From 15 to 29 May, 2007, the Earth Charter Center of Education for Sustainable Development in Costa Rica offered six workshops for children from ages of 8 to 12 years. In total, 202 kids participated in a one-hour workshop designed to sensitize participants to the integrated vision of the Earth Charter, and raise a sense of commitment and responsibility towards sustainability.
These workshops were part of a national environmental education program led by the Costa Rican National Electricity Company (CNFL), which invited the Earth Charter Education Center to contribute to their efforts. CNFL has shown interest in incorporating the Earth Charter in their activities for some time and had previously printed information about the Earth Charter in their educational materials.
Each group consisted of 28-36 kids, plus some accompanying teachers and parents. The activities began with a short presentation about the general current environmental, social and economic problems that are affecting our world, and the responses from the Earth Charter to address these issues. Power point presentations for kids produced by Fundacion Valores, an Earth Charter affiliate organization from Spain, were very useful for the first part of the activities. Then, after a brief explanation about the Earth Charter content and history, the kids were asked to work in groups. They had to choose one of the Earth Charter principles that were most applicable for their local context situation or the one that they liked the most. They had to express with visual arts techniques how to apply the chosen principle at their homes, schools and/or communities. At all moments, kids were encouraged to express their opinions and ideas about what was presented.
According to the co-organizers from CNFL, children, parents and teachers gave them positive feedbacks after these presentations. It is our hope that the CNFL environmental educators and teachers present in these activities become inspired to use the Earth Charter in their daily lives.