Message from Naheed Bardai, Middle School head
Just as I thought to myself, “What is going on today?,” several boys reminded me that we had a bake sale. So as I usually do when sweets are in the air, I went over to take a look, hoping not to tempt myself too much. To my disappointment, all the baked goods were sold out (a blessing in disguise).
Now I was even more intrigued as to why so many boys were gathered around another table if all the goodies were gone. When I went to the other table, I found 15 boys huddled trying to buy the green leafy plants that were on sale for two dollars (not to eat of course). Who would have thought that 11 to 13-year-old boys would be interested in talking about and buying plants?
It’s amazing what can be done to spark interest in young people when time, energy and enthusiasm are put behind something. This past week, the Eco Warriors have been hosting Earth Week and relentlessly raising awareness of environmental issues facing our communities and planet. A few weeks ago, I wrote about changing habits. Ask those in environmental fields about the struggles of changing human behaviour and habits around the environment.
What has impressed me the most about Earth Week is how the organizers and students have made conscious efforts to try and change some of their habits in the interest of being more environmentally friendly – to take action, rather than just speaking about it. It’s a type of activism – and all communities need activists – to boldly remind us of what alternative habits or thinking could be, and to inspire us to make change. The word ‘activist’ can sometimes carry negative connotations; however, I liken the word to a proactive and action-oriented type of leadership style.
We know that for strong and healthy communities and countries to exist, they must have a robust and flourishing civil society (often thought of as non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that are involved in the public sphere). Communities often turn to its activists and leaders to be the backbone of its civil society. Schools also require a healthy civil society, and it’s at institutions like ours where boys are encouraged to believe in ideas, and takes steps to turn those ideas into action and change. It’s our hope that our boys will go on to be activists and leaders in civil society and beyond – and there’s no better place to start than with the Eco Warriors.