Can a Love for Nature Cultivated in Childhood Last a Lifetime?
WeNaturalists names Donna Goodman for her Special Contribution to Green Childhood for the WeNaturalists People of Nature awards.
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While growing up, Donna Goodman was fascinated by the hidden waterways and the secrets buried in the environment. She spent a lot of time exploring the natural world while dreaming of visiting nature in faraway places. Over the years, her fascination with nature has only grown.
Then, while working as an educator at the UN, she was contacted by UNICEF to develop an online interactive game called Water Alert!, for educating kids about water and she jumped on the opportunity.
Since then, Donna has become an active supporter of involving children in the environment sector. She has worked in more than 60 countries over the last 25 years, talking about important environmental issues like Water, Environment, Sanitation and Climate Change.
She has also worked in the private sector, producing a documentary program called Water for Life in partnership with MTV, featuring Jay Z. With an aim to reach more girls across the globe, Donna became the Global Program Director of Swarovski Waterschool which propagates water education among school students. In line with that goal, she oversaw the production of a documentary film titled Waterschool, which is available on Netflix. In 2009, she founded Earth Child Institute, an NGO developing innovative solutions to address the rights, needs and capacities of children in the world of climate change, water and forest policy and programme development.
A unique novel with nature at its centre
While all of her work has been impressive, she is perhaps best known for ECOMASTERS — A Planet In Peril, an action-adventure novel she authored. The book features a story about courageous young female leaders from different parts of the world coming together to protect the environment. She wrote this novel to educate children about the existing environmental threats and inspire them to take action for creating a greener and sustainable future.
For her book, Donna decided to set her story in a fictional world since it’s immensely popular among children of all age groups and the most effective way to reach her audience.
Her action-adventure series, which features five young girls joining forces to tackle real environmental issues the world is facing today, is engaging and relatable to billions of children across the world. With the book, she has aimed to ignite a spark in those hearts from an early age — for nature, for people and for the planet.
Donna based the girls on actual kids she met during her time visiting schools in her role as the Global Program Director of Swarovski Waterschool project. Eventually, Donna hopes to have an entire ECOMASTERS series, available across multiple regions and in multiple languages that cater to youngsters around the globe.
The torchbearer of Green Childhood
Through her work, and all throughout her life, Donna has been a champion of Green Childhood, which is about more than just education, it is about fostering an eco-centric way of life. With it, the future looks not only brighter but greener too. Her relentless efforts for inculcating environmental education in children from a young age has contributed to raising an environmentally conscious future generation with a nature-positive mindset.
On October 1, WeNaturalists earmarked World People Of Nature Day. The theme of the year is Green Childhood. As part of the event, we hosted a webinar with a panel of experts from different fields of nature. Learn more about it here.