In March 2022, over 350 colleges, universities, high schools, primary schools, and other institutions in more than 60 countries – and over 50,000 people – participated in the WorldWide Teach-in on Climate and Justice.
Under the leadership of several African NGOs, Africa held 50 in-person Teach-ins in 22 countries, more Teach-ins than any other continent except North America. Teach-ins were held in French, English, Arabic, and some local African languages and dialects. These events, including a two-day Pan-Africa virtual Teach-in, engaged over 2,500 people.
In the video above, David Boumzina of Green Africa Hope Organization (GAHO), Juwonlo Oloyede of the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD), and Joel Eboa of the African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Development (ANYL4PSD) talk about the impact of these solutions-oriented educational events – held mostly in primary schools and high schools.
The main takeaway? Encouraging students to take the lead in teach-in projects led to strong engagement, including the formation of a number of club chapters to carry the work forward. Eboa noted that the "African Teach-In events triggered a lot of hope among participants. A Climate Justice community has been set up." He added, "There are many young leaders and members of the climate justice community, engaged in the teach-in, who want to take their education to the next step."
"African Teach-In events triggered a lot of hope among participants. A Climate Justice community has been set up. There are many young leaders and members of the climate justice community, engaged in the teach-in, who want to take their education to the next step."Joel Eboa, African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Development (ANYL4PSD)
The Teach-in organizing in Africa was made possible by a Swift Grant through Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation. The grant enabled global Teach-in organizers based at Bard College in New York to partner with the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Bard and WISE worked through their connections to help engage networks of NGOs in Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, and other countries. Content from the African Teach-ins can be viewed here and here.
Building on the past year's success, in 2023, the Teach-in Organizers hope to engage 1000 colleges, universities, and other institutions, targeting 500,000 participants—or more. “There are tens of thousands of climate-concerned educators around the world,” said Project Director Goodstein. “The Teach-in provides a global platform for us to work together, from Africa to Canada to the U.S., to equip the rising generation with the tools and mindset to solve the climate crisis.”
This is the first in a series of articles describing the impact of funding through Lever for Change 2021 Swift Grants. Lever for Change was born of the success of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change challenge and spurred the philanthropic sector to rethink its approach to achieving impact at scale. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $1 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 145 organizations.