100 students and 30 teachers from six schools in Khosoos took part in an environmental campaign at Khosoos Primary School on 23 and 24 November 2012.
Students talk to residents about their campaign
As part of the campaign, students painted the walls with environmental messages, cleaned up the garbage in their school yard, planted trees, and presented their own plays and artistic performances around environmental topics. Students who were trained on paper recycling through the programme were also able to showcase products they produced from used school paper such as bookmarks, decorations, bags and folders.
The event came as part of the awareness raising and community mobilisation action plan – an integral part of the solid waste management component of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP).
The school suffers from neighbours throwing garbage from their balconies into the school yard. In an effort to make them more aware of the problem, students went around local residents’ houses, informing them about the campaign and their vision for their school environment, and asking them to help them keep their schoolyard clean.
Zeinab Ibrahim, a social worker at the school, said: “The aim of this weekend’s camp is to clean up the garbage to make the school a nicer place and ask to neighbours to stop dumping their garbage inside the school.”
Different participants contributed to the success of the camp: The school bought the trees that were planted while Khosoos city council removed the piles of garbage from the school yard.
14-year-old student Ahmed from Khosoos said: “We should let our parents, neighbours and other students know about the importance of keeping our school and environment clean. People have responded very positively to our campaign. We are starting with this school and hopefully we can extend it to others, too.”
Khosoos generates around 400 tons of waste daily, half of which is piled in streets, vacant lands and inside schools, causing various environmental and health problems. The programme seeks integrated solutions to the problem – all of which are only sustainable with community participation.
Photographer: Mosa’ab Elshamy