Kids take charge with campaigning for change
Community Engagement Officer Lynn McWilliams explores how young people move the climate agenda forward.
COP26 has proven young people want to see change. Schools around the Province have joined in highlighting the need to take sustained action for our planet.
Many schools have adopted Jesuit Missions’ Climate Change Ambassadors initiative to make pupils more aware of climate change and sustainability. Holly, one of the Climate Change Ambassadors at St Mary’s Hall, says, “We already have a great climate change team and two Climate Change Ambassadors. In the future, I think these people will come up with more creative ideas… and our school will become a more energy-efficient place.” The Climate Change Ambassadors had an exciting two weeks during COP26, seeing their entire school get in climate action.
St Aloysius’ College, situated in Glasgow, devoted a fortnight to climate justice. The pupils engaged in a range of activities to raise awareness of the effects of climate change.
A group of pupils produced a video entitled ‘This is Not the End.’ The Civic Reception for Glasgow City Council played the video during COP26.
The College also created a Sculpture and Sound Trail with Street Artist, Louise McVey. QR codes were scattered around the school, and when scanned, drama, music, poetry by the pupils would play out of mobile phones.
Jesuit Missions visited the school for assembly with Fr Charles Chilufya from the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar, who led Mass. The creative and diverse initiatives for COP26 form part of the school’s ongoing efforts to work toward a greener future.
At Stonyhurst College, situated in the Ribble Valley, the students had a unique opportunity to rewild a field and create a prayer garden. The pupils also took part in meat-free Monday. During the week, there were talks from Zero Negativity, a sustainable clothing company and Paul Chitnis, Director of Jesuit Missions, calling on students to respond to the climate crisis impacting the most marginalised now.
St Mary’s Hall devoted two days to COP26 and enjoyed a presentation by Climate Action for Schools and a video from Jesuit Missions on the impact of climate change. The pupils even got involved and made presentations on various topics, such as lithium mining.
Mount St Mary’s College held a Growing Our Future Day. The students enjoyed a presentation by Jesuit Missions, a video of Dr Carmody from the Laudato Si Research Institute, bulb planting, guided meditation and Mass.
We are so proud of all of the schools that campaigned against climate change. We hope to continue campaigning together on more unjust issues in the future.