Mrs Kritisha Rajcoomar

Mrs Kritisha Rajcoomar

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About Me

My School’s Information

My Project's Information

  • Project Name

  • Project Discription

    This project’s vision is the empowerment of especially learners and educators in the field of environmental education. Practical hands on activities that promote sustainable development to achieve a greener community.
  • What made you start this Project?

    The area in which I work in had many environmental issues the needed attention. These included : dumping, invasive alien plants, erosion, poverty and a general apathy in terms of environmental responsibility. At school, this was seen in the litter, wastage of water and need for food gardens.
  • What portion of the community have you impacted through your project?

    At the school level, there have been many families who now actively support our recycling drive (PET bottles and paper). Success stories of family food gardens being set up following our workshops, newsletters and occasional sponsoring of seeds/seedlings, are often heard. I have also shared these stories, skills with several other schools in the Phoenix and Verulam areas (±25 schools).
  • What challenges have you faced with your project?

    • Lack of funds to run little projects/star a food garden or competition
    • Convincing other educators to become more serious/committed to promoting environmental education
  • How did you overcome those Challenges?

    • I’ve approached a few colleagues/other professionals with a project proposal. Some lent support in cash or kind. Fundraising was also done at school (hosting colouring competitions/cake sales, etc.) to purchase initial seeds/equipment. I’ve also looked for various opportunities to enter learners in competitions where the school also won prizes (cash/kind). Further, I’ve started a greening business at the school (selling items made from waste, nursery selling seedlings, sale of enviro activity books written by myself).
    • The little success stories we achieved from the school sub-projects were published in the media. This gave us much needed exposure and sparked interest among other schools. Via the enviro committee I started at the Phoenix Education Centre, I was able to empower many educators and learners to achieve environmental excellence.
  • What have you achieved through your project?

    • A thriving food garden set up at school with lush veggies sold – money ploughed back into school funds.
    • Treepreneurs project – learners collect indigenous seeds, grow these seedlings which are then “bartered” for much needed school resources. Thus far, a digital camera and an industrial high pressure cleaner have been attained.
    • Energy and water audits/monitoring done twice/year to reduce resource wastage.
    • Parent Committee set up – participate in enviro outings, community and beach cleanups, securing sponsors and offering assistance in the garden.
    • Served as Eco-School’s Co-ordinator – school is at international status and will receive diamond decade award in 2015.
    • National Convenor – Environmental Management category (Eskom Expo for Young Scientists).
    • Served as chairperson at the Phoenix Enviro Team for 10 years.
    • Several educators have now initiated enviro projects at their schools to include food gardens, combatting pollution, becoming more knowledgeable about climate change, etc. Numerous efforts have been made to green our land.
    • A youth programme called the Young Enviro Ambassador Programme which I’ve started 3 years ago has trained ±108 children to conduct yearlong research/community based projects. Learners have developed great self esteem, research skills and citizenship. These have included cleanups, indigenous gardening, water monitoring, etc. 3 of the 28 learners trained in 2014 were selected to represent KZN at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair in Gauteng. Learners had been mentored by myself and undertook intensive research on topics that pertain to our country (overfishing, carbon footprint calculations and citizen enviro participation). Learners received much acclaim and awards.
    • Secured strong relations with other enviro organizations (like WESSA, DAEA, DSW, Umgeni Water) and community groups (Phoenix Rotary) and businesses (eg. Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths) – collaborate to provide enviro assistance to schools – enviro committee.

    I have raised money through the following partnerships:

    • Treepreneurs project – we work in conjunction with the Wildlands Trust – sale of indigenous seedlings.
    • School based green business “Mother Nature’s Workshop” was set up via WESSA and HSBC.
    • Rotary sponsored planting bags with compost. Enviro (Committee) learners planted veggies that were sold.

    RECOGNITION FOR PROJECT
    2013 - Department of Enviro Affairs – School Enviro Education Programme Umholi Award (Ethekwini) winner
    - School placed 2nd for promoting enviro education (for above competition).
    - School placed 2nd in Sa for Plastics SA Recycling Competition.
    2012 - Placed 1st in SA for recycling.
    2011 - Placed 1st in SA for recycling
    2010 - School placed 1st in SA for Pick ‘n Pay’s Grow Your Life school competition.

  • Have you raised money through partnerships for your projects?

    Yes

2015 Stars in Education Teachers Award entries



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