Well, what more can be said, than we have had three annual Project 90 Clubs conferences in four weeks and it was…wait for it… “epic”. A lot of fun as well as a lot of work has been done in and around the conferences. It is in the conferences where we see the process of change happen. More specifically, I can refer to the Gauteng conference, which we held in Johannesburg earlier this month. We had two new clubs to add to our ranks. We had six of our nine clubs attend the conference: Immaculata Secondary, DSJ (Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg) , Saxonworld Primary, the Vaal club, the Pretoria Club and the Zoo club. All in all we had about sixty club members present. The new club members easily assimilated themselves – it was as though they had been with Project 90 for years already. From jittery first words to confident participation the conference had its own fair share of amazing moments.
Every year the clubs in Gauteng get together for an annual conference, the basis of the conference is for the clubs to connect and to hash out new ideas on projects. Our aim this year was to unearth and nurture conscious young environmental leaders.
With that as the premise of the day, the club members were encouraged to mingle and to discuss what they would collectively like to do. From the younger groups there came ideas of hosting a climate change fair with flashmobs and action skits. The older members had ideas around creating an awareness campaign on waste and its effects and benefits, looking at upcyclying and collecting waste that can be used to benefit communities. Some groups came with ideas of hosting workshops for communities or schools. Whatever medium each group or person chose it was clear that the participants were enjoying the idea of collective action.
Most, if not all, participants could not get over “Dr Poo” and his scented idea of bio-fuel, to top it off we were to see it work. He gave us a practical demonstration on how to convert poo into energy, or bio-fuel. This for me was a highlight, I know now how practical and logical my very own poo can be, and yes I am also talking about yours as well. Dr Poo took us to a world where waste is no more, where everything and anything can be used to its finest form. This world he showed us, made me think of poo, as smelly as it may seem, of being very powerful with the potential to redefine an era.
More than anything else there was extensive discussion on the new clubs structure in Gauteng. There will no longer be a limit to the number of clubs, and one main club will be created at the Jozi Zoo. This means that even though there will still be clubs in schools, the members in the different schools will now be collectively part of the Gauteng Club. Anyone can join, from wherever in Gauteng, and will no longer be limited by school affiliation. Furthermore the age restriction has been extended – club members can be from primary school till the age of 25.
From zip-zap-boyng to a Zulu war cry, and even trusted the juku jive, the conference had it all, the variety of activities represented not only the mindset of the clubs individually but the age of the members themselves. With this coalition of characters the conference was the living ideal of the Gauteng province.
I must thank everyone who pitched, who sang, who danced, who observed, who spoke, who presented, who commented, who ate, who drank and of course who laughed. What happened in the conferences is only the beginning and we can shape the year into being what we want it to be.
And to those that could not come to the conference, yes you missed out, but there will be more opportunities for all of us to meet and be awesome as we can be.
Thank you everyone for making the Project 90 clubs program what it is, and what it is, is EPIC.
Happy Khambule – Gauteng Club Coordinator