“Education is the most powerful weapon” to achieve sustainability!

Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon to changing the world.” I strongly believe in that and, in our world common path to achieving a sustainable life for the health of the planet, we have to bet on education and awareness.

Dale Carnegie in his famous book that inspires leadership called “How to Win Friends & Influence People” says a pragmatic truth: “There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”

When I finished my Earth Charter training in Ethics and Sustainability, I did my final workshop focusing in the daily habit changes for a sustainable planet through non formal education.

I realized something very simple: no one can grab the hands or the feet of other people and make them change their habits for a more sustainable planet, so what we can do is use education for the change to happen!

CatarinaWith, games, dinamics and videos, teens and adults realized: Earth is older than us (humankind); Earth was healthy before the Industrial Revolution; we must maintain natural habitats secure and conserve the biodiversity that we depend on; everything we have in life comes from an natural resource so we have to save them and change our habbits to fight climate change.

Now one my areas as a Earth Charter Young Leader it has been replicating this workshop in schools. I have already been to two schools in the city of Porto (Agrupamento Pêro Vaz de Caminha e Agrupamento do Padrão da Légua), two editions of a beach clean-up (Salvar os Oceanos 2018 e 2019) and a social-educational project with teens (Pés no Risco).

I will never forget the reaction of one child when in one of these workshops, he had an animal in the habitat where it lives, the actual one in that specific moment. His animal was a fish so the habitat was an ocean full with plastic. He said: “I WILL NOT PUT MY FISH IN THERE!”

Step by step, with education as a weapon, we can get closer to changing the world.

This is my testimony of this reality.

Catarina Sá Couto (EC Young Leader Class of June 2018)