Ilkeston pupils inspired by campaigner’s talk

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A climate change campaigner from Malawi gave an inspirational talk to students at an Ilkeston school.

Victor Mughogho spoke to students at Saint John Catholic Voluntary Academy about the impact that climate change is having on people living in Malawi and he urged them to make a difference.

Members of the academy’s ‘justice and peace group’ have been challenged to think of one act they could carry out which would help reduce climate change.

The group is considering encouraging students not to drink bottled water or suggesting that solar panels could be used on academy buildings.

Mr Mughogho, from the Eagles Relief and Development Programme, which is a partner of Christian Aid, said it was important that people took action now to reduce the impact of climate change.

He said: “Communities in Malawi have been so adversely affected by the changes in the rainfall pattern. The rivers are dry and the water table is much deeper. There are droughts and then floods. There is massive deforestation and only a few have electricity for cooking but we suffer from frequent power cuts.

“I am asking everybody what we can do about climate change, what is the one thing you could do that would bring about the greatest change and that call goes out to everyone.

“What things are achievable in this school? Solar energy is good and it gives all of us a better planet and reducing waste is critical.”

During his trip to the area, Mr Mughogho also visited the Stapleford parish and The Briars, in Crich, where he met with Father David Cain and former Saint John Houghton CVA student Harriett Goldworth, who works there.

Olivia Curzon Manners, 11, said the ‘justice and peace’ group would be coming up with ideas about how they could help reduce climate change.

She said: “I joined thejustice and peace group because I wanted to help make a difference to people.”

Students have also helped to raise more than £900 for CAFOD buy paying £2 to wear their own clothes and taking part in a family fast day.

Rachel Rose, school chaplain, said students had been inspired by Mr Mughogho’s talk.

She said: “Victor made us realise that climate change is having a much bigger impact than we imagined on the people of Malawi. There are regular droughts, crops are being destroyed, the rainfall levels are unpredictable and there are millions who are starving.”