ALWS Awareness Day 2016 – Goodness Grows Our planet. Our people. Our purpose.

Mark RathjenFaith in Action, Social issues

ALWS2Students from Years 4, 5, 6 and 7 worked actively and collaboratively in a day-long workshop on Tuesday, 15th March, learning about climate change on the planet, how it is affecting the lives of people and how to support action taken to grow equity and social justice.  Our visiting expert, Julie Krause from Australian Lutheran World Service, led all the upper primary students of St Peters through a learning journey that resulted in students discussing, questioning, justifying and articulating the perspectives, problems and possible solutions for social justice amongst our world’s people. This work forms part of the students’ inquiries under the trans-theme How we organise ourselves. It crosses several disciplines, including Christian Living, Geography and Language. We investigated climate change and its effects using the PYP concepts of Form (What is it like?), Causation (Why is it like it is?), Change (How is it changing?), Perspective (What are the points oALWS3f view?), Connection (How is it connected to other things?) and Responsibility (What is our responsibility?).

Students engaged with a number of collaborative tasks, including:

* learning about the effects of earthquake in Nepal and forming village committees to develop action plans addressing early warning signals, work with government and aid agencies, food, sanitation, water and shelter

* imagining one’s town has been destroyed and considering the proportion of people who have access to aid, a disaster risk reduction plan, ALWS4communication or transport.

* using minimal resources to build models of shelter and long drop toilets.

* learning about the choices and consequences faced by children who live in a village in rural Mozambique where no rain has fallen for two years. Do you stay in your home and hope for rain? Or pack up all your belongings and begin the long journey to where rain has fallen?

ALWS5Many students willingly took up the challenge to work throughout the day eating only rations similar to those who arrive at an aid shelter – just a dry biscuit for recess and a small handful of rice and beans for lunch.  Each student received some sunflower seeds to ‘spread the goodness’ and a pack of sustainable aid ideas. The day closed with reflections on what had been learned and the impact our actions in Australia have on the lives of others in parts of the world that are critically affected by climate change.

ALWS8I didn’t know that I am part of the 9% of the world’s population that travels in cars and cars contribute to 30% of the world’s greenhouse gases.” Chelsea

I knew when I used appliances like air conditioning that it contributed to climate change, but I hadn’t considered how that brought drought to places like Mozambique and now people can’t grow food there.” Matt

I can’t believe only $6 helps people in Nepal get training to manage climate change disasters like increasing monsoons and soil erosion.” Rebecca

If you want to take some action, look up www.goodnessgrows.org.au” Julie

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