HomeEmpowermentEmpowering Children To Champion Sustainability: Nestlé's Sustainability Training for Kids in Nigeria

Empowering Children To Champion Sustainability: Nestlé’s Sustainability Training for Kids in Nigeria

An African proverb says, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” This wise saying highlights the importance of sustainability and the need for us to take care of the planet we call home. It is a message that is especially relevant in today’s world, where the effects of climate change and environmental degradation are becoming more apparent.

Children are the future, and as such, they play a crucial role in ensuring that the planet remains habitable for generations to come. Nestlé Nigeria recognizes this fact and launched the Nestlé Sustainability Training for Kids (NSTK) in 2021.

Now in its third season, the programme is implemented in collaboration with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), with the primary objective of enabling children to imbibe a sustainability mindset from an early age and equipping them to become better stewards of the planet.

Through NSTK, participating children are provided with information on waste management, introduced to the conversion of waste to useful items, and encouraged to adopt positive behavioral changes to enhance environmental sustainability.

According to Victoria Uwadoka, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Nigeria, “Equipping children with the right information to help them develop a sustainability mindset is a significant first step in ensuring more responsible management of waste in line with our shared vision of a waste-free future.”

As part of the programme, 50 children from Gadonasko Science Primary School and Dobi Primary School, both in Gwagwalada Abuja, were taken on an excursion to Ecobarter, a sustainable waste management and solutions company, for further exposure on recycling, upcycling, and more practical sessions. Keziah Dabo, a primary 5 learner from Gadonasko Science Primary School, Gwagwalada, expressed her excitement about the excursion, saying, “It was an interesting experience to see the various stages of recycling, from the dropping point to separation and crushing, and then to the transformation! We want to thank Nestlé and ICCDI for the opportunity to learn about recycling, reusing, and reducing waste through the Sustainability Training and today’s Excursion to Ecobarter.”

The programme has reached over 2,000 children from fourteen of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK) beneficiary schools in Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory since its inception in 2021. N4HK is a flagship initiative that aims to help 50 million children globally lead healthier lives by 2030. In Nigeria, N4HK incorporates a school-based nutrition education programme, which helps children imbibe healthy habits, including good nutrition, active lifestyles through adequate physical activity, good hygiene practices, and healthy hydration.

The need for sustainability education in schools cannot be overstated, and Nestlé Nigeria’s Sustainability Training for Kids is a significant step in the right direction. The programme not only equips children with the requisite knowledge and skills to become better stewards of the planet but also helps them understand their responsibility and role towards protecting it. As David Solarin, Director, Water Regulatory Enforcement and Advocacy, Ogun State Ministry of Environment, rightly puts it, “The Ministry will continue to work with stakeholders, especially the private sector, for a clean, safe, and hygienic environment.” By championing sustainability at an early age, children can become a driving force in ensuring a sustainable future for all.

Picture: Sustainability Training 2 – Cross section of pupils from Gadonasko Science Primary School and Dobi Primary School, both in Gwagwalada Abuja, at Ecobarter – a sustainable waste management and solutions company in Abuja on an excursion for further exposure to recycling, upcycling, and more practical sessions.

The Nestlé Sustainability Training for Kids initiative is a commendable effort towards achieving a more sustainable future by empowering children with the right knowledge and skills. It is heartening to see the collaboration between Nestlé Nigeria, ICCDI, and various government bodies to promote sustainability education in primary schools.

As the African proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and indeed, it takes a collective effort from all of us to ensure that the next generation becomes responsible stewards of our planet. With initiatives like the Nestlé Sustainability Training for Kids, we are taking a significant step towards a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable world.

As Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, once said, “We don’t have a plan B because there is no planet B.” It is our responsibility to take action now and ensure that our planet remains habitable for generations to come. Let us all work towards a sustainable future, one child at a time.

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