When I looked back, reflecting on the last three years as Mentor for EFS for Loreto College Curepipe (LCC), I saw myself sitting with my notebook in the conference room at ICJM, evasive about what we could learn about what was then called the Ecological Literacy programme (later renamed to Education for Sustainability).
During our training sessions, there was a cosy, friendly and warm atmosphere where we met school friends and my former deputy rector Mrs Gilberte Chung (now director of the BEC). After a few workshops, the number of participants decreased especially when the sessions became more technical. However there was a handful of teachers supported by their respective administration and the optimism of Mrs Gilberte Chung, the undeniable support of Sanju Deenapanray and Anneloes Smitsman (the programme developers and trainers). All had the strong conviction that nothing is impossible in life. It may take time for the programme to take shape, but we will succeed.
Witnessing this philosophy it reminded me of my school days. Being a Loreto girl I would always be thankful to Mrs Tadebois, my rector and sister Therese Prosper who inculcated good values during our school life. They showed us mutual respect, love for everyone and the gift of sharing, and the most important to always think positive in all our endeavors
Furthermore I want to stress something—- I is an alphabet that stands alone and alone we cannot achieve much. On the other hand there is WE, ‘we’ is powerful and it brings people and ideas together and has always proved to give better results. So working together as a team sharing the best practices from other schools without any prejudice has proved successful in the programme. Here are some examples:
- The idea of up cycling was first mentioned by Didier, a mentor from another school.
- The St Mary’s College mentors shared their system of rotation of activity classes.
- The St Esprit College shared their experience in rain harvesting.
- La Confiance College redesigned the questionnaire for the food category-Ecological Footprint.
We have gained and learned enormously from the experiences of our friends and colleagues, and this helps us to implement the best practices in our school programme at LCC.
However the path we have chosen is full of obstacles. For all those who wholeheartedly devoted their time and energy to this programme, we have learned to transform each obstacle and criticism into a new challenge, and we keep faith in a a positive outcome.
Life is beautiful and short, we should nurture a positive attitude in each and every step we undertake in our work as well as in our personal life.
By inculcating these values to our future generations and the people around us, we can surely achieve our goal—- LIVING SUSTAINABLY ON THE PLANET or in simple words CARE FOR THE PLANET, CARE FOR ALL LIVING THINGS.
About the Author
Zaahirah Koheallee Hosenbocus is Head of Department of Chemistry at Loreto College Curepipe (LCC) Mauritius. She has been in charge of the LCC Go Green Club, formerly called the Environment Club, since 2008. Zaahirah is the EFS Mentor for LCC since 2011. She has done tremendous work to implement the EFS Charter in the LCC educational system and facilitate the change of behaviours of students and teachers to reduce the ecological footprint of LCC.