As part of activities marking the 2013 Children’s Day celebration, Mrs.Amosun launched Green Education for the Youth (GEFTY) initiative on the 27th of May, 2013 with the aim of equipping them with the tools of green education to enable them nurture the environment for their future benefits. She advised children and youths in the state to support and promote her campaign for the going green initiative through tree planting to ensure a sustainable and healthy environment.
Speaking during the 2013 Children’s Day celebration and launching of the GEFTY initiative at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, Mrs. Amosun put all the children and youths in stadium to the task of flagging off the Ogun State Youth 10,000 Tree Planting exercise which was accomplished through the 7,000 children present at the ceremony in the stadium and the rest were given to the guardians, parents and well-wishers also in attendance?
At the launch of the GEFTY initiative Mrs. Amosun in her speech expressed what motivated her to embark on this initiative and her vision for it.
“As the wife of the governor, with it not being my place to meddle in matters concerning laws or policies, I am launching a 2 level initiative called GEFTY. Level 1 is Green Education For The Youth, whilst Level 2 is Green Empowerment For The Youth.
We are all aware that our youths are vibrant, adaptable, mobile and upward looking; they are the destined leaders of tomorrow and a fundamental force to tap into. That is why carrying them along and taking them on-board of the going green campaign from the onset in any nation, is of paramount importance, the way forward and the wise thing to do.
However, to my uttermost dismay, I found during various discussions with our youth and surprisingly lots adults too, that quite a lot of people think of landscaping when you mention going green, some think they are actually synonymous! This prompted me to personally sit down and write a basic picture illustrated handbook called GEFTY, to assist, enlighten and arm our youth, who are the future leaders with basic knowledge of environmental sustainability through this handbook.
The Level 1 GEFTY initiative is being launched today being children’s day, by giving 5000 children my self-written GEFTY handbook to educate you on the basics of going green.
There are over 7000 students from across the state in this stadium and several adults, youths and female associations are also here to share the joy of children’s day with their wards. Each child will be given a tree seedling to take back to their various schools to be planted under the supervision of their agricultural teacher, this is being stressed as we do not want chaotic planting over the state. The adults here present will be given the rest of the seedlings to take home to children of neighbors to take to their schools and as such, here and now, 10,000 seedlings will be sent on their way for planting, while the agric teachers are charged with the responsibility of feeding us back through the ministry of education,if no seedlings turn up in your school for planting so that we can send some to you.
One important deterring factor that I have observed, is the lack of connect. We talk a lot about tree planting when talking about environmental sustainability, but people don’t seem to grasp the relevance of actually working towards sustaining the environment, Level 2 of the GEFTY initiative explains to the youth that apart from sustaining the environment to save their own world when we are gone, going green is an empowerment tool, one that is useful in earning a living.
Green Empowerment For The Youth (GEFTY) is dynamic, once you have the technical know how of going green, the sky is the limit to your earning opportunities. Let me give an analogy of how GEFTY Level 2 will put food on the table, cloths on our back and also get the rent and school fees paid whilst still work towards sustaining our environment.
Let’s educate them on agricultural cash crop tree planting and get our unemployed youths off the street into farmland orchards: they plant fruit trees in tons on acres of land, and in so doing they sustain the environment and the forest inhabitants whilst earning a living: are you with me?
For better clarity, Imagine if the 10,000 seedlings I gave out on children’s day were orange tree seedlings, Think of selling orchard fruits like apples, grapefruits or oranges to fruit juice companies to process into packed juice for sale.
Just imagine the of the number of jobs in that production line………from harvesting at the orchard to delivering to factories (delivery jobs), from delivery to sorting, from sorting to processing, from processing to packing, from packing to delivering, delivering to marketing, marketing to wholesalers, then to retailers then to consumers, whao!! Just from planting some fruit seedlings trees?
There is an endless list of white collar jobs in the area of environmental sustainability such as engineering, science and technology, power efficiency, legal jobs, marketing jobs administrative jobs and a host of others.
Part of the objectives of the GEFTY Level 2 initiative is to educate our youth on recycling technics and get our unemployed youths off the street by empowering them to get into recycling business of turning our waste to wealth.”
She explained that the initiative was geared towards promoting a clean and healthy environment that was void of environmental pollution as well as teaching them to protect their future to be able to contribute to the progress of the state and Nigeria by extension.
According to her, “The world is going green and job creation is going green and we do not want our children to be left out in the sensitization of the green initiative. Today, we shall be flagging–off 10,000 tree seedlings to be distributed to our children for planting in their homes and environment to ensure greener and better condition of the environment.”
The Wife of the Former Governor called on parents to join hands with her UPLIFTing the Environment/GEFTY initiative by ensuring their wards are put through the planting process and implored them to educate the youth on recycling Technics in a bid to get our unemployed youths off the street into the recycling business of turning waste to wealth.
The programme, which was attended by Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA, the Former Governor of Ogun State had several other dignitaries in attendance and was graced by over 7000 children and youths from across the State and several adults and parents too. Various local artistes treated the children to different melodies all in the spirit of Children’s Day.