Why a conference, some may ask. Why all this expense? Can't we get on with our action programmes wherever we are? Some will remain skeptics, but most will see the value of getting together on various platforms, particularly one that is concerned with the environment.
Have you heard the word "synergy"? A common word in business jargon today, but could be a powerful word for children. Very simply defined it means - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Let me explain. 5 plus 5 is 10, but 5 into 5 is 25. That is what synergy is all about. When energies combine there can be some astounding mathematical equations. And therefore, when children combine energies there could be some unbelievable happenings.
Synergy is everywhere in nature. When plants are grown together there is a combined effect on the soil, and one another, and as a result they grow better. Take another example. When you put several matchsticks together to prop something up they will hold much more than what they could hold in total if used separately.
I saw a very clear illustration in a comic strip. The sister holds up one finger towards her brother and says there is very little I can do with this. But in the next frames, she had her fingers clenched together saying - "But when I hold them together there is power," and in the last frames she punches the poor boy! That's what synergy is all about.
Hundreds of schools all over the country are engaged in varied PEAS activities on their own. They sometimes get together for common action and see the value. There is a tremendous amount of excitement as children from one school share with those from other schools. And even more, when children from across the nation come together, there could be a nationwide movement that make a revolutionary change in the environment.
Children matter! When children speak, adults listen! No longer are they leaders of tomorrow...they are voices to be heard today.
That is what PEAS is all about.
Dr. Ken Gnanakan