The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its second major report on global warming recently. It presented a bleak future for the planet.

The report noted that freshwater availability in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia particularly in large river basins is projected to decrease due to climate change.
Scientists stated that poorer nations above and below the equator, are even worse off, with temperatures predicted to rise, and few resources to deal with resulting problems.

The report sparked a call to action around the world – the stark message didn’t go unnoticed, a group of British students from Davenant Foundation School in Loughton in the county of Essex in the UK appealed for action. The British students belonged to a highly regarded student forum on global issues called ‘Davenant International.’

According to their website, Davenant International was formed in 2005, since then the students from Davenant Foundation School have blazed a trail around the world. They are passionate about social justice and have shown a real determination to be a ‘difference’ in the world. The UK students have raised funds for some of the poorest nations – particularly in Africa and Asia. The school raised thousands of pounds for tsunami hit Sri Lanka. They also met the Sri Lankan Governor of the Southern Province of the island Kingsley Wickramaratne at a high level meeting held at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London.

Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair sent a special message to Davenant students when the forum was first launched in 2005. Prime Minister Blair said:  ‘I am delighted to hear about the launch of ‘Davenant International’. The forum will provide an opportunity for pupils to debate and discuss a range of global issues in a lively and meaningful way. It is essential that all young people be given the opportunity to learn about the global community of which they are a part. I wish the school every success in fostering the enthusiasm and creativeness of their pupils through this forum and their future work in this area.’

Davenant International has called on world leaders to protect the planet. They admit that radical change is needed and that change begins with themselves as they take steps to protect the environment.

The British students created a positive impression when they recently visited the United States to attend a United Nations Conference on Global Warming organised by the United Nations International School (UNIS) in New York in March this year. The conference was attended by student groups from around the world. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon was the keynote speaker at the UNIS Conference.
Davenant International has been exploring the global dimension to the curriculum – through eight concepts:
Global Citizenship, Conflict Resolution,Social Justice,
Values and Perceptions,Sustainable Development,
Interdependence, Human Rights and Diversity.

World leaders have been writing to the students who are based in Loughton, Essex. The Assistant to the President of the group, Dominic Conway described Davenant International as “character-building” and says he now feels more confident with public-speaking. His comments were published on the DfES TeacherNet website, a resource to support the education profession in the United Kingdom.

Davenant International website:
http://davenantinternationa.com

Davenant Foundation School website:
www.davenant.essex.sch.uk/page_viewer.asp?section=Davenant+International&sid=56  

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