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05/02/2023 | Pressemitteilung

Teacher training with Alternative Nobel Prize winner Tony Rinaudo

An educational project on reforestation is being launched at the University of Kassel - the Australian winner of the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize") Tony Rinaudo and the Kenyan environmentalist Irene Ojuok are involved. The aim is to develop teaching concepts and materials for schools and other educational institutions in Hesse.

Image: University of Kassel
From left to right: Dr. Ellen Christoforatou, Irene Ojuok, Prof. Dr. Dorit Bosse (Professor of School Education with a focus on upper secondary schools) and Tony Rinaudo in front of the Gießhaus of the University of Kassel, where the event took place.

To this end, Rinaudo and Ojuok exchanged ideas with the participants of a kick-off workshop at the University of Kassel today (2. 5.) and reported on their experiences with reforestation projects on the African continent.

"The University of Kassel is known for its innovative training of teachers. With this project, we want to highlight the global and interdisciplinary importance of environmental projects and make them useful for teaching. It is phenomenal that we were able to win Tony Rinaudo and Irene Ojuok for this," said Dr. Ellen Christoforatou, executive director of the Center for Teacher:ing Education and initiator of the project.

Rinaudo developed the reforestation technique "Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration" (FMNR) in the 1980s and 1990s, which involves growing trees from hidden root systems. In 2018, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award - also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize - for his efforts. Using the FMNR method, which is now used in more than 25 countries around the world, over 800 million trees have been grown to date in the Sahel alone.

Irene Ojuok is an environmental activist and researcher from Kenya and a member of the Regreening Africa initiative. Among other things, she works on site with the FMNR method.

In this project, Kassel students, trainee teachers and teachers from all over Hesse develop educational concepts for the FMNR method together with children and young people. These are then published and can be used at local schools for the subjects of politics and economics, geography, mathematics, religion, biology, science lessons and foreign language teaching. The participants are advised by teachers, activists, researchers from different African countries and experts in the field of education for sustainable development.

The cooperation partner of the project is the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, with which the Center for Teacher:ing Education has already carried out various educational projects in previous years.

The education project will run until spring 2024 and is open to interested individuals and (educational) institutions who would like to contribute with ideas and projects.



Dr. Ellen Christoforatou

Center for Teacher:ing Education

E-mail christoforatou[at]uni-kassel[dot]de