Children / environment / Healthy People/ Groups

“Sooner rather than later”

Environmental and water awareness at Fikizolo Primary School for Trading Live.
“Without water and plants, we cannot be happy in the world,” 12 year old Selulanathi says confidently as she fills up her water bottle, careful not to leave the tap dripping when she is finished. She explains that just by turning off the taps, one can save water. “If we don’t have these things, we can’t be happy. We must save water for our lives to be long,” she says.
Selulanathi fills her water bottle, careful to turn off the tap afterwards.

Selulanathi fills her water bottle, careful to turn off the tap afterwards.

Selulanathi is just one of a growing crowd of children at the vegetable gardens at Fikizolo Primary in Grahamstown on Tuesday 28 July 2015, where water and environmental awareness activities are taking place for International Nelson Mandela Day. The events are hosted by Children of the Soil (COTS), an organisation which promotes environmental awareness in the primary school sphere.
Students gather around for the day’s activities.

Students gather around for the day’s activities.

The director and founder of COTS, Nosiphiwe Ngqwala, explains that teaching children the importance of water conservation and general environmental education is vital for the future. Her initiative is grounded in promoting action from education, which begins with lectures in the classrooms and leads to activities such today’s seed-planting event.

Students spent the day planting seeds in the garden on the school grounds.

Students spent the day planting seeds in the garden on the school grounds.

The school describes itself as “health promoting” and the billboard in the parking lot at the entrance states in large letters, “a healthy setting for living, learning and working.” It is schools like these that COTS enjoys approaching, usually targeting Grades 4 and 5. William Salapha says that “by having hands-on activities, we excite the kids.”

Fikizolo Primary School considers itself health-conscious and promoting.

Fikizolo Primary School considers itself health-conscious and promoting.

The children certainly appeared excited, holding their hands out for seeds and digging pitchforks into the soil. A little while into the event, a group of grade 7s from a nearby school, Good Shepherd arrive, and join in on the process.

Nosiphiwe Ngqwala pours seeds into a student’s hands for planting.

Nosiphiwe Ngqwala pours seeds into a student’s hands for planting.

Rhodes University students are also present, such as members of the Namibian Society (NamSoc), which aims to engage with the community. Jason Hutchins, a member says of the event that “Its good just being a part of it. Societies should not just be involved on campus- we want to be an example.” Of COTS’ initiative, Hutchins responds by saying that “changes should be done now- and this is the way to do it- sooner rather than later.”

A student uses a pitchfork to soften the soil.

A student uses a pitchfork to soften the soil.

Advertisements

Tell us what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s