Inspiring child led change by Ewen McLeish
community. The accompanying website will allow schools and local organisations to connect and work together on sustainability. Spearheading the ‘EcoBEASTS’ are Helen Mullan and Katy Waring, primary school teachers at St Andrews International School (Sukhumvit 71 campus) and Shrewsbury City School respectively. The online element has been developed by Glyn Hupalo from Amnuay Silpa School.‘We believe that
angkok’s international schools, grassroots sustainability groups and green businesses unite to inspire child led change. Term started with a special event for children at Bangkok’s international schools when 120, 7 to 11 year olds attended the city’s first ‘EcoBEASTs Community Action Day.’ This educational event put children and teachers in touch with social enterprises, ethical businesses and NGOs. The aim was to learn about and inspire actions on the environmental and sustainability problems we face today. The beast in EcoBEASTs stands for Bangkok Education for Action on Sustainability Team, a passionate group of teachers hoping to create links between international schools and Thailand’s wider environmental
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trying to bring about change. By developing awareness of both problems and solutions we hope to spark discussion at home. Our students have the support and contacts to drive forward positive change,’ explained Waring. ‘Educators must address sustainability as it’s now a significant part of the culture our students are growing up in, and children are increasingly interested in it,’ enthused Paul Schofield, headteacher of St Andrews International School on Sukhumvit 71, which hosted the event. ‘If schools don’t get this right, where will we be in 15 or 20 years’ time?’ he asked. Getting it right
educating the children of today will help solve the problems of tomorrow,’ said Mullan, ‘and hope to highlight honestly what’s happening to our planet and introduce children to those trying to tackle these problems.’ Teachers to act ‘The natural world is in crisis and we’ve got growing inequalities. But there’s a huge grassroots movement
One approach is to put young people themselves in charge, and student led NGO ‘Grin Green International’ is an example of this. ‘Students are responsible for all the work in our organisation and all achievements are credited to them,’ explained 18 year old director Donggeon Yun. The group focuses on single use plastic. ‘We are promoting cultural change in Thailand. We believe that in order to ban single use plastics we must change the mindset of the people, and we do this through events and campaigns,’ added Thiti Usanakul, 17, a keynote speaker at the event, who will take over as director when Yun graduates.