National Rally, Connecting Students to Nature

On the 17 of August all roads led to Mmadinare Senior Secondary school for the Association of Environmental Clubs of Botswana (AECB) National Environmental Rally, the theme “Connecting People to Nature: Students are Key to Sustainable Education.”

Elephants Without Borders was pleased to participate, as our Education Coordinator, Thato Tsheko represented EWB as a proud sponsor of this exciting, impactful, educational event.

The rally comprised of District Regional champions, in total 216 winning students participated from different areas across Botswana: Chobe, Kgatleng, Southern, Kweneng,Serowe/Palapye, Selebo (Selebi Phikwe/ Bobonong) and Francistown.

The competitions began morning of the 18th, when the Mmadinare school hall was filled with excitement and very ambitious young souls were ready to stand in front of the full-crowd to share their knowledge and creativity, pertaining to environmental sustainability. The conservationists of tomorrow were about to compete!

The event’s official opening was addressed by Mr Felix Monggae, the Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Environmental Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism. While, Mr Sente Mosweu, the Chairperson of AECB, gave the objective of the rally.

The competition categories were performed at Primary, Junior and Senior level: 

  • Essay competitions
  • Poetry in Setswana
  • Public speaking
  • Artifacts: crafts and designs from waste materials
  • Quiz (both oral and written)
  • Beauty/Fashion contest, dresses designed from waste/recycled materials

This was the first event of its kind, where students had the opportunity to showcase their talents, defend and forward their ideas which could

be implemented to improve a sustainable environment. Every region showed pride in our future conservationists, but a few Districts stood above. Scooping a high number of awards were: Kweneng at top with 11 awards, followed by Serowe/Palapye with 10 awards and Selebo (Selebi Phikwe/Bobonong) earned 8 awards.

Later in the evening, the beauty/fashion design pageant was held. Pageant participants created and modeled clothing designs made from waste materials, as a campaign message that “waste can be important and used in other ways.” The theme emphasized applying the principles of  the 4 R’s “Reuse, Recycle, Reduce and Respond” rather than waste becoming a hazard, but to keep the environment clean.

 Students were staged between two age groups, ages 10-15 and 16-21. Chobe region took first place in category 1, followed by Selebo then Palapye.  In category 2, the winner was from Kgatleng, Selebo position 2 and Kgatleng position 3.

Mother nature has many wonders, but the message brought forth by the students in this rally was  that if we take care of our very own environment, rest assured, people will reap the benefits. A healthy environment makes for healthy living! The message was made very clear through the students’ very words, knowledge, skills and talents.

Well done to the Association of Environmental Clubs of Botswana, Ministry of Basic Education, the  Dept of Wildlife National Parks, the Districts Environmental Educators and especially the students! Working together, we are connecting people to nature!

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