The Global Children Designathon (GCD) 2023 Project.

The Global Children Designathon (GCD) Project was held on Saturday 15th April 2023 at the Global Goals Community Centre by DEAN Initiative. The Global Children’s Designathon is a yearly event that uses design and problem-based learning to encourage children to think creatively about sustainability issues. Each year, children from around the world come together to devise solutions for global environmental problems, focusing on specific themes. The theme for Global Children’s Designathon 2023 is “Our World: Restoring Biodiversity Big and Small“. The objective of the project is centered to inspire and provide a platform for students to engage and know, what biodiversity is, what the main causes of the loss in biodiversity are, and how it affects the planet and the future of all living things. To offer students a chance to participate in a well-structured design thinking workshop, to introduce students to various ideas and brainstorming techniques, and to enable students to prototype their own solutions to tackle biodiversity loss and promote co-existence. 14 students made it to the finals of this year’s cohort and were supported by 8 facilitators. There was a gender balance agenda that ensured participants to be 7 boys and 7 girls. The Global Children’s Designathon is an initiative of Designathon Works, Netherland.

The Initiative is centered on raising early-stage pupils through education to be able to understand their environment and basically understand climate change from the early stage. The children had generated a wide range of ideas, they were happy to create prototype sketches as instructed. This process allowed the children to refine their ideas and communicate them more effectively. By the end of this segment, children had generated a variety of solutions to the problem at hand and had visually represented these ideas through their prototype sketches. The children were also asked to design a prototype of their ideas. The prototyping section was a critical step as it enabled the children to turn their ideas into actionable solutions to tackle biodiversity loss. They made use of eco-friendly materials such as paper, straws, pencils, food sticks, cardboard, and so on, to create their solution prototype. The teams made different prototypes as stated below:

  • TEAM INVENT: Created an idea around houses in the cities and rural areas. These ideas encourage house owners in the cities and rural areas to cultivate vegetations around their houses by planting local trees and flowers especially creepy plants to grow over the roofs of these houses; making artificial ponds to grow species of fishes enabling interactions in our ecosystem. These innovations will bring a habitable environment for animals, insects, and man to boost living coexistence between man and animals in the ecosystem, create cool and conducive habitat, thereby increasing biodiversity.
  • TEAM CHANGE: focused on modern houses, they want to help flying insects like butterflies, birds, and bees to increase pollination. The ideas are described “we want to engage in the cultivation of flowers in our Gardens, this will attract butterflies and bees, increase their population, thereby increasing Biodiversity” and the ways in which they think they can promote their ideas is to inform their parents to purchase flower seeds and demarcate an area for the seeds to be planted around their houses.
  • TEAM DESIGN: focused on forest, they are particular about helping wild animals and the way in which they want to help these wild animals is by making spaces and food for life, and to teach people about Biodiversity. Their ideas were to introduce forest rangers to ward off poachers who indiscriminately kill wild animals for their parts thereby drastically reducing the population of animals in the forest. They also thought that another way to promote their ideas is by soliciting help from the government and asking private organizations to help implement these ideas.

At DEAN Initiative, we provide innovative, educational learning programs, in an extra-curricular format. The students in our participating schools’ constituents are opened up to sustainable skill-based educational resources and learning experiences that turn them from mere academic students into educational solution-based resource students. Our education interventions secure an unwavering partnership with the government that ensures smooth delivery in all participating schools without any form of technical issues. Models are co-delivered by volunteer educators, which makes delivery less expensive. Real-time teachers in participating schools also participate in delivering models as part of their partnership contribution to delivering our innovative solutions. Students are allowed to create their ideas and innovations, rather than listening to lessons only, they are now able to co-create their learning resources and as well enjoy the freedom of creating solutions to basic community challenges raised as problems in their classes.

Climate Education Press Conference

DEAN INITIATIVE held a press conference to reemphasise our call on the Government to include Climate Education in the learning curriculum for students, holding onto COP 27 commitment which had education as its frontline action, we called on the ministries of Education and Environment to forge beneficial collaboration by adding climate education into an existing subject or introducing a new one.

We presented our climate education curriculum, a contextualised climate learning curriculum for climate educators that detailed the issues and possible solutions to climate change so that when integrated into the learning curriculum, future generations in NIGERIA can be called CLIMATE Champions

Passionate educators from our just concluded 10-day Abuja Climate Education Survey who used the transforming education survey to collect Nigerian children’s voices in shaping the future globally were there, they shared their experiences and expressed the excitement of the educators and the eagerness of pupils to put into practice all they had learnt.


Below is our official PRESS STATEMENT which was given to the gentlemen of the press and all present for the press conference;


COP 27 has come and gone, with inspiring promises and a list of commitments, including making climate education a frontline action in addressing climate change’s devastating trajectory. We are to remind the government to keep its promises and be bold in leading actions through innovative climate education designs because, in today’s world, Climate Education has become a right for children not to be denied.

As part of our efforts as experts and critical stakeholders in the business of development design through innovative educational programming, our organisation, Development Of Educational Action Network (DEAN), formerly known as DEAN More Initiative for African Development and the World’s Largest Lesson (UK) in 2020 started working to create adaptable climate education learning materials that anyone basic teaching skills can use to dispense quality climate education teaching to students around the world. The effort has been very successful.

Nigeria is one of the selected countries we have put the use of the developed Climate Education Pack to the test for two years of school-based learning. In 2021, we rolled out the exercise in six Nigerian states; Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Niger, Kwara and Abuja FCT. We worked with 32 trained climate change educators to cover 32 schools across the selected six states for a six-month pilot teaching exercise to deliver contextualised Climate change- makers classes as an extracurricular exercise. 127 classes were held with over 1000 pupils who participated. We scaled to 10 schools this year(2022) and worked with 50 Educators to reach 1500 students. The results have shown explicit empirical confirmation of various scientific research that has prescribed climate education as the best short and long-term measure to fight climate change.

As an organisation, we want to emphasise that there is no more excellent tool to change the world than EDUCATION. Students must understand that climate change is not just a threat. It is a reality resulting in social, economic, and environmental instability in a country that is already vulnerable. Our contextualised resources for the classroom include all these issues and possible solutions so that future generations in Nigeria can be climate champions.

We are also calling on the ministries of Education and Environment to forge beneficial collaboration on this subject. The world is making gradual progress in climate education

The mandate of Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Paris Agreement), to which Nigeria is a signatory to, listed six areas that should be utilised to engage the public in climate change solutions; Education is the first mechanism mentioned in Article 6. The IPCC reports have also supported climate education as a climate

response to strengthen societal responses to climate change.

already. Countries are now making climate education laws. We are passionate about this because we believe climate literacy can give people the tools to engage meaningfully with governments and corporations to help solve climate change. Argentina has drafted a law on environmental education that will make climate education compulsory in all schools. They said implementing environmental education will teach the next generation of leaders to love, protect and respect the Earth. In 2019, Italy announced a requirement for climate change studies in all Italian schools. Also, New Jersey has adopted Climate Change As Part Of The Core Curriculum In All Public Schools in the USA. And New Zealand schools also now teach students about the climate crisis, activism, and eco-anxiety.

Over the years, DEAN has championed social issues affecting young people, children, and other vulnerable groups. We celebrate the passion of our Educators across the country, especially those participating in the ongoing special Climate Education Activation in Abuja, using the Transforming Education survey to collect Nigerian children’s voices in shaping the future of education globally. We also applaud the federal government through the Ministry of Environment for implementing various initiatives in tackling the climate change crisis, as demonstrated in their ambitious plan in the NDC. As we share this Climate Education Learning Curriculum For Climate Change Educators for their use, we ask that more urgent and sustainable actions be implemented to solidify ongoing climate interventions by the government and other relevant stakeholders. Building on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, we, as a result of this, submit these THREE(3) ASKS:

  1. Through the Ministries of Education and Environment, the Federal Government will draft a review process that will include climate education in relevant subjects across primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
  2. Environmental/Green clubs can function across schools, which will be duly regularised.
  3. Students can participate in extracurricular activities that equip them with knowledge of nature, biodiversity, climate change, and environmental stewardship, including environment/climate literature as part of approved reading literature for pupils/students across schools in Nigeria.