RAISING ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS WITH POETRY

Since it first entered our cultural lexicon, poetry has been used to shine a spotlight on social issues that deserve more public attention. And for this generation, there can be no bigger global social issue than the environment.

To raise awareness about environmental issues and sustainability, the QIU Eco-Rangers and the QIU English Club are joining forces to hold an Environmental Poetry competition on Jan 8 2020.

This initiative is just one of the Eco-Rangers’ many upcoming projects to spread awareness about the environment and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to QIU staff and students.

To prepare our students for the poetry competition, both clubs organised a poetry workshop on Dec 18, led by English Club president Aina Fitri Mohd Hamidi and Eco-Rangers committee member Kante Assoumaou.

The workshop marks QIU Eco-Rangers first work in collaboration with QIU English Club as the student movement turned to the English Language in their goals to spread awareness about environmental issues and a cause for sustainability.

Aina and Kante facilitated two individual sessions, which featured topics like An Introduction to Poetry Writing, Tips to Write and Recite A Poem and a thematic exploration of Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) for poetry writing.

Both talks were delivered in a mixed-mode learning approach where participants were taken through an interactive game-based activity that alternated between traditional whiteboard learning and the use of a web-based application called Kahoot.

Aina introduced what she called “The Poet’s Toolkit”, which was a collection of language elements such as imagery, rhyme and rhythm, repetition, simile and metaphor, which were intended to “add flavour” to the participants’ poems.

Meanwhile, Kante spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in particular, goals #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, #5 Gender Equality, #14 Life Below Water and #15 Life on Land. After giving a brief introduction about SDGs, she shared ideas about the ambitions behind each goal.

Each goal was explained along-side a visual depiction of its meaning and purpose using relevant examples with an activity that would engage further in audience participation.

The activity also saw participants keenly sharing their inner poetic aptitude by making word associations related the sustainable development goals in an exchange of stanzas. The room witnessed a growing voice for justice, change, empathy, preservation and a sense of empowerment to nature and societal needs in the name of language and vocabulary.

All in all, the workshop increased the buzz further for the coming competition on Jan 8. We’re all excited to hear the fantastic submissions from our QIU family! For more information, check out the poster below!

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