Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Damilola Aminat Adeyemi
Bookers International Schools
2021 EE 30 Under 30 Changemaker Grant Project
BEYH 2021: Bookers Environmental Youths Heroes 2021
Bookers Environmental Youths Heroes 2021 will provide 300 students with weekly environmental education lessons in Ifo, Ogun, Nigeria. These lessons will focus on providing theoretical knowledge about the importance of natural resources and their conservation. We will examine major environmental issues from local, national, and international points of view. Participants will also be trained on how to assemble, build, and manage “biodigesters,” which are devices that convert organic waste into biogas and bio-fertilizer. The biogas can be either used for cooking or to generate electricity, while bio-friendly fertilizer can be used by small farm holders.
EE 30 Under 30 Biography
Damilola leads innovative extracurricular and environmental programs that train students to build waste conversion devices.
How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?
At Bookers School, our Bookers Eco-Education Program (BEEP) includes environmental studies and sustainability projects. Through this program, we partner with De-Olivette Enterprise, Flo-Recycling, and 10 other partners to train participants to entirely build and install plastic bio-digesters from locally sourced materials. These biodigester systems convert farm, human, and animal waste into renewable energy that can greatly reduce hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation. We have created over 50 sensitization programs that have educated more than 10,000 female and male farmers about climate change and how climate events have led to hunger, poverty, and mass migration in agrarian communities within Nigeria. Our environmental and sustainability programs have over the years partnered with over 100 communities around us. In July 2020, we also launched an environmental education program to address the agglomeration of waste related to COVID-19 (PPE, face masks, gloves, sanitizer canisters, and more) by showing young people how they can manage this waste and protect their environment.
Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
As a child, I grew up in the Ososun village which had verdant hills, sparkling rivers, and wild animals. Today, the rivers are extremely polluted. We instead have hills of waste and the animals are mostly dead. Similarly, life has little meaning; there is extreme violence against people of gender, there is an abundance of pollution, diseases, and death. Farming is now considered a risk because of Climate Change and the polluted rivers and farmlands. Yearly, thousands of youths flee farming communities in search of a better life. Years ago, I also fled my community to seek a better future. I met and connected with other youths as well, we all had one thing in common: we were victims whose lives were disrupted by Climate Change; by our leaders and community lack of environmental education and skills. This lack of environmental education remains a great threat to humanity.
I felt a deep sense of duty and responsibility to help young people avoid my experience, so I returned home and created a school that gives great attention to environmental programs and education. I have since worked with thousands of young people and will make it a life mission to encourage families, youths, communities, and businesses to adapt their business in such a way that it becomes environmentally friendly.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?
Don't stop improving.
Enjoy the journey. Laugh, learn, and make an adventure of success, failure, and individual growth in even the darkest days. It is important to learn to make your own sunshine during the dark and cold days because there will be many, just as there will also be many happy days.
Learn productivity, management, and time hacks to stay ahead.
And most importantly, take great care of yourself, love yourself, and learn to be like the water: formless and resilient, yet also powerful.
What keeps you motivated, inspired, and/or hopeful for the future?
The human spirit: our incredible resilience to heal, learn, and rise above challenges.
Describe your work in a poem.
My morning pours
like a cup of sunshine;
Blended with gratitude, duty, and priorities
Tastes like the angel of happiness