ISEC Chad Develops a School Leadership Program
The issue of environmental management is becoming increasingly acute in African countries. "Most of the continent's environmental problems stem from poverty and lack of education". This observation made by Nelson Mandela in one of his speeches at an environmental summit is still relevant today. These countries, including Chad - a central African country heavily affected by climate change and by far the least prepared to deal with its effects - must make great efforts and show proof of an education to prepare future generations to deal with environmental problems. Faced with these challenges, the public authorities, has not stopped at national legislation, regulations and the ratification of several international conventions and agreements on environmental protection. They have advocated for the mobilisation of the educational community in the fight to protect and restore the environment.
Marked by poverty and strong demographic growth, Chad is subject to strong environmental constraints (droughts, gradual drying up of Lake Chad, irregular rainfall, recurrent pollution, conflicts between cattle breeders and farmers, gradual advance of the desert, etc.), which are now amplified by disturbances affecting the planet as a whole (climate change). Faced with the alarming degradation of its environment, Toumaï Country has recognised the urgency of raising awareness of environmental issues and the need to implement concrete action to ensure sustainable management of its natural resources with a view to ensuring sustainable development.
Key figures to know about Chad
● Area: 1,284,000 km2 ● Population: 16.8 million inhabitants in 2021 (INSEED) ● Density: 13.1 inhabitants/Km2 in 2021 (INSEED) ● Deforestation: 2.5 ha/year (FAO. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 - Chad - National Report. Rome - FAO, 64p) are destroyed every year due to bushfires and human activities ● Lake Chad: the surface area of the lake has increased from 25,000 km2 in 1963 to 1350 km2 today. 80-90% of the subsistence of the population of Lake Chad depends on agriculture, livestock and fishing (Ritimo, 2020) ● Household: 76% of households use wood fuels for domestic energy (Gunning, 2014) and among the poorest only 6.1% use gas ● Rural population: the rural population accounts for just over 76.7% ● Population growth: 3.3% (2019) ● Adult literacy rate (15 years and over): 40.2% (2019) ● Human Development Index (HDI): of just 0.398 ranks 187th out of 189.
Paving the way for a better future
For ISEC, it is important to educate young children about the climate issue, because it is for them that we must fight today. The questions we ask today in relation to climate change are to guarantee a better environment for future generations.
In Chad, ISEC Chad firmly believes that schools are one of the appropriate pathway, for environmental education because students are the real channels for disseminating information on appropriate practices for maintaining a sustainable environment. ISEC additionally aims to give young leaders the means, the tools and the key to fight against climate change and environmental challenges as a conscious and active generation.
For ISEC CHAD, young people have the power to solve the challenges we face in our community. They are not only the actors of the future, but also and above all the leaders of today. However they are often ignored and neglected. With a diverse leadership team made up of the most dedicated, visionary and dissatisfied youth leaders in the space of socio-environmental progress in Chad, ISEC Chad is working to activate youth leadership so that they can lead the way to solve these challenges and to defend their own hopes.
ISEC Chad's Vision
To build a bridge between the actions our community needs today and a green future free from climate change, desertification, plastic waste and fossil fuels. To contribute to building a world where young people can dream bigger and be fully engaged in achieving the UN's 2030 SDGs and updating the African Union's 2063 agenda.
ISEC Chad's approaches
Education: We make environmental education for all our main focus, and the early awareness of future generations our main focus to enable young people to understand the challenges of environmental protection from the ground up. Leadership: We identify junior leaders, elevate them and amplify their voice, equipping them with the tools and mindset to awaken their genius for creativity and green influence in helping their schools and communities solve environmental challenges.
Innovation: We continually strive to develop new ways to better solve our community's problems by thinking creatively and innovatively.
Impact: We aim to have a meaningful impact on a personal and collective level that can be measured, seen, felt and touched at all levels of our community and beyond.
Green Schools Leadership Program
The Chadian state, a pioneer in environmental protection and signatory of several international conventions, it is aware of the importance that students can play in the future.
Knowledge being the key to citizenship and co-responsible behaviour, ISEC Chad wants to develop environmental education and information programs for the general public. This program will be implemented by strengthening the technical capacities of schools and students, social actors, in order to help the Chadian community to reach a level consistent with the requirements of environmental governance.
Particular emphasis will be placed on students, through a School Leadership Program, which will consist of selecting young leaders from secondary schools to be appointed as "Eco-designates" through a rigorous competition and selection process based on the excellence of the academic record, vision and leadership of the committed candidates. The shortlisted candidates will be presented to a jury composed of representatives of key state partners, including the Ministries in charge of the environment, national education, and civil society, as well as representatives of international institutions based in Chad.
Through this program, the selected Eco-delegates will be instrumental in implanting a culture of activism in their respective schools via Eco-cells to sensitize and convince their peers and teachers to adhere to the noble cause they are carrying. They will have access to a platform and spaces to not only be heard but also listened through dedicated television and radio broadcasts to exert their green influence beyond their schools, communities, national boundaries and promote the values of environmental sustainability to reach a large audience, including decision makers on the continent.
The project also aims to reach out to primary schools by providing hands-on activities in areas such as market gardening, beautification and re-greening, hygiene and nature awareness.
The development of this federative program of environmental education and sustainable development in Chad by ISEC Chad seems interesting, especially as Chad is placed at the forefront of climate change, where the application of such a project seems to be both timely and a priority. Timely, because it is in line with the action plan of the Chadian state and its development partners. Priority, because it takes up two major challenges for the promotion of a more sustainable development: to provide students with the necessary measures for a better protection of the environment, the improvement of their lives and the maintenance of an environmental balance.