Ananse and Climate Change
Ghana silently faces climate disasters. Eroding coasts, disappearing forests and unpredictable rainfall are just a few ingredients. The focus of tour Ananse and Climate Change project is education, to address the ability to respond to climate change at the root. Our Climate Change Education Kit aims to contribute to preparing children for these climate realities. Through building stories for and with children, we hope to spark a way of thinking about themselves and the nature surrounding them. Using indigenous Ananse storytelling, interactive tools and activities, school-aged children will learn about climate change and its consequences.
The children will explore accessible ways in which they can respond and be resilient. The learning will be experimental, holistic and diverse; through Ananse stories, knowledge building, and ‘green’ activities. They will also explore accessible ways in which they can respond and be resilient. This will prepare them for the future but also encourage them to change the discourse.
About the Climate Education Kit
In this project our overall goal is to develop a self-sustaining climate education kit, containing a set of Ananse stories and matching education materials, for school aged children in Ghana (8-11 year old). These stories will introduce a climate change topic that will be discussed in the classroom by a trained facilitator.
Basic ingredients of the Cimate Education Kit
The education focuses on preparing Ghanaian children for the future of climate change and being resilient in it. Building from the creative ideas the project stems from a different narrative, making a difference in Climate Change Education in Ghana and beyond.Moreover, in our approach to the educational aspect of the project, we want to integrate the children’s intellectual, artistic, and practical abilities in a holistic way. We will move, draw, listen to stories, write, speak to their imagination, play and work with our hands.
Ananse the Spider is a famous character in West African and Caribbean folklore. Every child in Ghana and Suriname grows up with the stories of Ananse the spider. (Surinamese spelling: Anansi). Ananse is a spider, Ananse is a trickster and Ananse is resistance, showing us that you can win by being smart rather than strong. Ananse is also a symbol of nature, always on trees, living in the forest, farming, and using nature-based solutions to get his way.
But more than that, Ananse carries the wisdom that surpasses time. Ananse stories always contain essential nuggets of morality and ethics through the way they are being told. They are told in an interactive way often containing elements of drama, music and song. In our Ananse stories, children will learn from Ananse about different topics of climate change.
Our target audience are school-aged children in Ghana (8-11 year old). They will be the first users of the first version of the Climate Education Kit. Taking the children as a starting point, we aim to make the project’s effects spread to different age groups. We hope to have the children also inspire the people around them, including their parents and their teachers. Asking the question, how can we be more ‘green’ at home and in schools?
Impact of this project can be defined on multiple levels. We aim for the following effects:
Impact on children in Ghana
The direct impact on the children that we will reach; our Climate Education Kit aims to contribute to preparing children for their (future) climate realities. We hope to spark a constructive way of thinking about their own agency and their environment, as well as ways in which we can respond and be resilient. We want to reach as many children in Ghana as possible with the Kit, to create the most impact.
Impact on actors around the children:
By teaching and inspiring children, we hope they will inspire their parents, siblings and teachers with the things they’ve learned. We aim to make the Climate Education Kit useful as a prototype for a national curriculum for climate education.
Impact on the children’s environments:
As part of the Climate Education Kit the children will carry out green activities. These can range from making compost to tree planting events or building a green wall in their school. These activities have a positive impact on the physical environment of the children. When the reach of the Climate Education kits expands, more of these green activities will be carried out and more impact will be created. These activities can also function as inspiration for other people.
Impact on education and the current Climate Discourse:
The children learn about the climate crisis from Ghanaian examples and through Ghanaian folklore, unlike many educational materials that are Western-world oriented. The climate education materials that exist today are mostly written from a Western perspective, with Western solutions. Turning the tables and creating Ghanaian climate change educational materials is an effective way of educating, and possibly opens up the conversation towards looking at climate change and its underlying causes differently.
We also would like the kit to travel beyond Ghanaian border to neighboring African countries and to the African diaspora in Surinam, the Caribbean and Europe. We aim to reach, inspire and reconnect their heritages and together deepen knowledge about climate change.
Co-creation at the core
Through a co-creation process with Ghanaian writers, illustrators and educators, we will create a self-sustaining climate education kit, containing a set of Ananse stories and matching educational materials for Ghanaian children between the ages of 8 and 11. This educational kit aims to spark climate resilience, as it prepares children to the realities of climate change. By using these locally created Ananse stories and educational materials, we offer an accessible, fun and unique learning experience for children.Our Ananse Climate Education Kit will be spread over Ghana and the lessons will be given by trained Ghanaian facilitators, reaching thousands of children.
Current funders and partners in this project are Triodos Foundation, Iona Stichting, Tipping Point Foundation, The Municipality of Utrecht and the Kootje Foundation. Want to collaborate on this wonderful project? Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org