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Education & Skills Development South Africa

2024 Green Opportunities Challenge national finalists announced

The South Africa (SA) Climate Change Champs is proud to announce the top 8 finalists for the final of the 2024 Green Opportunities Challenge. This competition was open to youth in Grades 9-12 that are part of Climate Club host schools across the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape.
Warmer High School
Warmer High School

The finalists were selected from over 40 youth groups which entered the competition and presented a pitch on powering their community through a just and resilient transition to a green economy. Projects were presented across key green economy sectors.

The national finalists, in no particular order, are:

From the Eastern Cape:

  • Adhere Green Economy – Walmer High School
  • Green Avatars – Walmer High School

From the Northern Cape:

  • Blue Bulls – Carlton van Heerden High School
  • River Rangers – St Anna Private School
  • Trio WR – Paballelo High School

From the Western Cape:

  • Green Eco – Khanyolwethu Secondary School
  • Green Fingers – Emil Weder High School
  • Little Green Monsters – Emil Weder High School

Khanyolwetu Secondary School
Khanyolwetu Secondary School

These climate change champions are preparing to pitch to a panel of judges at the national final where they will be representing their school and province. The finalists will journey to Cape Town for the final pitch event with the hopes of being crowned the national winners and claim exciting prizes.

The competition was officially launched on 6 March 2024 and welcomed online entries up until 23 March 2024 from groups in Climate Clubs in grade 9 – 12 across the three provinces. These youth cohorts were encouraged to imagine how opportunities for a transition to a green economy can benefit their community. To do this, participants had to select a category for which their green opportunity had to address and a method of entry to demonstrate their project. The categories spanned across key green economy sectors (agriculture, energy, waste and water). For the method of entry, participants showcased their artistic and technical abilities in the form of a graphic or comic novel, technical model, visual art piece or poster, and video story tale.

Emil Weder High School
Emil Weder High School

This initiative follows the 2023 Renewable Energy Challenge which hosted the national final at the Greenhub stage at Enlit Africa Conference in Cape Town and saw 6 Climate Club host schools participate across the provinces. Since then, the Climate Clubs have grown to 9 schools, with youth being represented from Humansdorp and Motherwell in the Eastern Cape and Upington in the Northern Cape. This has allowed for the competition to welcome an increase in participation seen by the number of entries having doubled since last year.

“The aim of the competition is to capacitate the youth to engage in active citizenship by advocating for a just transition to a green economy that will benefit communities. Such a platform sets out to amplify the youth to find a representative voice in climate change and just transition policy discussions and aims to create practical awareness of a green economy beyond the classroom”, says Wade de Kock, SA Climate Change Champs project lead. As such, the main objective was to inspire the youth to think of problems affecting their homes, schools and broader community and develop a project that shows how green economy solutions can solve and address these issues.

Paballelo High School
Paballelo High School

The judging panel was made up of members from community groups, local government and municipalities, and various interest groups such as Contour Enviro Group, Masiphakameni Local Development Agency, Namakwa District Municipality, Surplus People Project, Saldanha Bay Municipality and West Coast Fossil Park.

The finalists will embark on an exciting trip to Cape Town where they will attend the national pitch event to be attended by other green economy eco-system supporters.

Carlton-van Heerden Secondary School
Carlton-van Heerden Secondary School

This climate change initiative is co-funded by the European Union, implemented in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, presented by GreenCape and supported by skills development partner Wessa.

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