Dinsho Primary and Secondary School SEGNI Club Students
MELCA-Ethiopia is currently undertaking different programs in the Bale zone including Environmental Education (SEGNI), which mainly involves school children, with the financial support obtained from Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), MELCA-Ethiopia implementing “Building the Resilience of Bale Community for ecosystem rehabilitation and improving livelihoods”. Two case stories related with the SEGNI program project beneficiaries presented as follow.
Sumeya Tahir is a grade twelve student at Dinsho Secondary School. She is one of the leading actors of school’s SEGNI club.
Sumeya talks about the SEGNI club: “It’s been five years since I joined the club; I have known the club since 2008; Before I joined the club, I had no knowledge of the benefits of the forest, but after I joined the club, I was able to understand the benefits of plants to human beings, and the club also helped us to make a behavioral change in my life.”
“It has also helped me to boldly present a variety of literary works by standing in front of people at various events organized by the club and has boosted my self-confidence. Before I joined the club, I had little knowledge of plants; I didn’t care if people were cutting down trees and clearing the area; but now, when people cut down trees, I think they are killing people, It bothers me to cut flowers myself. During our five days in the forest, we were able to meet and spend time with students from other schools.”
“There is a stick relay program held once a year at the club. This ceremony is taken from the Geda system and in the Geda system one Aba Gada will hand over the baton for eight years and in the same as SEGNI club system, one SEGNI club leader will hand over the baton to his successor in two years. When a club leader moves from eighth to ninth grade, from tenth grade to eleventh grade, and from twelfth grade to university, he assigns responsibilities to his successor in the form of a relay.”
“In addition, the club has helped us learn about our culture and identity; the club has helped us see our future dreams; it has helped many of our club members to develop their talents. I now want to be a journalist, for example, and the club is helping me to achieve my dream. We participate in various events organized by the club by performing dramas about nature, presenting poems and performing various plays and music.”
“Our families also attend SEGNI Club programs to express their support and encouragement; In addition, our club has set up a park on our school grounds and planted seedlings. In addition, our club has been involved in cleaning up the inside and outside of the school grounds. We teach our little ones to take care of the environment, because we understand that conservation and the existence of forests are the reason for human existence.”
Sead Mohammed is a grade eight student at Dinsho Primary School. He is one of the leading actors of school’s SEGNI club.
Sead talks about the SEGNI club “I was joining SEGNI club when I was grade four students. And when I went to Sanete forest, which is located in Bale Mountains National Park it was with my two friends for five days. One of our friends was a disruptive student at school, however during our five days forest experience in the jungle, he learned how to respect our younger and elders, and when we returned after five days from the jungle, our friend’s behavior was changed and we also learned a lot during the forest experience. He increased the respect for teachers, he began to focus on his education, he began to do various literary works, and his attitude towards forests and plants is changed and he took care of the environment.”
“Before I joined the club and I went to the Sanete forest for five days to learn about the benefits of forests, my view was insignificant to forests and environment; however, after returning from Sanete forest, I learned a lot of things about the benefits of forest, If the forests not conserved well it will affects all human beings for now and the next generation, I began to see trees as living things. When I see cutting down tree I feel sad and angry. We teach our little ones what we learned from our fathers in the forest.”
“In our school’s mini-media, we will present local literary works such as fairy tales and poems through mini media equipment which is provided by MELCA-Ethiopia to our SEGNI club. Presenting literary works in Mini Media has helped us to gradually speak in public and express our opinions.”
“The club is my life because there is no life without forests. I will do my part to restore the declining forests. We are working to keep our club in the school; when the eighth graders move to the ninth grade, we transfer the club to the seventh graders. Also, when the twelfth graders go to university, they delegate the responsibility of the club to the eleventh graders.”