TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) is a globally reputed not-for-profit organization, which over the past 40 years and more has been actively engaged in research and awareness generation activities on environment, energy, climate change, education and sustainable development. Youth has been one of TERI’s focal target groups and several activities have been initiated involving them to spread the message of environment conservation.
As for us at DEMPO we have a long tradition of corporate social responsibility, with its cornerstone being higher education of, and assistance to, the youth in the region. Wedded to sustainable development, the DEMPO group strongly believes in taking along all stakeholders on its way to business excellence, and hence, have implemented diverse and equally vibrant CSR programmes and initiatives aimed at furthering higher education, climate change awareness, sporting excellence, affirmative action, health & sanitation and cultural richness – all that are inseparable from the Goan social landscape.
The first programme that TERI and DEMPO did together was ‘The Vasudeva V. Dempo Climate Change Awareness Programme for Goan School Children’. The primary objective of this partnership was to sensitize schools to the science of climate change, its impacts and, more importantly, how schools could contribute to address the issue in their own ways. The two-year long programme, named after the late and much-loved former chairman of the group, the late Vasudeva V. Dempo, was launched in the year 2010, the seventy-fifth anniversary of his birth and aimed to raise awareness and understanding about climate change issues amongst students and teachers from thirty schools across Goa. It reflected the fundamental significance of the need of changing the ‘climate’ of education by equipping secondary school level students in Goa with the knowledge and skill resources needed to respond to climate change. Some of the major activities undertaken were workshops, competitions, and field visits. Resource material, including teaching aids were also developed and disseminated to all these schools. TERI thereafter developed a web page to be linked to its existing site on climate change education. Visit the web page to learn more…
TERI and DEMPO have followed up the programme with the initiative, “S T A R S: Sustainability Tracking, Action and Reporting in Schools”. Launched in August, 2013, Project STARS aims to consolidate the TERI-DEMPO partnership further by carrying forward and building upon the work carried under the previous TERI-DEMPO initiative ‘The Vasudeva V. Dempo Climate Change Awareness Programme for Goan School Children’. This special unique NGO-Corporate partnership is a three-year intensive education- cum-action programme on sustainable schools in Goa.
The project will work with 10 schools, and some of the major activities to be conducted over the three year period are baseline assessments, putting the identified hardware interventions in place, sensitization sessions & site visits, resource material development, end line impact assessments, and, the development of a documentary that will encapsulate the work undertaken at the various project schools. The school community will be the direct beneficiaries (approximately 10,000 in number) of the resources created under the project, as it will reach out to a large section of the schools, including teachers, support staff, parents and the local community.
A major outcome of this project would be the creation of replicable school models. Other schools can draw inspiration and motivation to follow suit and promote the cause of sustainable development in letter and spirit by establishing themselves as vibrant, dynamic and sustainable educational institutes. In other words, sustainable schools make sustainable communities.