Highlights of the essay by Sunviana Sunaryo Suni (Indonesia) who is one of the eight finalists of The World Bank Essay Competition 2009 .
“Growing thoughts in a kid’s mind is the same as growing plants. We have to be patient in planting the right thoughts in their mind and keeping the thoughts away from bad factors, until the thoughts grow and become a mature tree. A right, strong, and mature thought will lead to the actions supporting the thoughts. This will be the time when kids are not kids anymore but youth. The problem we are facing now is that: Have the right thoughts been planted in our kids yet?”
Sunvi’s essay focuses on ideas on how to build a green awareness in both the NOW and NEXT generation –the youth and the kids.
To motivate youth, Sunvi established a forum named YDG (Youth Does Green). YDG believes that youth can drive people to care more about the Earth, which is being threatened by the impacts of climate change, by creating green awareness.
“Happy Green New Year 2009” was the theme of their project in the beginning of 2009, which had two very interesting activities to promote awareness:
1. They prepared 209 pots of varying green plants which would be distributed to houses that did not have any plants. A laminated paper was hung on the plants’ leaves with the message: You and I can save the Earth.
2. They gave 500 pins to teenagers in three malls. The pins had varying messages conveying simple yet effective “green” actions like: Use EFFICIENT light bulbs, REDUCE paper drafts, etc.
As a part of the Community Development activities in her university, Sunvi did a project called Kampung Kids Goes Green. Kampung Kids is a free education center for kids from lower income groups. While showing the kids a presentation on global warming, Sunvi realized that not even a single kid was aware of this global issue. She believes that kids’ power is actually the “Ultimate form of renewable green energy,” which is however “Not Optimalized!”!
To address this lack of awareness, Sunvi wants to start a green tuition center in a few months. She wants to call it Sun Tuition Center (STC) to represent its image –giving the brightest way of studying. The target market of STC is kids from kindergarten to lower secondary. Apart from imparting high-quality lessons, STC will motivate the kids to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle and make them understand the important role they play in ensuring a greener tomorrow. STC will attract kids through “fun” activities, like a computer game, so kids will effectively learn “how to go green with fun.” With its green building construction, that is now almost 80% finished, STC offers students with a healthy and inspiring study environment. The tuition fee is affordable because “STC maximizes the usage of abundant yet cheap energy such as: sunlight replacing the lamp in the day, fresh air replacing the air-cons in the cloudy day.”
The essay concludes “I believe that once you get going as a green teacher and unleash kids on greening the world, they will prove unstoppable. Kid power is a splendid form of renewable green energy. Green education is both leading kids to a green future and making kids able to share their green experiences with adults around them. And believe me, the way kids share those green experiences is even a million times more impressive and effective than those brilliant scientists!”