Through two international sharing sessions, students in the United States met seven student teams in Africa who described the innovative projects they developed to overcome environmental and public health challenges in their communities.

This international exchange of information among young scholars provided an opportunity for students at Nysmith School in Virginia to hear about environmental challenges in Africa and the approaches that secondary school student teams from Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana took to help overcome these challenges. The meetings, via Zoom stressed the urgency of all countries taking action to meet the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. NAAEE’s eePRO groups helped make this exchange possible by providing a platform for the organizers in Africa and the US students to connect.

Prior to the Zoom meetings, 63 students in Sheri Soyka’s 7th grade environmental science classes at Nysmith viewed videos made by the student teams in Africa to learn about public health and environmental issues, and the projects the teams implemented to address these issues. Then during two Zoom sessions, students had questions and answer discussions to learn more about the projects and how they are benefiting people in the African communities.

The student team from Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Secondary School in Nigeria began the first Zoom meeting by explaining the challenges posed by the lack of clean cooking fuels and electricity in some Nigerian communities. To address this issue, the students designed and created a bio-digester to convert household wastes and agricultural harvest by-products into clean cooking gas through the process of fermentation. The bio-digester also produced electricity through the use of a thermo-electrical generator. More of this here.

Next, the Ngora Girls Senior Secondary School in Cameroon presented their project: Ngora Green Environment Campaign. The majority of the population surrounding the school lives in poverty and many people have to cut down trees for firewood, which leads to severe soil erosion and silting of water wells. To combat this environmental damage, the project centered on teaching other students and community members about environmental protection, increasing suitable vegetation cover around wells to protect the water, and cleaning up the wells to remove silt and other non-biodegradable materials, such as plastic bottles. The Nysmith students asked what the main difficulties were in carrying out their project and the Ngora students replied that it was overcoming the mindset of the people in their community, language barriers, and limited time. More of this here.

To read about other sharing, just click on the NAAEE eePRO site here.

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