13 July 2021
Prizren, Kosovo - Balkan Green Foundation, through the UNMIK Confidence Building project “Improving our Environment, Changing our Future”, has engaged elementary school students from four different schools in the municipality of Prizren in activities that aimed to strengthen the role of younger generations in the protection of the environment by raising the awareness and knowledge on environmental and climate change issues.
As part of the project, the students worked in teams respective to the pertinent schools to come up with different ideas and solutions for making their schools and classrooms more sustainable. The winning team with the best project idea would be awarded a small grant to realize their small-scale project at their school.
After months of working in teams and engaging in workshops that aimed to increase their knowledge on environmental aspects, each team presented their ideas and the winning school was selected. ‘Emin Duraku’ school won the prize for the best project idea which entailed the installation of solar panels at their school to integrate clean and sustainable energy sources and reduce the school’s greenhouse gas emissions, thus making their school more environmentally friendly. The school implemented its project with the received grant and installed solar panels with a capacity of 1 kW.
Throughout the duration of the project, the students also participated in three different workshops on sustainability, climate change and environmental protection where the children were enlightened on new environmental concepts and practical activities on how they could help in environmental conservation.
The activities within the framework of the project were framed to be highly interactive and provided an environment where the students could reflect on environmental issues as well as express their concerns on sustainable development issues that they are exposed to on a daily basis. They reflected the core idea of the project which is to foster theoretical knowledge but also practical experiences while encouraging reconciliation, integration and cooperation among different communities.
22 sixth graders are now certified as mini-environmental experts and BGF hopes they will share their knowledge and experience with their peers and raise awareness on climate change and sustainability, now and in the future.