drawing competition involving ten carefully selected schools in the Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural Districts of Sierra Leone.
The initiative, launched in November and reaching its zenith in December 2023, sought to actively engage 10 schools and communities in addressing the critical challenges posed by climate change.
The inter-school competition was held on December 20, 2023 at the St Edwards Secondary School at Kingtom in Freetown. The event unfolded as a dynamic platform designed not only to educate but also to foster interest and active participation among pupils regarding the far-reaching implications of climate change on communities.
Speaking passionately during the event, Project Coordinator, Eliza Sillah ,expressed the overarching goal of the initiative. “Our mission is to empower young minds with knowledge and awareness about climate change,” she declared. “Through events like these, we aim to instill a profound sense of responsibility and inspire positive actions within the younger generation.”
The competition, featuring quiz rounds testing the students’ knowledge, debates that encouraged critical thinking, and a drawing competition allowing for creative expression, provided a multifaceted approach to engaging participants in the complexities of climate change issues.
Alpha Samura, one of the enthusiastic participants in the inter-school competition, shared his insights. “Being part of this competition has opened my eyes to the real challenges our environment is facing,” He remarked. “It’s crucial for us to understand the impact of climate change and work collectively to find sustainable solutions. This experience has been truly eye-opening and inspiring.”
The event concluded with a dignified award ceremony, which signifies the commitment and contributions of each participating school. Certificates of participation were distributed, acknowledging the collective effort in raising climate change awareness.
The deserving winners in each category of the competition were then honored with prizes, emphasizing the significance of their role in advancing the cause. This recognition served not only as a celebration of achievement but also as a motivational force, encouraging pupils to persist in their engagement with climate change awareness and advocacy.
Caritas Freetown and Trocaire, through this innovative initiative, have not only sown the seeds of environmental consciousness but have also nurtured a generation of informed and inspired individuals ready to champion the cause of climate change mitigation and adaptation. As the project draws to a close, the impact resonates, echoing a call for sustained efforts in building a resilient and environmentally conscious future.