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2016 Nature Club Activities

Despite the ongoing teachers strike in Lambaréné, OELO’s nature clubs are going full-force! Environmental Education coordinator Rébecca Djanivenda launched this year’s clubs in January, establishing action plans proposed and voted on by the members. With Rébecca’s supervision, each club determines its goals and leadership, including their theme, service projects, and representatives. The action plans are comprised of projects to help the school and the[[{"fid":"863","view_mode":"original_image","type":"media","attributes":{"height":1488,"width":1984,"style":"letter-spacing: 0.03em; line-height: 1.5em; width: 267px; height: 200px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;","class":"media-element file-original-image"}}]] neighborhood, which correspond to the club’s theme, such as water pollution, conservation of the slender-snouted crocodile, and ecosystem services.

So far, the service projects have been great successes! Les Gardiens de la Nature from the Ecole Protestante du Foyer and Les Anges de la Nature from St. Joseph both created vegetable gardens at their schools, clearing away trash and weeds to plant crops. During a clean-up of the street by [[{"fid":"865","view_mode":"original_image","type":"media","attributes":{"height":3000,"width":4000,"style":"letter-spacing: 0.03em; line-height: 1.5em; width: 327px; height: 245px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-original-image"}}]]their school, La Main Verte of Immaculée Conception visited three nearby schools to share their awareness messages with older students. As part of a student-organized bazaar of games and activities, Le Coeur de la Nature at Lycée Aubin Georges Modjeckou performed an informative sketch for their [[{"fid":"864","view_mode":"original_image","type":"media","attributes":{"height":1488,"width":1984,"style":"letter-spacing: 0.03em; line-height: 1.5em; width: 300px; height: 225px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-original-image"}}]]classmates about ecosystem services and pollution in Lambaréné. Nature’s Fuel from Lycée Charles Méfane is currently working on a series of informative panels as their art project to raise environmental awareness at their school. OELO’s newest nature club, Les Hommes Verts from Lycée Janvier Nguema Mboumba, cleaned up their school grounds and classrooms, a great first effort for this club. Some groups have already completed their service projects for both their school as well as their neighborhood and have been very involved in conferences this year in which OELO has been a partner.

[[{"fid":"866","view_mode":"original_image","type":"media","attributes":{"height":1836,"width":3264,"style":"letter-spacing: 0.03em; line-height: 1.5em; width: 418px; height: 235px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-original-image"}}]]All eight clubs are competing for prizes to be announced at OELO’s annual World Environment Day celebration in June. The members earn points based on their school and neighborhood service projects, art projects using recycled materials, theatrical pieces, and their gained knowledge of environmental concepts. The event also allows club members to see the projects from other schools.

Not only do these clubs get students to think about how to help their environment, but they also foster a sense of stewardship and responsibility in the members. Though OELO provides some guidance and financial support, each activity is the result of the efforts of the club members. This semi-autonomy in guiding their clubs gives students an opportunity to build their sense of citizen responsibility, identifying a problem in their community and organizing themselves to solve it.