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Climate, Food And Solidarity – Empowering Learners To Address Global Concerns

According to the World Bank, climate change increases South Africa’s vulnerability to weather-related natural disasters, such as flooding due to storms coming in from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, as well as droughts further inland.

Policymakers must support solutions that address climate and poverty simultaneously, as there are proven interconnected solutions capable of addressing both challenges.

The 18th of July 2023 would have marked the 105th birthday of our icon, Nelson Mandela, and now, more than ever, we need to look at climate change, persistent and increasing levels of poverty as well as inequality. We need to ask ourselves if we are living up to the legacy Nelson Mandela has left us.

This year Mandela Day runs under the theme Climate, Food and Solidarity, which are pressing global concerns.  

Achieving the development goals will require a fundamental rethink of how people produce and consume goods and services. Bringing together education, the fourth industrial revolution, innovative thinking, strategic resourcing and partnerships increases the prospects of doing this.

Climate change and food security can be ended within a generation. For this to happen, however, more concerted efforts are required, thus Educators have a role to play in addressing the negative consequences of climate inaction and food insecurity. Action on climate and poverty cannot be separated from one another.

Therefore, National Teachers Awards (NTA) Winners Mr. Ali Alfred Mokgalaka from Hoërskool Frans du Toit in Limpopo and  Mr. Adil Shaik Mungalee from Gauteng’s Yusuf Dadoo Primary School are educating the youth  to have a meaningful role in addressing these global challenges.

They are endeavouring to make this connection through engaging events and initiatives that help to increase young people’s civic participation and, ultimately, lead to a feeling that youth can be key actors in a global conversation about development and social causes.

Mr Adil, Shaik Mungalee who is described as the ‘community champion’ because of his involvement with the community, does food security projects at his school with community members in the area as well as teaching young people fishing skills. 

Mr. Mokgalaka is not just a teacher but a mentor, a community leader, and a change-maker. He inspires learners to become their best selves and to strive for greatness, not just in their academic pursuits but also in their personal lives.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. We must collaborate to foster successful and equitable intergenerational relations and partnerships to ensure no one is left behind.