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Roots & Shoots International Leadership Event August 2015

Jess Doyle, our teacher from Al Muna school, Abu Dhabi, who attended the R&S International Leadership event in Windsor Castle tells us about her amazing week

For the second year running, Roots & Shoots representatives from around the world had the incredible opportunity to meet for a week, surrounded by British tradition and history in St George’s House, Windsor Castle.

The Roots & Shoots family has continued to expand globally over the last year?and the meeting at St George’s House enabled worldwide partnerships to be strengthened and incredible ideas to be shared. Examples such as ‘The Animal Parade’ in Taiwan, recycled music concerts in Columbia, Roots & Shoots activities in local libraries in Italy and planting trees in Tanzania, show how diversely different countries strive to empower and inspire their local communities.

Various speakers were able to share their expertise creating a foundation for a number of fascinating discussions. The impact of social media was explored and how to use it to our advantage. Several countries were able to share the success stories and passion of their youth leadership programs and the value of having young leaders involved intrinsically within Roots & Shoots.

I have been teaching in Abu Dhabi, and over the last 18 months we were lucky enough to pilot the Roots & Shoots program at Al Muna Primary School. This was a fantastic opportunity to show case all of the fabulous work we already do and develop the program even further alongside our curriculum.

As a foundation stage 1 teacher, I was able to experience first hand just how much the children love learning about their environment. A trip to the beach to take part in a clean up while learning about protecting the local Hawksbill turtles really motivated the children to tell their friends and family why it is so important to put their litter in the bin. Empowering others to join in and take action is all part of the Roots & Shoots fun! Learning how to look after our chickens and other animals has been hugely invaluable and rewarding too.

No paper and no electricity days at Al Muna have been great at showing the children just how much we use on a daily basis. The children learnt about how this impacts our environment and they found some amazingly simple ways of reducing how much we use, such as turning off the lights when you aren’t in the room! Our Roots & Shoots week was a huge success, with the children coming up with their own incredible ideas of how to use recycled materials to make funky clothing, bags, instruments and various other innovative ideas, ending the week with a wonderful ‘Trashion Show’. There were so many more inspired ideas shared at St George’s House, I can’t wait to try them out!

There is so much to look forward to?as the Roots & Shoots global community continues to grow together. The future is incredibly exciting! Watch this space…

Windsor 2015 24 copy

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