Hi, I come from a corporate background having worked at India’s largest chemical manufacturer. But my interest always lied with living creatures, flora and fauna. In this regard I saw CEE provides a chance to intern with them at various locations and areas. The hands on experienced gained was important because of the skills learnt and my exposure to different facets of sustainable development. My field work and the work on communication material provided me with invaluable insight into the working of a large program. The work I did with schools provided me with knowledge of school ecosystem and the ground realities, awareness and needs regarding environment education. What I read and practiced during my internship taught me new practical skills which I hope to apply in the future. My interaction with many students, researchers from other countries broadened my understanding as well. The support of everyone and the friendly attitude kept up my enthusiasm and it was a wonderful experience to have worked at such a unique place called CEE.
On Education as a key driver for Sustainable Development
- Ayush Pandey, Student at Institute of Law, Nirma University, Gujarat India
Education should be recognized as a key enabler to broaden realization of SDG’s as a single separate goal – this is what over 750 people from 22 countries came to discuss about at Ahmedabad in January 2016. The ESD communities looked specifically at each goal and to determine how education can play an effective role in helping achieve this.
The Centre for Environment Education (CEE) organized a three-day international conference on ‘Education as a Driver for Sustainable Development Goals’, which began on 11th January, 2016, on the CEE premises. (For further information you could check http://ceeindia.org/esdg/)
Not only the experts and practitioners, but also the receivers of education system, the younger generation got a chance to voice their opinion on these thought. The preparation of this part of the conference was my task during my internship with SAYEN.
“The young generations have made their voices heard loud and clear about the future they want.In the Post-2015 Consultations, they have demanded, more than anything else, education, jobs, honest and responsive governments, and greater and meaningful participation in decision-making. Their views must count.” - Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Director a.i. Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP.
I had an opportunity to intern for two months at the CEE headquarters in Ahmedabad to prepare for the Youth workshop which focused on Goal 4.4 which was,
“By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship”.
Concerning this workshop I had two major tasks: conducting a background research, preparing information, workshop material and the other was approach organizations for sponsorship and fundraising. I gained a lot of experience from both of these two obviously very different tasks. Research increased my knowledge about the current global debates, developments and recommendations.
Further, during the conference and the workshop, I especially enjoyed the exchange of best practice and the creation of recommendations towards the end (you can read the final recommendations here.
From the second assignment, I got a lot of experience dealing with the entrepreneurs and different dealers. I discussed and presented sponsorship proposals to them and learned about the mindsets of the entrepreneurs and negotiation tactics.
To conclude, I have improved my organizational skills and achieved a certain level of learning I never thought I would achieve. At the same time , I really enjoyed the work and the thrill of being part of something as interesting and important for all our future.
How media influences learning process at different age groups?
- Himani Mangtani, Student at Symbiosis Centre for Media and Education, Pune, India
While pursuing my degree at the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, I hoped to combine media and environment someday. My internship at CEE gave way to start my research. I am very much convinced that media is a powerful instrument especially for today’s younger generations to teach them about climate change and environmental issues.
Luckily I got the chance to work on exactly the link between media and climate change for the learning process of students. With a lot of enthusiasm I started background research on how media influences learning processes in different age groups and concerning different topics. The plan was to make an experiment with school students showing them different media clips and analyse their reaction and possible change of behaviour according to it.
It was my task to convince schools to participate in the experiment and although I had been nervous beforehand about their reaction, both schools I went to were open and welcomed the ideas.
Eventually, I got the chance to do my experiment with two classes (8th and 9th standard) in two different schools. With both I started with a warm up exercise and questions and later showed them the movie “Changing Climate Science” and clips from Bruno Bozetto. Although I was concerned how much the kids would understand, I now know that they do not need to understand each word or technical phrase or commentary, but kids do easily get the messages and understand how important it is to act against climate change.
I was really impressed by some responses these little people had and how well they could think of behavioural changes they wanted to make in their own lives. If they are willing to change and adopt – why would anyone else not?
Besides this boost of motivation I got and experience in the field of school lessons I gained, I have also gotten some very valuable insights in the current education system and its use of media. For example, I have realized that some teachers themselves do not believe in the credibility of using media to learn or that schools are not sufficiently well equipped to use media widely.
Here I have learned a lot for myself and what could be discussed in public concerning the link between media and environment education in schools or with young people in general! Besides that I got a lot of valuable input for my future studies and ideas for my professional life.
Survey on sanitation and drinking water facilities
- Kunal Varma, Nitya Patel, Sakshi Shah, Jaini Patel, Student at BKMIBA, Gujarat, India
People residing near the park often complain about the foul smell caused due to the non-availability of washrooms in the parks.- Amul Parlour employee
Have you also already secretly or publically complained about this fact?
The four of us were interning at CEE for five weeks and were working on two major projects concerning parks and gardens in Ahmedabad.
Our first task was to conduct a survey regarding the sanitation and drinking water facilities of different parks and gardens in Ahmedabad. We had to create all the questions and measurement and plan to actually do the survey ourselves. This was quite a challenge but we were happy to actually do and experience this.
Eventually we surveyed 21 different parks in Ahmedabad city and talked to people who visited the parks as well those who worked there. Thereby we learnt out how to successfully conduct surveys, worked on our communication and interrogation skills – and had a lot of fun on the way! On the informative level we found out that a majority of parks lacks basic sanitation and hygiene. This means that most of them were missing washrooms and drinking water facilities. But we also were positively surprised by some AMUL-run parks that offer so-called “E-Toilets”. We were very convinced by them and would suggest all parks to establish them.
For our second big task we were asked to conduct a comparative study for Sukan Udhyan (Manekbaug Garden). Sukan Udhyan had been CEE-run for 18 years and only last year maintenance was handed over to the AMC. It is one of the largest gardens in Ahmedabad and very well visited. Therefor it was a very interesting job to do to find out how successful the change of ownership was – and if this type of garden management could be a role model. In order to do so, we made a survey for visitors asking them about their requirements, feelings and future plans.
On a very special occasion, the 5th of June, which is World Environment Day, we asked visitors in the park to take oaths towards environmental-friendly actions, write them on a black board and pose next to them. The response was both interesting and astonishing. People reacted very nicely to the suggestion and came up with motivating phrases.
“I will save water – water will save us” - Geeta, a regular park visitor said.All of us very much enjoyed and profited from interning at CEE. Nonetheless each of us has made personal progress and gained individual insights. Kunal was most impressed about what he learned about communication skills, the ethics of recording and how to make proposals and formal presentations. Nitya enjoyed mostly learning about environmental issues and how important team work is. Sakshi was especially fascinated by various innovative ways to preserve the environment and ways to rise awareness that she got in contact with. Jaini says that she mostly worked on her personal skills and experienced to work hard.
Climate Change - Energy Access and?Energy Access Audit Tool
- Apurwa Raghuvanshi, Student at Entrepreneurship Development Institute Of India, Gujarat, India
Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth. Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are increasing and sea levels are rising. And meanwhile, evidences show humans are the most affected by all these sudden changes.
Energy is an important sector that is also the major contributors to carbon emissions. While the world is constrained by changing climate and needs to control emission, nearly half of the world’s population lacks reliable access to modern energy services. Energy transition and climate vulnerability are closely connected, as the world’s poor struggle over a dwindling resource base that is being further degraded by the impacts of climate change. There is an urgent need not only to greatly scale up support for energy access but also to link this support more closely to the climate agenda, revitalization of rural areas and better management of the urban and peri-urban development that has dominated the changing energy landscape of recent decades.
This was my motivation to work on an Energy Access audit tool. Those tools can provide important information about current energy availability, use and opportunities for improving energy access and efficiency. It is a tool in form of a survey that people can conduct in any community.
My work developed in five steps: At first I worked on strengthening the process of documentation of energy access with CEE (for the Mahila Housing SEWA Trust). For developing the Energy Access audit tool, I interacted with professionals in this field. This helped me create the tool in form of a survey that I could use in two slums of Ahmedabad. Those surveys aimed to understand the energy access and consumption of the people living there, the economic implications triggering access and consumption and to get a picture of how the quality of life is influenced by energy consumption. After the evaluation of the data, I proposed a general framework regarding energy management on local and national level.
For me this project was divided into the process documentation phase, where I learned a lot about how to conduct such documentations and also about the energy/environment background to the project. Secondly there was the creation of the Energy Access audit tool and the actual survey. By conducting the survey, I learned most of all about the conditions of slums and people living there. I was very moved by the stories I heard those days. Furthermore I was shown how climate change and poverty are interconnected. It made me even more convinced about the importance of attention for them and positive changes to their lifestyles.
INTERNSHIP AT CEE
Period: August 2015 – August 2016
Paula Röver, KURVE Wustrow, Germany
My internship at CEE was not like any other, as I am a participant of the German “weltwärts”-Programme, which is a private-public exchange programme for young people to go abroad and volunteer in the development sector. I chose to come to Ahmedabad and spend a year at CEE, because I was very much interested in environment education on the one hand and on India and its sustainability profile.
Luckily, I was not disappointed at all. During this last year I got insights on different CEE projects from different departments and different issue areas and all together they widened my understanding of environment education and how to work in this field.
Among my tasks was the preparation and help for the ESG-Conference in January and the ESD-Conference in September 2016, the translation of a children’s book “A Trip With Drip, The Water Drop” into German, environment literacy assessment with the Paryavaran Mitra group, also supported in the creation of the Climate Action Database.
A huge amount of my time was spent at the IFC, the Information Facilitation Centre of CEE. The IFC forms the link between the public and the organisation CEE. Through projects such as “Green Ganesha” where idols of Lord Ganesha are made out of eco-friendly clay, CEE wants to share its ideas and outcome with the public. Mostly these are kids, teenagers or older students. A similar project was “Safe Holi” to spread awareness about the dangers of chemical colours and how to make and use natural ones instead. I especially enjoyed learning about Indian traditions this way and how we could make them more environmentally friendly all together in a very easy way.
The IFC also conducts a Summer Programme for school children. The main objective of the summer programme is to build their awareness about their own role in environment protection and teach them the possibilities to develop a sustainable lifestyle. This year's theme was “Fight against the illegal trade in Wildlife”. I was part of the planning, organizing and execution of this programme. I brought in my own ideas and realized them throughout the programme. By the end I also documented all the activities in the form of a booklet.
All in all, I had a really great time in CEE. It is not only the experience at work, also discovering a new culture in India was interesting. I have never learned as much as I learned this year. In CEE, I learned a lot about environment and sustainability but also how it is to work in an organization.