An International Connection

Article by Virtual 5C Uganda/Canada Energy Diet Students

The following blog was written by the CEDC classroom Virtual 5C Uganda/Canada Energy Diet Students, who wanted to share their experience on how they brought the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge to a new level and made international connections using the program.

The 10-year anniversary of the Energy Diet Challenge was extra special for our classroom. Thanks to Twitter, our classroom connected with @Ayowecca, which is a group that fights for climate change in Uganda, Africa. This non-governmental organization was interested in taking part in the CEDC after viewing last year’s activities.  

We created our partnership and waited for February 1, 2021! As soon as the competition began, we sent the 17 CEDC challenges to Uganda. Week by week, through videos, photographs and chats, we shared our activities. Together, we focused on raising awareness about energy conservation and climate change. After watching Jane Goodall’s anniversary show, we decided to make our class slogan: Together we can and together we will.  

Our weekly lessons resulted in many reflections: 

  • “As a student, I have learned so many things about my lifestyle and that of a student in a developing country. I have two pieces of technology running for my virtual classroom everyday while my teammates in Uganda have never touched a computer. They celebrated receiving donated workbooks, a pencil and a pen. I have a backpack and desk overflowing with these items.” 
  • “I am a Grade 5 student in Canada who asked what the word ‘poverty’ meant. I now know. I have learned so many things about needs and wants. I wish I could give our teammates everything they need.” 
  • “Students have to work hard in Africa to collect water each day. Their families spend their day preparing food. They work so much harder than we do. In Canada, we must not waste food or water. It is important to make meal plans, grow food and buy local. We also need to compost waste.” 
  • “I wish we could get solar panels for all of their houses. They want to do homework. They read by candlelight and dangerous kerosine lamps. They want to be educated like us. Everyone should have the opportunity to be educated. “
  • “I think all people should have access to clean water. Our teammates don’t have clean water running in their homes. They collect water from the stream or walk to a water pump carrying water in containers on their heads. I know now that we waste too much water. There are also people in Canada that don’t have access to clean water. Clean water must be available to everyone because it is a human right. “

We donated money so that our teammates in Uganda could purchase t-shirts. These bright pink shirts have created interest in their village and many children want to join the Ayowecca Climate Change Energy Diet team. We are thankful to have created this partnership. We may live far apart, we may live different lifestyles, but we know that we can conserve energy and fight climate change. Together we can and together we will change the world.