In June 2019, EFA signed an agreement with Irish Aid, to pilot the initial phase of a National Competition for Greening Schools in Sierra Leone. The main objectives of this novel initiative are:i) To highlight the individual’s ability and responsibility for safeguarding and protecting their local environment and valuable plant and animal species. This will be achieved through
ii). To Provide incentives, for participating schools / communities, and create possibilities for generating income and strengthening their commitment to protecting their local environment;
iii). Facilitating the formation of school/community committees – action groups for local development and environmental management – and train them in the basic principles of caring for nature and managing their local environment in positive ways;
iv). Providing training for school children, teachers and community members in appropriate techniques including waste management; tree nursery establishment for the revegetation / reforestation of degraded lands / forests; promoting the construction of composting toilets to enhance better health and hygiene for the participating schools.
‘Theory of Change’
This Greening Schools initiative predicated on EFA’s belief, that by engaging with the schools and empowering the children and their teachers (who are also parents and key change agents) with the appropriate tools for environmental advocacy and positive action, the process of building a constituency of environmentally informed leaders will have begun. This process will mobilise popular acceptance of progressive approaches to waste disposal, sanitation, reforestation and other forms of natural resource management, initially in the school grounds, later in the community and ultimately across the country. EFA’s intervention therefore, focuses primarily on developing advocacy, communication, educational & land use planning tools and training manuals, as well as facilitating capacity training and best-practice demonstrations, using the educational resources and facilities that it owns (Biodiversity and Renewable Energy Learning Centre) and manages (Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary).