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ESTABLISHING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH STORY TELLING

Advancing environmental sustainability by reinventing local methods of education(story telling).

Photo of Lawrence
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project is to deviate from the present technological forms of education from which we are tempted to discount imagination and intuitive knowledge or incorporating into this current form of education, storytelling. Story telling was an old form of education and entertainment, traditional societies used to bring people together which helped foster identity, peace and unity. Therefore, we should recap their timeless methods and lessons they offer. The idea is to promote storytelling among families and communities for passing on of age-old tested wisdom, values and identify. Traditional Storytelling brings people together and builds communities for peaceful co-existence. It also teaches skills for livelihoods and peoples to connect to the environment, their responsibilities for towards the environment-animals, plants and other species. them to be able to work together to bring about peace and unity. As people come together in storytelling settings ideas for self and community improvement will emerge. These developmental ideas would be discussed, and people will know the areas they best fit into and the challenges therein. Traditional storytelling contains ideas about respect for and care for the environment. For example, certain grooves and rivers were sacred and tree felling or fishing in certain rivers were forbidden. All these were methods through which the environment was protected and cared for. This will be used as an opening for environment education and care. A new paradigm is needed in connecting peoples identities, cultures and lives to wealth creation or prosperity and care for the environment.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries will consist of three communities in Asunia, Nayemnia and Kayoro communities in Chiana, Upper East Region of Ghana. Children from ages 5-16, young adults from 17-22, and adults from 23-60. More than 60 % of these will be women and girls since these communities have a predominantly large populations of female. Persons from all these age groups will come together in groups of 10-15 in evening to tell stories which will be documented and later interpretation and analysis. In the first year of the project, a total of 60 adults, ( farm families or households), 20 from each community will be selected for specific skills and environmental impact trainings and supported to establish projects of their choice. Those engaged under the project will earn a living from any activity they decide to engage in ranging from agriculture to local art manufacturing.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The idea of connecting peace, prosperity and planet is fascinating itself innovative. Projects in the past have tended to place great emphasis on external agents of change and underestimate the rich resources, talents and skills that are available in the community. Storytelling would be a great opportunity to recognize the worldviews, cultures, ideas and identities, skills of communities for prosperity and environmental care. Starting development interventions from people’s worldviews, values and identities will prove innovative and motivating to traditional communities. This will make the project sustainable since the members will accept it as their own and put in their maximum efforts.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The operations of Fogwem Tikseem has been mainly in Chiana-Asunia, in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region of Ghana. Its main activities are the provision of social amenities such as good drinking water to rural populations to better their living standards.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The rate of depletion of our natural environment due to human activities causing climate change, all these lead to reduction of agricultural produce. Also there is an alarming rate of unemployment in Ghana, which is my desire to initiate innovative development interventions to help employ especially the youth. The underestimation of the huge potential of indigenous knowledge in development, is the reason behind my innovative approach.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Storytelling provided opportunity for community gatherings and fostered social cohesion. With negative modern influences, storytelling opportunities are being eroded and there less opportunities of gatherings and social cohesion thus breeding community tensions. Main causes of tensions are inequalities breeding jealousies, personal differences, identity crisis etc. Projects initiated for prosperity tend to receive less community support because of lack of opportunities for community gatherings to build community networks. Traditional methods and taboos for preserving the environment have also being eroded as they were discounted as primitive. Agriculture is the main activity of the Chiana community and Ghana as a country, however, bad farming practices has led to the loss of the lands fertility and drought leading to the reduction in agricultural produce. The living standard of the people is largely dependent on the available jobs, mainly by government.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The project will involve families (households), clans (groups of households, chiefs and opinion leaders in three communities in Chiana. Radio stations will also be involved as we want to use modern communication facilities to document and disseminate information of education and good practices. The project initiator or author of this write up already has a good rapport with these communities and will contact them and bring all these parties on board the project. My organization helped to provide potable water in some of these communities and have worked with groups especially women groups. The organization also provided limited soccer balls to some of the youth groups who needed them. The entry point will storytelling, sharing folk tales and riddles which were used by our ancestors to bring together the community so as to foster peace and unity. There still a few experienced and professional storytellers in some of these communities.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The communities still have some experienced storytellers who know a lot about the worldviews of the communities. There is high percentage of teaming youth mostly under the age of 30. There is huge potential in terms of available human and natural resources, including land availability. Also, not only is there a pool of human resource but these people are willing and ready to work to better their environment and create sustainable livelihoods to raise their living standards

Geographic Focus

The idea targets Ghana specifically three communities in Chiana in the Upper East region.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

the project will be implemented within two years .

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

4 comments

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Photo of Vyonne Akoth
Team

Hi Lawrence,

I am impressed with your idea of storytelling to as a way of inspiring and instilling values to future generations. My idea will also use storytelling as a trans-formative tool, where Iook forward to collaborating with you in future.

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