Children from around the world deliver a message to world leaders at the UN climate summit in Paris (COP21)
Kids for COP21, giving children a voice
September to December 2015
At the start of 2015 school year, students in several primary schools around the world began learning about climate change through a fun, interactive educational toolkit. Invited by their teachers to send a message to world leaders, the kids made drawings, wrote letters and filmed their messages using iPhones and a lot of creativity. Countries represented through participating schools include: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Uganda, UK and the USA.
We believe the most powerful call to action on climate change can come from young people
Kids for COP21 began with three simple ideas. First, was an idea of fairness. Our children will be most impacted by decades of inaction on climate action. It seems only right that they be given a voice in the decisions being made at the 2015 UN climate summit in Paris (COP21).
Second, was an idea of impact. Our children will need a different understanding of our world and a new set of skills to tackle challenges facing humanity and the planet. We wish to empower children to thrive in the world of tomorrow, by allowing them to take a part in defining it today.
Finally, was an idea of friendship. We believe a safe world for tomorrow requires that we collectively improve conditions for children everywhere. Kids for COP21 includes children that live in places highly exposed to climate change, such as in India, Haiti, China and Uganda. Our project is forging a new kind of friendship between hundreds of kids around the world. And it is in this friendship that we believe positive change can happen.
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Parents: demand bold action on climate change
Kids for COP21 have joined forces with Our Kids Climate, a growing international coalition of parent and grandparent groups demanding bold action to protect our children from catastrophic climate change. The group has organised a petition for parents, grandparents and families across the globe to heighten pressure for a strong global agreement. Other groups such as Avaaz and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation are also collecting signatures to mobilise action on climate change.
About Kids for COP21
Kids for COP21 was initiated by Caroline Sost, founder of Living School and Carolyn Lebel, a consultant and journalist. Ten schools and several partners including filmmaker Damienne Caron, helped make it all possible.
Living School, Paris
Established in 2007 by Caroline Sost, Living School is a new kind of school working towards a better world. Through education at the pre-school, primary and elementary levels, along with the ongoing development of staff and parents, we aim to nurture children to become happy, responsible and fulfilled citizens. The school is a member of the Ashoka Changemaker Schools, who helped recruit schools to participate in Kids for COP21.
Carolyn Lebel, Paris
Carolyn Lebel is a media consultant and freelance journalist. Based in Paris, her investigations have brought new insight into global challenges from food security to industrial farming. Carolyn also advises brands and organisations on their communication strategies, while mobilising initiatives to address the climate crisis.
Damienne Caron, filmmaker
Franco-American film director of documentaries and international reports, Damienne Caron lives in Paris. She intervenes in cultural, environmental and social sectors with a poetic and humanist approach. At ease with new technology, she made a series of films in 360º during the first Day Without Cars in Paris this September, 2015.
Brazil, Colégio Mater Dei — Escola Internacional
Colégio Mater Dei was founded in 1962 in São Paulo and since 1984 has also been established in São José dos Campos. It is a private school that throughout time has built a history of commitment with raising multicultural, responsible global citizens and lifelong learners.
Contact: Karina Blutaumüller
Contact: Mike Duthuron
France, Living School
Contact: Mallika Lecoeur
Germany, Montessori School Potsdam
The Montessori School in Potsdam is an inclusive education school based on the Montessori approach. Students from year 1 to 10 attend our school and work in mixed-aged groups. The Montessori curriculum is individualized and guided to meet each student’s needs in all age groups.
Contact: Katharina Van Aken
Haiti, Collège Catts Pressoir
Contact: Marilyn Etienne
Contact: Anouradha Bakshi
Contact: Mikael Groth
Uganda, Kumwenya Eco-school
Kumwenya Eco-school, a small nursery school in the rural village of Kymia, Western Uganda has 75 children. Our objectives are that children learn healthy social interaction and acquire skills through different artistic activities and lots of play. Of same importance is the appreciation and respect of their natural environment, which they develop by tending their vegetable garden and planting trees.
Contact: Eva Henrich
UK, Green House Education Project
The Green House Education Project offers an educational approach that honours the natural development of each child. We promote a child centred, human scale, sustainable and community focused approach to learning that places a strong focus on social and emotional learning and sustainability.
Contact: Melissa Kendall
USA, Green Generations
Green Generations partners with schools in New York City to offer programming for children K-12. We teach emotional-health and life-skills education to nurture happy, confident children today and empower them with the know-how to be compassionate, ethical leaders for tomorrow.
Contact: Adrienne Heim
Damienne Caron, a filmmaker, provided specifications for the schools for their video clips and directed the Kids for COP21 film. Yura Khustocha looked after the sound production for the film.
Thalys and the Train to Paris
On November 28, our very own COP21 kid-delegates had been invited to board the Train to Paris, where they were to meet with UN delegates, government representatives, NGOs and journalists travelling to Paris for COP21, from countries near and far. Following tragic events in Paris, the kids will not be participating in the event, however their message and a special gift they had prepared for delegates will be delivered on their behalf.
Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs and Changemaker Schools helped bring together participating schools for Kids for COP21.
Letters to world leaders
The children wrote letters to Heads of State, which will be distributed through the initiative World Leaders, the children have something to say to you, a project by Delphine Grinberg.
The reforestation mouvement, Forest and Life, founded by Nicolas Métro have invited kids to plant 196 trees — one tree per UN delegate — as part of an event that was to take place during COP21. This event has been postponed until the spring, following tragic events in Paris.
Our Kids’ Climate is a growing international coalition of parent and grandparent groups demanding bold action on climate change.
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Contact Kids for COP21 firstname.lastname@example.org