This World Environment Day we reflect on how we work at our schools around the world to conserve our natural resources, protect the planet and teach the next generation to preserve the environment and to drive and inspire positive change to end poverty.
The children who come into our care are the victims of extreme poverty and hunger and they understand more than most the importance of the environment and the devastating consequences of climate change. Many of their families are reliant on rural occupations and their livelihoods rest on a stable climate ensuring the success of crops. They go hungry when their crops fail and their hunger is increasing.
On World Hunger Day it was reported that more than 800 million people are still going hungry every day, two thirds of these are women. Much of this hunger is driven by the effects of climate change.
For our boys and girls around the world, the last few years have seen the devastating impact of extreme weather events caused by climate change. Hurricanes like Eta and Iota which bought flooding and landslides to Honduras and Guatemala destroyed their family homes washed away crops and took many lives. In other countries, like Tanzania, extreme drought has caused harvest failure, rising prices, shortages of supplies and malnutrition.
In our education programmes around the world every school endorses the power and responsibility of the individual to create a more sustainable world. The sustainability goals of the United Nations which are celebrated on World Environment day are at the heart of everything we do.
It is a key part of the teaching curriculum in all the schools and the Sisters communicate and reinforce this awareness with all the children in their care from the youngest day-care children through to graduates aged 18.
We also help the schools to invest to ensure more sustainable practices.
These include the use of solar panels for powering the schools (Philippines, Honduras, Tanzania), digging wells for the provision of water to provide for drinking and sanitation at the schools (Guatemala, Tanzania) and dedicating land to the growing of crops for the provision of food.
The children all understand the need for responsible consumption, a policy of no waste, re-use and recycling is at the core of the programmes. All the vital components needed in their care including clothing, shoes and educational supplies are re-used, re-made or re-imagined for hand down to another child at the schools. This policy helps us to ensure that we minimise consumption and maximise the use of our funds.
The schools are also putting sustainability into practice. At the school in Adlas, the Philippines five hectares of land is now taken over to farm crops which sustain the food needs of the boys at the school. Tomatoes, Courgettes, Aubergine, Squash, French beans and Papaya are now grown and generate thousands of kilos of produce a month. The school is not yet fully self-sufficient but the practice now covers a vital part of the food budget for the school and plays a crucial part in the boys’ learning.
Now that their skills are improving their contribution is becoming more and more vital to support the everyday food needs of nearly 20,000 growing boys and girls at our schools, helping us to feed them and ensure they can grow and learn and progress onto a poverty free life.
Mt Iztaccíhuatl Expedition Updates
In December 2024, Enrique climbs Mt Iztaccíhuatl. You can read his updates on training and preparing for the expedition here
In September 2023, the UN reviewed its progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Over October, we reflected on how we work towards these goals within our programmes providing our children with the opportunities to escape from poverty and thrive.
Tanzania programme visit 2023
In September, Nicola and Carey from the World Villages team travelled to Tanzania for the inauguration of the new boys’ school in Dodoma. It will serve to educate some of the most impoverished boys in Tanzania.