Windhoek International School |

Light For Hope – helping students through climate action

We are delighted to share a blog written by student Sara Hoyer from Windhoek International School, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

The entire experience was challenging but very interesting, and as we are getting towards the final phase, we hope to teach the students more about climate action and successfully finish the Light For Hope project.

Project Overview

We have identified the need for a better education and more climate action in Namibia. As a country with over 300 days of sunshine per year Namibia could easily provide its population with solar energy, but instead imports energy from other countries. Many students cannot study at home in the evenings because their houses don’t have electricity. We believe that climate change is a real problem and will cause natural disasters such as floods and droughts in the future if we don’t act now. We also think that all children around the world deserve a proper education, which includes learning about the earth and the danger of climate change. To help the students in Fidel Castro Primary School, which is a school in Katutura, Windhoek, that agreed to work with us on our project, we bought 30 solar lamps and gave them to a group of 30 students. They can take the lamps home and use them to study or do their homework. We will also organize a workshop to teach all interested students about climate action.

Our Journey

The competition has helped us become more disciplined and organized. We knew from the beginning what we wanted to do, but we spent a lot of time talking and not actually doing anything. We became much better at quick decision-making and assessing what course of action is realistic. In the process we learnt that often ideas are more complex and more difficult to implement than expected. For our project we also needed sponsors to get funds for the solar lamps and the workshop. We learnt how to write persuasive emails to companies and how to speak to potential sponsors.

At the beginning we were rather shy and insecure, but by now we have called so many companies that we know exactly what to say and how to present our project quickly. We are also used to rejection as many companies simply say they cannot help us. We also found out that if you don’t call people back and insist on an answer, they often ignore you, and as a result we became more persuasive and convincing. Our biggest challenge was, and probably still is, finding sponsors. We have received the funds for the solar lamps, and we are really glad that that part of the project worked. Now we need some more money as we want to organize an educational workshop about climate change and pay an artist to create a mural on one of the school‘s walls. We are still working on finding sponsors, and every time we have a meeting we try to call several companies. We hope to solve this problem by next week.

The Next Chapter

We want to go to Fidel Castro School on the 17th March and have a small presentation about climate action. We will try to make it fun by organizing some games, for example a quiz about climate change, where the winner gets a prize. This way, we hope to teach all of the students why climate change is a threat and get them interested in climate action. We also want to paint a mural on one of the school‘s walls that will depict the theme of climate change. This will make sure that in the future, students will still learn about it and won‘t forget what we taught them. It is also a way for us to advertise our sponsors by painting their logo under the mural. After that, the project will be finished. With the feedback gotten from the student over the next weeks concerning the solar lamps, we hope to get an idea of how successful our project was. We will then write our report and make a short video about out entire experience. I would definitely recommend getting involved in climate action and similar projects, since you will know that you are doing something useful, as climate change is one of the biggest problems ahead. Education is also a big issue in many regions of the world and it is very rewarding to work with the students. For future projects, I suggest connecting at least two or three development goals, because then you will have much more possibilities and won‘t be limited to one idea.

The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.