Green Cross Japan held the award ceremony for their 19th Green Lane Diary Contest in Tokyo on 9th December. Students gathered from all over Japan to take part, accompanied by their teachers and parents. There were over 500 participants, including four guest students from Sri Lanka whose visit was a recognition of their excellent performance in their own national diary contest.
Around 100’000 Japanese students aged 6 to 12 participate yearly in Green Cross Japan’s diary initiative to record their daily activities. Over twelve weeks, they reflect on how to best protect the environment, which raises their awareness of the importance of caring for our planet and sustainable living. At the end of the term, the most outstanding diaries are recognized.
In addition to joining the awards ceremony, the visiting Sri Lankan students shared their experiences of the Green Lane Diary project in a special class at the Nishi-Shinjyuku Elementary School in Tokyo. This session began with one-minute speeches by students from both countries. The Sri Lankan students talked about water as a precious resource and stressed the importance of conserving and optimising its use. The Japanese students discussed fair trade, stressed the importance of helping people in economically developing countries and the need to preserve their environments.
The class brought out the students’ shared enthusiasm for environmental causes and gave them an opportunity to enjoy learning about each other’s cultures and customs. The Sri Lankan students performed traditional dances and the Japanese children played drums. They all later shared a specially prepared Sri Lankan curry for lunch.
A part of Green Cross International’s Value Change programme, this initiative plays a key role in the Green Cross’ mission of developing a sustainable global community. Presently, the Green Lane Diary teaches nearly 2 million children around the world about sustainable development. As the initiative grows and develops, it increases engagement and creates a sense of ownership for the wellbeing of our planet, and to the benefit of future generations.