Updated: Jan 19
Conveying environmental values to new generations is one of the priorities of the Principality of Monaco. This objective is widely shared by the actors of the territory who increasingly join their forces to pursue it to the best. On Monday the 16th January 2022,
Monaco Telecom, the mayor telecommunications operator in Monaco, renewed its commitment to sustain organic vegetable gardens set in some school buildings for educational purposes. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Direction de l’Éducation Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports (Directorate of National Education, Youth and Sports) are loyal project partners as well as Terrae, the Monegasque company founded by Jessica Sbaraglia specialised in the creation of urban gardens, following the principles of organic permaculture.
The renewal of commitments was held at a meeting with a delegation of students. During this occasion held at the Révoires School, Martin Peronnet, Managing Director of Monaco Telecom, officially made a donation to Olivier Wenden, Vice President and Managing Director of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, in the presence of Jessica Sbaraglia and Isabelle Biancheri, principal of the school. A total sum of €10,962 was collected through paper-invoice-printing fees, to sustain the cause at École des Révoires.
The paramount Monegasque telecommunication company therefore reinforced its partnership with the Foundation with the ambitious goal to improve future society of tomorrow making it more sustainable through the respect for the horticulture, and then for nature.
Olivier Wenden pointed out: « We welcome the commitment of Monaco Telecom at our side in the framework of this important project to raise school awareness about sustainable development through concrete and playful activities managing urban vegetable gardens. This program actively participates in forging a new relationship with nature, from an early age. It allows children to make a connection to the soil and change their mind on food. We are pleased that the Foundation can support this initiative ». Focusing on a healthy and diversified diet will become a corner stone of the primary education as a driving force for balance, well-being and health, as reaffirmed by Isabelle Biancheri.
Martin Peronnet highlighted: « For several years now, paper bills have become payable for subscribers under the age of 60. The target is 'environmental', to gradually reduce paper consumption by pushing the digital invoice instead. Thus, it is obvious that the funds collected contribute to ecological initiatives. (...) We then support the actions of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and I am particularly pleased this year to contribute to this cause ».
In 2022, the funds raised by Monaco Telecom allowed the École des Révoires to install a vegetable garden on the roof of the establishment. A hundred students are being part of raising awareness campaigns, benefiting from 35 hours of workshops throughout the school year.
Since the program was created in 2020 (autumn), seven schools have benefited from concrete actions focused on nature, fruit and vegetable cultivation, respect for the seasons and healthy and sustainable food. Each year, over 2,000 students can grow and harvest their own crops in the Principality.
Educational farming helps creating eco-responsibility
The phenomenon of educational farms spread first in the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Denmark and Sweden) during the twentieth century and then gradually extended to other parts of the world, with special regard to Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium and soon after Italy, in the nineties. The Emilia-Romagna region was the opening district to develop the idea within the Italian Peninsula.
Educational Farms also inspired a special movement of thought named the 4H Club (head, health, heart and hands) founded in 1914 in the United States.
But what does it mean farming with educational goals? It is a real laboratory totally immersed in the concept of 'respecting for nature', placed as integral part of school programs. It can be used by teachers to increase the 'learning by doing' skills of students while creating the opportunity to bring them closer to the countryside. Educational trips to country or urban farms are the focus of attention. Children can therefore deepen the steps of the food chain enhancing the aspects of organic farming and the central role of farmers in ensuring the quality of food. Educational farms are acting as communication and learning tools where economic, technological, cultural and environmental aspects are taken into account. They can also encourage new business in the rural world as vectors for tourism and facilitators of professional training. ***
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Depuis la création du programme à l’automne 2020, 7 écoles bénéficient de cette sensibilisation concrète à la nature, à la culture des fruits et légumes, au respect des saisons et à une alimentation saine et durable. Plus de 2 000 élèves cultivent et récoltent ainsi leur production chaque année.