Inspiring the Next Generation of Environmentalists
By Flipflopi Team member Davina Ngei….
Less than a mile from Aga Khan Pavilion (Flipflopi’s current home), stands the Aga Khan Academy. Many of the children here have already seen our beautiful rainbow-hued boat.
“Can it really sail?” “How many flip flops did you use?” “How much glue did you use to stick all those flip flops together?” “What have you used to balance the boat on land?”
Their questions are as boundless as their energy. They’re clearly awed by the boat and want to know what it stands for.
So on a rainy Saturday morning, we share Flipflopi’s story with a group of around 50 primary school students. Most of them have a good idea of the plastic pollution problem we are fighting - they pass heaps of plastic litter every day on their way to school, they know that fish confuse colourful microplastic for food, and they’ve watched videos of dead sea animals with stomachs full of plastic bags and other human waste.
What they want to know now is how they can help.
These children are the next generation of environmentalists and the fight they have ahead of them is a tough one. The world they’ve been born into is heavily polluted; the beaches are dirty, the ocean is choking on plastic, and millions of sea animals are dying. Despite this, their enthusiasm and creativity is exactly the jolt we need to advance the Plastic Revolution.
We owe all children a clean environment as a basic human right, and to achieve this, we need to encourage their imagination in order to come up with innovative solutions to this monumental plastic problem.
At the core of Flipflopi’s mission is the desire to educate; children and adults alike. To tackle this problem, everyone needs to play a part. And that is exactly what we learned from a group of 5 year old children from the International School of Kenya and their teachers: that you are never too young to start! 63 little people inspired by their teachers have been learning all about plastic pollution and taken the Flipflopi as their project. They have learned that plastic doesn’t belong in the ocean and that they don’t necessarily need lots of stuff…and they even took on a fundraising challenge raising USD $1000 for the Flipflopi!
Over the next few weeks, the Ismaili Youth Kenya Association who we are so grateful to be collaborating with will usher different school children onboard the Flipflopi, in order to teach them about plastic pollution and the role they can play in fighting one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time.
If you’d like your child’s class/grade to be part of this, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you with the Aga Khan team.
You can also download our interactive presentation and infographic, as well as activity sheets and writing prompts on the broad topic of “innovative ideas to reduce consumption of single-use plastics”. They use the Flipflopi Project as an accessible, fun & interesting entry point to the plastic pollution issue.
We’d love for you and your young ones to join the #PlasticRevolution…