Aga Khan Schools celebrates World Environment Day | Aga Khan Academies

Aga Khan Schools celebrates World Environment Day

05 June 2024

Every year, World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June highlighting the need to protect and better the planet. This year, the theme revolves around “Generation Restoration” – a collective effort from this generation to restore the Earth around us through the revival of water sources and the replanting of forests. Across the Aga Khan Schools, our students’ projects, innovations and initiatives aim to make a meaningful change to the communities around them. Read more about some of their projects below.

Aga Khan Academy Maputo 

Grade 5 students, with the help of their teachers, organised a beach clean-up. This activity raised awareness about the need to protect natural resources, marine life and the environment. Students hoped to lead and inspire others to take action and protect the planet as they continue to make a more positive human impact on Earth.  

"As Grade 5 students, we work together as part of our action to spread awareness and participate in activities such as this beach cleanup," said Owen Uetela, one of the students. "While cleaning up, we found a lot of plastic along the beach. Plastic harms marine life and is also harmful to us. It's time to help preserve our environment, use reusable bottles and practise the three ‘R's’: Reduce, reuse, recycle.” 

Aga Khan Mzizima Secondary School, Dar es Salaam 

Diploma Programme (DP) students, with the help of dedicated teachers, are participating in the “Eco Brick” project – an important initiative using plastic waste to create community benches, sculptures, seating and more. The DP students helped catalyse the project's first stage: collecting waste plastic bottles, single-use wrappers and other discarded materials.  

“The involvement of our DP students proved pivotal, leading a school-wide drive across both Junior and Senior campuses,” said Hardeep Singh, the school’s extended essay coordinator and economics teacher. “We rallied students from all grades to collect waste materials. The invaluable support of our maintenance team in facilitating waste collection further propelled our efforts.” 

Diamond Jubilee High School, Gahkuch 

Students and staff from the Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan, along with government officials in the Ghizer district, launched and participated in a cleanliness drive. This was aimed at reducing climate change and introducing plastic-free practices and smart ways to manage waste. A programme, hosted by the Diamond Jubilee High School, Gahkuch, was conducted for the launch and included several engaging activities, like a plantation drive and raising awareness by walking the streets of villages.  

“If you can do at least one thing to save the Earth from pollution, just plant one tree by each member of your family,” said Sher Baz, the school’s head teacher in a speech to students.   

Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad 

Grade 10 students Fiza Dhanani and Pranav Paruchuri have been actively involved in initiatives to reduce the Academy’s ecological footprint. They introduced the “Bring your own mug” campaign – a simple yet effective way of encouraging staff to bring their reusable mugs. Both students also joined the Academy’s facilities team meeting to suggest their ideas on how to achieve the Aga Khan Development Network’s net-zero carbon emissions target by 2030.  

“Seeing the overwhelming waste generated by single-use paper cups made us realise the urgent need for change,” Fiza said. “By advocating for reusable materials, we hope to inspire our school community to adopt more sustainable practices and contribute to a healthier planet. Small actions, when multiplied by many, can make a significant impact.” 

Aga Khan High School, Kampala 

Grade 11 students participated in the “Your World” video competition annually hosted by the British Council. Open to all students aged between 14 and 17 studying United Kingdom-based qualifications, the competition asks students to create videos based on a theme often related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Last year, five groups from the school participated, with one group, including students Princess Uche, Ruhee Javani, Sahithi Beecha, Jason Wagabuzi and Kushi Giridharan, emerging as a winner. The group created a video in collaboration with a neighbouring school where they raised awareness about health challenges and promoted healthy lifestyles as well as positive mental well-being.  

“It was the most enlightening experience I have taken part in,” Princess said. “The students we helped were active in learning about mental health and well-being. I am so glad we were able to meet them and help them in the ways we could.” 

Aga Khan School, Osh  

Students used plastic bottles, broken machinery and other waste items to create beautiful pieces of art, new fashion accessories and fun toys in an innovative “Eco-Creativity Workshop”. The workshop was a huge success with students using the opportunity to experiment with bold ideas as well as learn about the importance of preserving the planet by giving items a second life.  

“Environmental workshops are a powerful tool for change that can help us build a more sustainable future,” said Natalya Deryabkina, the school’s director. “A creative workshop on environmental issues is not just a place to create crafts, it is a space for: Raising awareness of environmental issues, developing creative thinking and problem-solving skills, inspiration for eco-friendly actions, and uniting a community of people who care about the planet.” 

Aga Khan Academy Mombasa 

Grade 10 students Abigail Obiero, Daniella Kaggwa and their group began addressing the problem of excessive trash at a neighbouring primary school for their project, “Trash to Treasure”. Together, they researched, planned and organised the active involvement of their peers and primary school students to collect and sort waste materials. Eventually, they used the items to create dustbins and engaging art projects, highlighting the importance of reusing and recycling. The group also set up a colour-coded recycling system for easy use by primary school students. 

“A cleaner world starts with creative minds; thus, every discarded item has the potential for beauty and sustainability,” Abigail said. “Dare to see it.” 

Aga Khan School, Mundra 

Students participated in an important awareness programme entitled “Say no to plastics”. The programme, in collaboration with the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation, included several activities such as a “Best out of waste” competition, a street play and a paper-bag-making workshop where students distributed the bags they made to local shopkeepers. 

"Making paper bags and giving them to local shops made me feel proud because I'm helping to save the Earth by reducing plastic waste,” said Swara Ganesh Bhavisar, a Grade 7 student. “Small actions can make a big difference!" 

Aga Khan Nursery School, Mombasa  

The little climate detectives, with the help of the staff, took part in several exciting activities to learn about the different ways they can help protect and restore the planet. Some of the activities included planting seedlings, watering the gardens, cleaning up the playground and putting waste into the compost pit for later use. 

"I will plant trees to ensure the Earth is a better place,” said Shabnou Chamanova, a 5-year-old student.  

Aga Khan Academy Dhaka 

Grade 4 students were tasked with creating projects with resources from home, focusing on how energy can impact the world. One of the students, Mohammed Arif Rashid, and his group displayed examples of the different types of energy – solar, wind, hydro, electric and biomass – and explained how they can be used for the survival of the planet. Another student, Alina Shahid, and her group looked at how renewable energy sources can support the running of a village or town. Lastly, Mohammed Adihan Rehman and his group explored the idea of how energy can be used in vehicles, introducing the idea of a solar-powered car.  

“I created a drawing based on our project where we had to pick an energy that would make a place more sustainable,” Alina said. 


Check out our powerful video from students across the Aga Khan Schools for World Environment Day here.