Bahamy

Spolupráce s Ekoškolou na Bahamách

Nedávno se nám podařilo navázat kontakt s jednou školou na Bahamských ostrovech, obě naše školy spojuje titul Ekoškola. Zatím se nám podařilo komunikovat pomocí e-mailu, zjišťujeme především, jak to na obou školách vypadá a funguje. Věříme, že se navzájem budeme inspirovat.

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Hi Isabella,
this is Štěpánka (Stephany) Pilařová and Lucie (Lucy) Urbanová, we are members of an eco-club in Chotěboř in the Czech Republic. Our school is a grammar school. Its name is Gymnázium Chotěboř. http://www.gch.cz/

We have students from 11 to 19 years. We are Ecoschool from 2013. Next year we are going to defend our title. We were twice successful. We hope we will be successful again.
Chotěboř is a small city with 10 thousand inhabitants in the middle of Czechia. And our republic is in the middle of Europe. And we guess that you know where is Europe. LOL
It is really nice to cooperate with your school. We think that our schools are in completely different places and we are solving different problems. And it should be our advantage. Because we have two different views on different but similar problems. You know we try to live ecological, help nature and do it in a group of people, which have similar thinking.

At first. We can together describe our main activity, can´t we? During the year we collect an aluminum. Classes compete and a class with the most collected aluminum wins the competition and goes on the educating trip.

We also collect paper, small electrical appliances, mobiles and batteries. We cooperate with the Czech group of nature protectors. We help them with cutting grass in a protected area where orchids grow. We must do it in the old technique.

Then we take part in preparing a competition „Gold leaf“ and younger students also compete. („Gold leaf“ is under The Czech group of nature protectors too).

We have two bigger events. In our school, there are two main volunteer groups. Amnesty International and Ecoclub. And we do these events together. The first one is Fair Christmas. It is based on Fairtrade, local meals (students bake sweets, gingerbreads, cakes, muffins at home and bring it to school), international relations (last year we helped Tibet and we collected some money to buy a goat to African community), children can make Xmas decoration from harmless to nature materials, people write letters for rights and school chorus sings, some school musician play and there is a nice atmosphere. The second event we called „Make sport and help“. It is a little bit similar to FairXmas but people like it more. We have a big gymnasium and good equipment. People can watch or try some sports. They can eat some cakes, sweets, etc. from local or fairtrade foodstuffs (we think that using local meal we help to nature and our health). And this year because of COVID-19 we must call off it but we hope it will be another month. And we want to do a beneficent second-hand shop with clothes from other students because it isn´t good that people buy new and new clothes and old give to the rubbish bin.

We can mention „The day without palm oil“. This year Lucy has it prepared. We believe that our students read stickers on food and check it. There was a competition about who fries the best doughnut without a hole in the middle (it´s Czech speciality) and without palm oil.
„Exhibition on trees“ says people something about Ecoclub, our school garden, our goals… A beneficent picnic has a good idea to help that need it to.

And obviously we separate waste, save water, have eco-garden and we aren´t active just in school.
We are looking forward to your letter! Have a nice time,

Lucy and Stephany

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Hello Lucy and Stephany, 

It is so nice to hear from you. What you are doing with your eco club sounds amazing, and hopefully we will be able to learn from what you have done and try to incorporate some of your ideas into our own eco club's practices. We have only been an eco school since October of 2018, so are not as experienced as you guys but we are constantly learning and growing as a club, and hope to have our eco flag renewed once again this year. 

We agree completely that even though we are in two very different parts of the world, we face similar problems, and can cooperate with different perspectives to help each other. 

Our members are from 13-17 years old at the moment. We have about 15 members as we are also located in a small community on the island of Grand Bahama with 26,000 people in the main city of Freeport. We find that in a smaller community, and with a small group of members, it is easier to communicate and make a more significant impact. Maybe you can relate to that seeing as you are also in a small city. 

Similar to you guys, we collect paper and plastic, but we are not able to collect batteries, electronic appliances or aluminium since there is no recycling program for those materials on our island. However, it is something that we hope we will be able to do in the future. There are several organizations we collaborate with, for example BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation) or Keep Grand Bahama Clean. We also partner with someone who comes and reports on the bird population and species seen on our school campus. We have held competitions to create the best can crusher, which we plan on using to recycle soda cans in the near future. We have also put in place bird feeders throughout our school campus, and plan on making and installing bee feeders soon. We have labelled all the invasive species and native species in our school, to educate people about the biodiversity. We also send out videos about environmentally related topics or current news, to raise awareness and encourage sustainable practices and open minds among the students. We have a website that we update with our achievements and themes for our club. Last year we had an eco summit where we invited members of the community and environmental organizations to come and speak to the children about the environment, as well as to communicate and collaborate with each other. For this event, the children also all make posters related to an environmental/ecological topic. This year because of COVID-19 we have had to postpone it, but we hope to have it soon. 

Our garden was destroyed in the recent hurricane, along with a pathway that we had cleared in the back of our school where there is a pond, so those are longer term projects that we are working on this year. We also plan on adopting a new "Marine and Coasts" theme, as well as developing new projects for our other themes. As part of our new theme we want to focus on clearing the pathway to have access to it to monitor the coastal ecosystem and its biodiversity, also so that our student body can study it in biology and chemistry. We have rare bird species that visit there so we want to make it more attractive and healthy to help the ecosystem and the organisms thrive. 

FairXmas sounds like a great idea, and very meaningful. Maybe our club could do something like that, and we would love for any advice you have about the event or what you learned from it.

Thank you so much for reaching out to us, and we look forward to continuing to communicate with you. Here are a few pictures. 

Our weekly "Tidy Tuesdays"


One of the plants we labelled on campus...


These are from our plastic bottle recycling...


This is our pathway...


This bench the students made from recycled wood and materials.


This is one of our bird feeders...


These are our club members...


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Hey Isabella and all members of your eco-club,
Your photos are beautiful, thanks for sharing!
Honestly, we can´t imagine that we couldn't collect or sort waste! And actually we have had never too much big hurricane which can destroy our garden. We like your creativity. The „buddy bench“ is Stephany´s favorite! It´s sad what happened to it but we are sure, that you will make it all right. We have a bench too.
About rubbish. We have a waste sorting rubbish bin in every class. And in halls we have biowaste basket, aluminum basket, basket for lids, batteries or old electro devices. Do you sort biowaste? We think it isn´t hard to deal with it. Just make compost! We have compost and we take from there soil to our garden!
We also care about animals. Among other things, we have a bird drinking fountain near the school, but they can also drink from our natural pond. We also made bird feeders and booths for birds. To balance everything, we also need insects in our garden. Therefore, we regularly produce insect houses in the classroom.
And we would like to ask, what plans do you have with our cooperation? 
This is our bench around a tree trunk
Group photo from 72 hours to nature (we scavenged)
The day without palm oil and our doughnuts without a hole!
This is our „one event“ school chorus.


We also told to students what is bad on palm oil.


Have a nice time!
Stephany and Lucy
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Lucy and Stephany, 

Hello again, 

Currently we are in online school due to COVID-19, and therefore aren't able to be as productive with our eco club. We hope you are all healthy and safe. Your pictures are amazing! The bench is beautiful, and the events look like a lot of fun. We would love to organize events like that in the future. 

We did start to collect biowaste and make compost for our garden, however after the hurricane it has stopped unfortunately. This is something we definitely want to restart and continue throughout the year. The insect houses also sound like something very interesting to try. It would be great if you could tell us how you make those. We are hoping to make bee feeders from coconuts this year. Have you ever made bee feeders? Before we started online school from home, we started to fix our pathway, and clear out some of the invasive plants and poison ivy there, so we are going to continue with that as soon as possible. 

Also here is a link to our website if you would like to have a look. 

As for our plans with this collaboration, we were just hoping to get ideas from you about what you have done, and be inspired by each other's events or activities as an eco club to implement new things in our own schools. Maybe if possible when we get back to school, or next school year, we can arrange to carry out a new project or idea together. For example if we discuss a new idea we are both interested in implementing in our schools, then maybe we can do it at the same time, and keep in touch to update each other on our progress. We aren't sure what you think about this, or whether you have any ideas about the collaboration, but we hope to hear from you soon. 

Isabella

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Hello,
we are glad to hear from you! We were worried if everything was all right when we didn't hear about you for so long. Now, when there is a coronavirus everywhere.
We are glad that you like our projects! We try to work on them now despite that we can't go to school. That's why we thought maybe it would be nice if we exchanged ideas now. Therefore, we send a procedure to produce an insect house. It's very simple, everyone can do it at home! And it helps insects.
So, it's as simple as I said. All you need is a flower pot. You put the things you find in nature in the pot. For example, various cones, twigs, straw and the like. The more it is diverse, the better! The insect will then live in these corridors. Place the material close together. When you are satisfied with the result, put a fruit net over the flower pot. Do you know what I mean? This will keep the material inside. And here, simple insect help is done! Send a photo if you succeeded.
We're glad you're doing something like this. We have the same ideas! Can you please tell us how you make those beehives from coconut? We'd like to give it a try!
We have a very similar view of cooperation. We would like to exchange ideas. It would be nice if the other party tried to make something of ideas and then let know if it worked. Or if there were any problems, for example. It would also be great to take some photos! We also thought with Štěpánka that maybe we could organize something like an exchange stay in the future. Of course, when the pandemic will be over. It would be nice to see how your eco-club is working live!

Finally, we wish you all good health and a lot of strength. Brace yourself!

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Yes, thank you, everything is okay with us and we hope the same for you. We will try the insect homes as soon as we can, and once we try the bee feeders we will let you know how to do it. We will keep taking photos and sharing them with you as we do things, and we could definitely organize some kind of exchange later in the year after the pandemic situation. It was so nice to hear from you. Speak to you soon.

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Hi,
we would like to try your idea of making bee feeders. Can you please send us the procedure even if you haven't tried it yourself? Our younger classmates are looking forward to it!
We also wanted to write to you that we will definitely not be idle in the quarantine. In June, we will collect birch seeds for sowing. Other ones of us map meadows around Chotěboř, we write a cookbook, one of our friends illustrates it and other students will soon go to the galleries to take water samples.
How are you? Are you handle the situation okay? Are you still active?
We look forward to your reply

Lucy and Stephany
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We are all good thank you for asking. We are handling everything ok so far, how about you guys?

We were thinking of following the procedure in this video below for the bee feeders. 


We are hoping to start collecting materials for them now, and maybe start making them in our own homes, while we wait to go back to school. We are trying to stay busy as a club too. We have been making posters, encouraging people to compost, recycle, etc.. We have also been working on updating our website, and are trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible while we are at home. For example my family has been working on making our own little herb garden which has been really nice. 

Thanks so much. Speak to you soon!

Isabella

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This is a project my class is doing and we would really appreciate your help and contribution if possible. You can also share it with your eco club and encourage them to participate if they would like. Thank you, the details are below. 

In light of recent events and the outbreak of COVID-19, the IB1 class of Lucaya International School, in Freeport Grand Bahama, would like to create an encouraging video to raise morale and brighten people’s spirits during this difficult situation. We are reaching out to students, teachers, parents, friends, family and anyone else willing to help, to submit pictures and/or short video clips, including any of the following.

  • The activities you and/or your family have been doing to keep busy, active, creative etc.
  • Your experience and how you have been staying positive during this time
  • Any advice you have for people, or an encouraging message to brighten people’s spirits.
  • Interactions over technology that have helped you (recordings or pictures of facetime calls with friends or family, encouraging text messages etc.)
  • The positive things you have found about working remotely or studying online
  • Anything funny or lighthearted you have made/seen happen during this experience

When submitting these videos and pictures we would appreciate it if they had a positive theme or concept to them. We understand the importance of educating people about the situation and we do want you to share your experience, whatever it may be, however we do ask that you keep in mind that the goal of our project is to promote positivity. 

If you submit a picture or video without audio then you can also type a short caption that you would like to include, as well as your name if you would like. If you are speaking in a different language in your video clip then please also include the translation to english in a caption so we can include that in the video. 

We are planning on combining all these pictures and videos to make something that will bring us all together as a global community during a time of crisis. We are all in this together, and are all experiencing struggles as we navigate this pandemic, so we would appreciate it if you could help us give our community and people around the world a shared sense of unity, strength and hope through your videos and pictures. 

Please submit your pictures or videos in an email to igouthro2021@lisbahamas.org or jtinajeroguzman@lisbahamas.org. Also note that by sending us your photo or video you are agreeing to and giving consent for us to use it in our video that will be shared with the school and wider community. 

Thank you so much. The IB1 class looks forward to your submissions and your support.

Best regards,
IB 1 students and CAS Coordinator Ms. Stephanie Doland
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Hello everybody,
it's a really good idea. We have already shared the challenge among our school students. And we get the first answers!
At this time, there is a real need to spread a good mood in all directions.

We also watched a video with bee feeders. When we have a chance, we will do it!

Have a nice day,



Lucy and Stephany

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Thanks so much for your help. That’s really great! We look forward to seeing the videos and pictures soon then!!
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Hey, how are you guys doing? I just wanted to follow up with you to tell you that the deadline for the video and pictures is May 24th. It can be a short video message explaining the ways that you have been staying positive, a positive message for others to hear, what you have been doing to keep busy. If you don't want to send a video message of you speaking it can just be videos or pictures of the activities themselves, exercise, biking, walking, baking, crafts etc. Just remember to include the translation if it's not in English. I don't mean to push, I know this is a difficult time, I just wanted to let you know about the deadline to make sure that you can submit your videos in time if you would like to.

Thank you, Stay safe :)

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Hi,
I hope that you and your surroundings can handle the situation with a clear view.
So we are sending you some materials for your project. We will be happy if you then send us a link to the video so that we can share it and spread the positivity together! It's a really great idea :)

Thank you so much for all those photos, they are going to be unbelievably helpful. We really really appreciate it and will definitely send you the final video when it is done. Thank you again! Have a nice day :)

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Hi,
so how's the video making? We look forward to sharing it with our friends and the general public!
What else do you do? We tried your bee feeders and we have to say that they are really magical. We gave the production process to our younger classmates and they did a great job, see for yourself :)

Hi,
we would like to renew our communication.
How was your vacation? Have there been any ecoclub events at your place? Despite the difficult situation around coronavirus, we managed to organize several holiday "brigades".
I'd also like to ask about your video that you created. Is it done yet? Can you please send us a link? We would like to share it further!
We look forward to your reply!

Have a nice day!
Lucy and Stephany

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Hello, 

Our vacation was good, although our coronavirus cases got a little bit worse so we weren't able to hold any events. That's amazing that you were able to organize some. We are still doing school online so far, so we are hoping to make an online newsletter to send out weekly to keep people informed about the environment. 

Unfortunately the video we had planned on making wasn't able to be completed. There were a few obstacles that prevented us from being able to make it, and we also didn't get very many submissions from other people. I'm sorry to disappoint you, and I apologize for losing touch a little bit, but I hope we can continue our communication. 

What are you guys planning for this year?

Have a great day!

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Hey our Bahamas friends!

It's nice to hear something about you! I am so sorry for your situation. Hopefuly it will get better as soon as possible. We had two months summer holidays but now we are trying to get into the old habits. But we worked during  holidays to! 

Our first event was mowing the grass, we cooperate with the local ČSOP (Czech Union for Nature Conservation). Then we had a brigade to collect cherry seeds so they could turn them into seedlings.  LČR (Forests of Czech Republic) bought them from us.  During the holidays there were also several works in our garden and even ecoteam meeting. This year we are defending the title of eco-school (I think you know it?)! 

I hope I haven't forgotten anything. Ok, I have. We were actually on an excursion "for aluminum".  We collect aluminum every year and the classes compete with each other. We couldn't go last school year, so we replaced it on saturday this year.  

We're looking forward some information about your situation and you know (news, how r u, etc.)

Have a nice day

Stephany and Lucy

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