SST – CP Sustainability Starts with Teachers – Rhodes University UNESCO – ROSA
We must fundamentally alter the way we think and behave if we are to pursue sustainable growth. Individuals and communities must take on the role of sustainability change-makers in order to make the world more sustainable and to address the concerns associated with sustainability as outlined in the SDGs. The SANU Change Project (CP) was created to establish a culture of utilizing Biomass in form of collected plant matter that is predominantly raked leaves that fall off trees and waste matter from the Consumer Science Department. An observation of the waste and litter being set on fire as part of cleaning the compound was the greatest motivation for this project, the initiation of the Rhodes- UNESCO ROSA partnership with tertiary institutions in Eswatini. SANU CoP members decided that the plant matter will be recycled by converting it into manure that will later be fed to medicinal plants that will form a botanical garden to be used in teaching-learning experiences that will promote Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE). Additionally, the garden site will be used to demonstrate water harvesting in such a way that we will use the water especially in winter to irrigate the medicinal herbs, shrubs and trees. The team has proactively infused ESD into the curriculum practices at SANU. We have come to appreciate the fact that it’s the day to day activities that are adding up to help us attain the global 2030 Agenda goals. The CP has made us realise that we can intentionally infuse ESD using lived experiences in all subject areas to prepare Pre-service Teachers (PSTs) for the task of incorporating ESE in their curriculum practices. We are seeing our Faculty of Education as a Living Laboratory with which we can accomplish a lot for learners as we try to promote ESD
Biomass of leaves and kitchen waste
CoP members preparing the botanical garden
Samples of medicinal shrubs and herbs
We have been able to grow the plants and they have been harvested by the whole community of SANU staff (FOE), for health/medicinal purposes e.g herbs, umhlonyane, bitter leaf, aloe. Harvested seeds from the mature herbs, to explore options for self-perpetuation of herbs and medicinal plants. However, the concept of harvesting biomass to enrich our planet earth has not been grasped by our support staff who have continued to set the ‘food for plants’ on fire as a way of ‘cleansing’ our compound.