GEAI volunteers delivered a Climate Action programme in May to Transition Year students of Lough Allen College to explore climate action, promote their critical thinking and to give them tools to create campaigns on their own.  

1st session – Climate change: Causes and effects

The GEAI team went to Lough Allen College for the first session. This included ice breakers, presentation on climate change, a card game and brainstorming of sustainable actions. 

Mariangela broke the ice with the students. The class had to pick a colour and an animal they identified with, and then she gave a small explanation of what their choice could mean psychologically.  

Daniela followed with a summary of the difference between climate and weather; climate change and impacts. She also talked about a few activists who are widely known on social media and are taking action in their home countries.  GEAI CEO, Aedín McLoughlin, also introduced the effects of climate change both locally in County Leitrim and globally: on nature, communities, the ocean, food and agriculture.  

All the ideas discussed in the presentation were consolidated with a card game created by Daniela. Each group had to match cards showing photos of causes with cards showing the effects, then to identify which sector that pair of cards impacted on. Food and farming, nature and wildlife, ocean life and communities were the main topics. At that moment, they had to classify each pair of cards depending on the group’s impact. The class quickly realised that cards could be associated in multiple ways, which was one of the aims of this game. 

It was a great session because the whole group were very friendly, and enthusiastic and show what they already knew! To finalise, the class was given time to come up with a few actions to tackle climate change like having a litter picking day at school. 

2nd session: How to create your own campaign 

A week after the first session, the same class and GEAI team went to the Organic Centre in Rossinver.  

The first part of the day included a tour of the grounds. The centre was established in 1995 with the mission to promote and support organic growing and sustainable living. A piece of land that was once an open field is now rich in biodiversity. The practices adopted there were explained and linked to environmental issues. 

The second half of the day was dedicated to a workshop presented by Daniela and Silvia on how to create a campaign. Once again, the class was divided into smaller groups, and each of them had to present their idea for a campaign at the end of the session. 

The groups started by deciding on an issue they believe needs to be addressed, for example, fast fashion, fossil fuel emissions, loss of biodiversity, littering in rural areas as well as water and soil pollution. To guide the creation of the campaign each group was given a mind map (link). 

After some time discussing among themselves the students were able to answer the following questions:  

  • WHAT can we do to eliminate the issue? 
  • WHERE to take this action? 
  • WHO can help? 
  • WHY is it important? 

The issues that were brought by the students and the solutions they came up with were very impressive. We have no doubt that among the transition year there are several young activists who are now ready to act for a better future!  

Are you interested in Climate Action? 

In the next school year GEAI and its volunteers will take Climate Actions Days to other schools. GEAI believes that County Leitrim’s Youth is at the core of future movements that will empower change! If you are part of a community group, organization or school that would like to have a Climate Action workshop don’t hesitate and contact GEAI.