‘Catch them young’

From 13-15 September, great minds convened at ICRAF Nairobi with the aim of developing a Pan-African restoration education curriculum. To be honest, this genesis scared me, especially because I was in the company of university professors. I felt inadequate and that I had nothing to share until Mercy, a wonderful lady and associate professor at the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Ghana, asked me what role I played.

As we bonded over coffee, suddenly the other participants in the room were captured and moved by my community initiatives, especially by the fact that children and education were my core targets. This is how ’catch them young’ in Mercy’s words came along.

This was my ice breaker and gave me comfort that after all, I had something to contribute in making the curriculum favorable for all, and ensuring that no one was left behind -especially children, youth and Indigenous People, whose voices often have been forgotten. During the GLF Africa Digital Conference, I had the privilege of joining a panel to discuss how the curriculum would impact different groups. I was happy to be a representative voice for children, youth and grassroots actors.

Panel discussion during our summit.

These three days were packed with knowledge. The great lessons I gathered from this session was how unstoppable and unlimited you are when you intentionally work together: the globe becomes lighter to lift, making restoration a reality for all. We also need to change our mindset and realize that every single person has something to learn in the restoration journey, thus making everyone an educator and learner at the same time.  Finally, the least- ’heard’ voices are the most valuable ones that should be sought and listened to more. By 15th September ,we gave our project a name: transformative restoration education.

                                Kandi sharing her community engagement experience.

The journey has just begun. I have faith in the global impact that this collaboration will bring forth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rABURQmLrY

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Supporting partners 2023

Supporting partners

The Restoration Stewards program provides funding, mentorship and training to deepen the impact of youth-led restoration projects. The year-long program is run by the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) under the banner of Generation Restoration to support and highlight the work of eight young restoration practitioners and their teams in 2023.

During the program, the Restoration Stewards and their teams are  supported to further develop their project and serve as ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards share their journeys in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges and participate in different international events to showcase their work. Locally, they are sparking a restoration movement, mobilizing local communities and creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for livelihoods and landscapes.