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Challenging Climate Change through Capacity Building Education

We need to take strong global action to limit climate change and to protect fragile environments. Unfortunately, as per the “Global Climate Change Index”, Pakistan is the 3rd most vulnerable country facing climate risk (most populated). The realization is no surprise - the last few years have provided ample proof of Pakistan’s climate-change vulnerability. According to climatologists, the devastating floods of 2010, which, submerged a fifth of the country and displaced millions-constituted "the worst natural disaster to date attributable to climate change". Climate change is a problem, which we have created and now we are responsible for taking action to deal with it. It is not a question of one nation or the other, it is the question of humanity. Earth is our home we need to protect it. And Remember! There is no other planet where we can shift to. With this background Silver Oaks Schools & College (as the name originates from environment), winner of 9 British Council's International School Awards & GESS Education Award for Outstanding Contribution in education, is partnering with World Merit, Nestle, Project Wet & Action connected to run a Climate Change Action Project. The title of the project is: "Challenging Climate Change through Education" and this will be focused on raising awareness and building capacity among children and youth (who are in their formative years) regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation. The capacity building sessions will be followed by social action campaigns. Through this project 19,600 young community members, at 18 different locations, in Northern Punjab, Pakistan will get capacity building training on basic livelihood practices for mitigating contribution to climate change and better adapting to the hazardous impact of climate change (floods, droughts, heat spell etc.). Training young community will help us transform the mindset and hence transforming the real life practices and hence transforming the future. Beneficiary Impact: (a). Social: Level 1 - 19600 Direct Community Members (Master Trainers; Staff Members; Pupils; Family Members) Gender dis-aggregated details: Female (51%) Male (49%) (This is an approximation with +/- 2% deviation). Impact of social media campaign through 5000 prime project beneficiaries (X50 reach per adult member) is round one is expected to reach quarter-million people. (b). Environmental: Social Action Community Projects (in 18 communities in Northern Punjab (Rawalpindi). (c). Economic: Shaping young minds will have significant economic benefits in future through: (i) Timely adaptation will help take appropriate steps to protect their possessions; (ii) Taking steps to reduce the contribution towards damaging the O-Zone layer has long term economic benefits. It will reduce the cost of future disaster management steps and the cost of mitigating climate change artificially; (iii) In future, we might have to seal a lot of industries/businesses because of their unnecessary emissions or contribution to climate change that can impact the economic growth of the country. If people know the extreme damage that climate change can cause, they will start taking the steps now (gradually) and we will not have to take last-minute disaster management actions to comply with environmental standards. This project will be a unique pilot project as no organization in Punjab (Population: ~ 120 Million) is building capacity among young minds regarding climate change mitigation & adaptation. The project methodology involves using school’s facilities and reach to sensitize staff and learners (children & youth) directly and family members (indirectly) regarding climate change through formal capacity building workshops and applied practical social action community projects in 18 different locations. As a first step, 18 master trainers will be trained at a central location (one for each location). These master trainers will then go to their respective campuses/locations and conduct a training for rest of the staff members in that particular location. These staff members will then be ready to deliver this training to their respective learners. For learners, this training will be divided in three different steps to ensure that they have absorbed the concepts and sessions will be designed in a way to ensure maximum interaction, contribution, participation and practical learning (content will be designed centrally to ensure quality). This project will be launched on social media, which will allow us to identify volunteers from the surrounding areas to help in making this project successful.
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