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Young people's portal
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Young people's portal

Young people's portal page

The younger generation leads the way!

The great thing about going green is that children and young people can often play a really important part in getting good things to happen.

That's why so many of ARC's most successful projects are based in faith schools around the world. We know that the lessons learned by the younger generation in schools can often be passed on to their family or the wider community, with younger people leading by example.

Check out the videos and follow the links below and you will surely be inspired to see what great green things are being done by children and young people all over the world.

Young Sikhs in the USA prepare for the tree planting on the annual Sikh Environment Day (March 14)
The WWF wants to hear from you!

When one of the biggest green forces on the planet sees you as an important ally then you know you are on the right track. A new campaign from WWF, the world's leading conservation organisation, is looking for young people from the USA motivated by their faith to stand up for the environment.

By clicking onto their website, anyone aged between 18-29 years old can share their thoughts about the connection between conservation and their faith, religion or spirituality. This can be in the form of a short piece of writing (250-500 words), photographs or even a short video. Some of these contributions are displayed on the website, but WWF also encourages young contributors to post their contributions on whatever social media sites they use to act as an advocacy for nature.

The website has loads of ideas about actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint as well as informative videos alerting you to the unseen environmental costs behind everyday things. Did you know that it takes 50 gallons of water to produce every cup of latte coffee? Or that three square feet of rainforest are destroyed to make the aluminium for a laptop computer? It's all part of the WWF 'Sacred Earth' programme that is harnessing the power of faith groups worldwide to be advocates for green change, leading by example in the way they live.

Working together really makes a difference It's especially impressive when young people get together in schools and organise themselves: in Indonesia, for example, pupils from 19 Islamic boarding schools called pesantrens managed to persuade the Government to create a National Park and protect their river from pollution. Click here to find out more.

Water Heroes video A short film about respecting a scarce resource. This animation was created by the UK-based Muslim organisation Faith Regen, a frequent partner of ARC. The aim was to make a short video, without words so it can be used throughout the Muslim world, to show how all Muslims can and should be water heroes.

One tree at a time Another pesantren in West Java, Indonesia, has managed to restore the environment around the school through a 'one student, one tree' rule: every student has to plant a tree before they can take their final school test. They even get more marks if the tree has been cared for and grown well. Now they have filled all the available land with trees and the air is cool and fresh. Read more of the story by clicking here.

Students at a Kenyan eco-school reap the rewards of their hard work
Confirmed eco-warriors Planting trees is important because they help clean up the air, provide a place for birds and animals to make their homes, produce fruit to eat and also hold the soil together. When Tanzanian children attend confirmation classes at some Christian faith schools they have to take on the responsibility to plant three trees and care for them before they can complete the class. There's more about Tanzania's young eco-champions here.

Starting young And here's a video from Kenya that also shows how primary school children can make a difference through learning how to use water properly and by planting trees.

Kirukuma Primary School from ARC on Vimeo.

Helping teachers spread the word Of course it helps if teachers have good ideas to encourage young people to care about the environment so ARC has been working with teachers in Africa to develop lots of activities for children and young people. These activities help them to learn ways to avoid wasting water, energy and food and also look after nature at the same time. You can read about them in the teachers toolkit here.

Too good to waste! We all know that water is vital because without it there can be no life. Sadly, however, in many places water - especially clean, safe water - is hard to find. The animation below tells the traditional Islamic story of Hajjar in the desert to remind Muslims everywhere of the importance of treating water with respect and using it wisely.

Click here for Water Heroes, another short animation looking at ways we thoughtlessly waste this precious liquid.

Keeping clean means being green Drinking or cooking with polluted or dirty water can cause serious diseases. In some parts of the world finding ways to prepare safe water could be a matter of life and death. Children who learn good hygiene and wise use of water at school can take the message home to their families and help protect them from disease.

ARC works in partnership with the international WASH (Water, Sanitation and Health in Schools) programme which aims to ensure that all children have access to safe drinking water and sanitation. There's a long way to go but you can explore a map of where they work by clicking here.

Young people lead the way in Lebanon Sometimes young people can take on an environmental issue when others won't. After a serious forest fire in the Lebanon devastated the land around their village five young people decided to put things right by learning how to prevent fires while growing trees to plant back on the land. They inspired other young people to do the same and a national network grew that has planted over 250,000 trees and restored a nature reserve to preserve rare plants and birds. Read the full story here

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Related information

Education and Water
ARC's programme linking faith schools with water and sanitation issues started in 2009. Now we are working with UNICEF and other bodies to help children have better access to clean water
May 10, 2013:
Exciting results from working with Muslims in Sumatra on eco-programs
A new report by the Darwin Initiative (DI) shows the tremendously positive results they saw when they ran a major project to engage faith leaders – both male and female – in environmental action.
November 1, 2013:
Animation for children - urging all Muslims to become water heroes