Compassionate Citizens of the Future
Last year, VinE was kindly invited to join a group of vegan and climate change advocates during their initial discussions on creating a culturally relevant curriculum for underprivileged children and young people in Cambodia. Their aim was to provide an educational resource which not only helped students learn the basics of English grammar but taught them the importance of being compassionate towards all sentient beings and the planet.
It has been an absolute honour to follow this collaboration of organisations and individuals as they developed their ideas into a two-volume publication entitled ‘Compassionate Citizens of the Future: English Activity Book’. Their methodology and amazing teamwork demonstrate what can be achieved when like-minded people, with a passion to make a difference, unite to achieve their goal.
We invited Nayan Agarwal, one of the project’s contributors, to tell us more about this vegan motivated initiative.
Children’s Book On Climate Change And Compassion –
Building Citizens Of The Future
Children in Cambodia with Volume 1 of the book and the International Vegetarian Union’s Vegan Nutrition Booklet for Children
It took less than 365 days to bring this project into the hands of enthusiastic learners.
What started as a faint idea turned into something concrete with two thoroughly researched, ideated, and designed copies of English curriculum books for students in the approximate age range of six to fourteen.
The curriculum was created in stages with dedicated timelines. We began by brainstorming ideas for what each chapter would include and how they should be organised.
Our team is composed of diverse people from different walks of life. We sat together and blended our thoughts about creating a culturally relevant curriculum that caters to the overall understanding of the English language and justifies accessibility and ease of reception of country-specific ideas of everyday life, climate change-relevant areas, and compassion towards all living beings.
The eager faces of children reading through the books mesmerize us and make all the work put in memorable!
Shova and Zac brought forth the idea for this project from the VegVoyages Foundation. They suggested the creation of two volumes of books to be distributed to schools in Cambodia. The books had to contain stories that promote veganism, environmentalism, and sustainability, as well as other essential values that the foundation supports.
We collaborated, each with unique skills and experiences, to create the two volumes of books. We put in a lot of effort and dedication to ensure that the books would be informative, engaging, region-specific, and inspiring to the target audience, primarily young people.
The first volume of the book, which is now available for preview here, contains stories and illustrations that focus on English grammar keywords through exercises that are based on giving out tips on living a sustainable lifestyle and other helpful information for the children. At the beginning of the book is a part dedicated to a Word Bank titled- The World As We See It. It formulates the various objects kids see and use on a daily basis, species of birds, vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and other aspects of life and earth, as well as what these categories are specifically in Cambodia. Then is a basic word formation and sentence formation unit based on Nouns, Vowels & Consonants. Listening and Reading exercises with attractive illustrations have been added, aimed at moving the students to learn about the impacts of climate change and bonds between nonhuman animals, being compassionate towards them, and veganism.
The book’s second volume, previewed here, focuses on environmentalism and sustainability. It is framed with English Grammar concepts of Nouns, Adjectives, Pronouns, Tenses, Prepositions, Articles, Adverbs, Consonants and vowels, Conjunctions, Interjections, Verbs, and Punctuation. It contains stories and illustrations highlighting the importance of protecting the planet and living in harmony with nature. It also includes practical tips on how to reduce waste, recycle, and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Happy children waving Volume 2 of the book
The success of this project is due in part to the efforts of two teachers, Nureak and Chhunin, who will be taking the books forward to schools in Cambodia. They will use the books to teach their students about veganism, environmentalism, and sustainability, spreading the message to the next generation.
In conclusion, the two volumes of books are a valuable resource for young people interested in positively impacting the world while learning the English language.
- VegVoyages Foundation- vegvoyagesfoundation.org
- Animal, Climate and Health Save Foundation India- www.animalsaveindia.org
- A special note to Shova and Zac from the VegVoyages Foundation for ideating this project and to teachers Nureak and Chhunin, who will be taking it forward to the schools in Cambodia.
- Contributors Avantika, Julie Wayne, Nayan, Nitai, Ritambhara, Rucha, and Suraj, have collaborated on the production of two volumes of books. The first volume can be previewed at https://bit.ly/43s8eWx, while the second is at https://bit.ly/3MChL7D.