Winter News from eSwatini!

Dear readers,

Last Saturday marked the first awards of  the Swazi writing competition  run by our Project. The responses were marvellous. I was particularly impressed by the creativity of the poetry. I was pleased that  learners who wrote poems, wrote from the heart; this is what I believe ecological thought is all about. It is not environmental learning alone.  The narrative essays tended to stick to environmental facts, What we want is to hear is about YOUR ideas and possible approaches to finding solutions to the global eco-challenges.  However, this is not criticism, but information about how to respond in future with respect to ecological challenges, and in our case, our writing challenges!

You will be hearing a lot more from eSwatini in future months. Our intention is to focus on creating wonderful interactive learning activities with you for the rest of the year!

Until then,

Frances

Ecoliteracy writing competition under way!

Autumn has begun in Cape Town, and it is lovely. The first rains started about ten days ago, and we hope for more very very soon. April and May have always been the wettest months here in the Western Cape, and we certainly wish for the heavens to open and save the parched flora and fauna.

Our Autumn writing challenge is underway and entries are expected from around South Africa and  Swaziland. The enthusiasm of many  participating learners so warms my heart. The responses I receive encourage me. After all,  I want to contribute towards rekindling the creativity and imagination of young people today. We know it is not an easy task, and hasn’t been for years already, what with the advent of the digital age, the world wide web and, alas, social media. (I, myself, am determined to wean myself off facebook, in a similar way one is likely to give up a drug or sleeping pill). I feel so grateful to have explored my imagination throughout my youth, prompted by endless reading, writing and playing games. This saved me. Many youth today are not so lucky… . And yes, I do feel they miss out. So, here is an opportunity for you to write about another visual image; to use your imagination(s), to state your case, to be creative… . I am truly looking forward to READING YOUR ENTRIES!

Cheers for now,

Frances

 

 

 

 

 

What is EcoLiteracy? What does it mean?

Hello all,

Today I want to clear up some confusion over the meaning of the term  ECOLITERACY. Understandably, it is being misinterpreted as being related to learning to read and write. It IS certainly a type of literacy, but not quite as one imagines. I  personally understand it as being the language of the environment to which we belong, of which we are a part of. It involves us as actors in the environment, and the literacy involves learning about how we can act responsibly, respect everyone and everything within this environment;  i.e. all living beings.

I came across this written by the son of the author of ECO LITERATE; (the author being Daniel Coleman):

My father says:

“to be eco-literate means: the ability to read our environment and understand the consequences of our actions.”

Coleman goes on to say:

“Like learning how to read, it suggests that it is something that can be learned. In fact, ecoliteracy is a made up word. Made up from two words:
Literacy (“the ability to read and write”) and  Eco which stands for both ecology and economy. (Ecology: “the relationship between organisms and their environment”; Economy: “the management of resources, such as money, materials, and labour”. ”

Sir Ken Robinson writes:

“One of the most urgent issues facing humanity is fixing our broken relationship with the earth, on which all life depends. To do that,  we have to think, feel, and act differently.”

 

 

Welcome back to all story lovers!

I am happy to announce that we are growing steadily. Check out the YouTube video clips  entitled Forest Storytelling under PROJECTS. That was  a spontaneous happening with no pre-written script, nor did the participants have any idea what visiting Newlands Forest would entail. You will hear  the loud rustle of the leaves of the trees surrounding us aside from some birds chirping;it actually sounds as if it is water from a nearby river!

Do read up on our second writing challenge and you may submit up to two pieces of creating writing. We would like your writing to take on a story structure, even if it is a poem or lyrics or essay. What do I mean by this? Well, a basic story structure involves a beginning, a middle and an ending, which pulls the everything together in a sort of conclusion. An ending can even be a final sentence summing up the whole point of the piece of writing.

Do write to us about any nature-related thoughts, issues and so on. We would LOVE to have your input! Send all submissions  to ecostorybean@gmail.com or comment on our site under ‘Comments.’ Until next time. GET WRITING!

Frances

 

 

 

 

Blog 20 October 2017

Sir Ken Robinson writes:

“One of the most urgent issues facing humanity is fixing our broken relationship with the earth, on which all life depends. To do that,  we have to think, feel, and act differently.”

 

Hello again,

Welcome back!

Given the positive response to our first writing competition, we announce our second! In fact, the idea is to run writing challenges every 6-8 weeks. Learners have expressed their excitement about the opportunity to express themselves on such related topics. What has been particularly heartening is the feedback from participants regarding the last competition. Individual learners have expressed gratitude at the opportunity to write and enter a competition – thanks goes to the recent birth of the Green Bean Story Project. It is early days. Aside from the enthusiastic response from learners, opportunities for us to grow are gradually expanding. Clearly, I feel confident enough, on behalf of this Project, to  report this. Watch this space please. In the meantime, we offer the second story-related writing competition. Go to our Project page to read the vital instructions of how to successfully participate. We are so looking forward to your entries. GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL

Blog 3 – WINNERS Competition 1

Oct 6

We are thrilled to announce the WINNERS of our 1st story competition.

The Gold Award (1st Prize) goes to Vida Owusa for her powerful and relevant piece entitled, The Debacle of Debris.

The Silver Award (Second Prize) goes to Vanessa Atim for her highly evocative piece entitled, The Final Love Story.

WELL DONE to everyone for your quality entries. I truly found it DIFFICULT to decide on the 1st and 2nd winners! PLEASE ENTER THE NEXT COMPETITION!

 

Some of our fine winners.

 

 

The time is coming for competition results… .

Greetings to you all on this blustery Spring day. I am thrilled to announce that I am about to award prizes for out FIRST writing competition. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the stories and poems and have truly been impressed with the variety of original ideas.

I must say, there seems to be a greater knowledge of environmental issues than when I was 16. I was involved in a recycling initiative at my high school in Swaziland, and it seemed then that I stood alone from my contemporaries. There I was, a representative from the school for the country’s prime green project called Yonge Nawe, meaning nature conservation. I believe there is a growing consciousness and sense of responsibility amongst our youth, especially today’s educated youth, which was far from the norm when I was an adolescent.

So look out for the prize entries and winners early next week!