The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is so much more than a writing contest and yes, I realise I’m in danger of making this sound like a Marks and Spencer advert!
But it is!
Over the past 3 years, MOLP has helped reforest 71 acres of deforested land in the
Coastal Province of Kenya and it has just put a roof on the second, much needed
classroom at Kundeni Primary School too.
Take a moment to smile as you look at our update from Bore.
Aside from the fact that MOLP has uncovered some remarkable literary talent, the impact of the actions above have been immeasurably positive for the children and community.
It happened because creative writers around the world like you decided to enter our contest!
Recently, we received several handwritten letters from Bore outlining the wide variety of educational and environmental benefits that have been felt, and the many social improvements that have occurred since we started supporting their community. It’s an absolute pleasure to summarise them:
The Head and teachers told us:
- greatly improved physical conditions felt by the students and teachers since working inside a classroom (cooler, protected from the elements, large blackboard, easier to teach)
- pupils have far higher levels of concentration
- examination grades have improved
- less throat problems for the teachers because they don’t have to shout to deliver lessons
- the existing register of children at Kundeni Primary School are attending classes more regularly
- additional children have joined the register since the new classroom was completed
- lessons on sustainability and forestry management have resulted in a Wildlife Club being started to plant and care for the Word Forest
- children have been inspired by the improvements to their village and some want to be carpenters, work in construction, to be stone masons (from helping cut the stone for the classroom) others want vocations as environmental caretakers and in forestry management.
The children added:
- the classrooms and the trees now provide sheltered spaces for us and the community to read and study
- far easier to form group discussions in lessons as the teachers can be heard better
- because they now understand what the Word Forest does, the children realise the importance of carbon eradication and have requested more educational materials on this and other environmental topics.
Parents commented too:
- biodiversity in the Word Forest is flourishing, attracting wild cats, dik-dik (small antelope), guinea fowl, weaver birds who are also nesting, and other creatures
- better public awareness in the community of how the Word Forest protects the soil from erosion and the importance of carbon exchange
- the children and community now understand the environmental importance of forestry management and they want to plant more trees
- through planting the Word Forest, the community understand the link between planting trees and how it can positively affect the environment.
The community concluded:
- they know that increased reforestation will help bring back the normal rain seasons (they have suffered two years of terrible drought)
- they’re all benefiting from the attractive visual improvements in their community from the surrounding Word Forest and the flourishing biodiversity
- local residents have planted trees around their homes of their own volition, because they now understand the benefits of doing so
- the community know that the Word Forest will provide them with an income from the commodities produced by the trees: medicine from the neem, water purifiers from the moringa seeds, food from the cashews, also charcoal and building poles from germina, casuarina and more.
So, there you have it!
None of the above would have happened if you guys hadn’t sent us your splendid entries for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize.
We really hope you’ll take part in MOLP this year, allowing us to continue helping people in Kenya who are living at the truly sharp end of climate change.
This year’s contest closes at midnight on the 31st December – don’t leave it until the last minute to enter!