Charlotte Kalanzi – Salzburg Global Puts You On a Different Level




Latest News

Print article
Sep 18, 2018
by Oscar Tollast
Register for our Newsletter and stay up to date
Register now
Charlotte Kalanzi – Salzburg Global Puts You On a Different Level

Education officer discusses her passion for the environment and her connection with Schloss Leopoldskron Charlotte Kalanzi, founder of the H.E.A.R.T stars club, sitting in Max Reinhardt’s former study at Schloss Leopoldskron

After attending this year’s Salzburg Global Seminar program – Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change – Charlotte Kalanzi indicated her life would never be the same.

The 33-year-old spoke candidly with Salzburg Global midway during the program. Kalanzi, an environmental education officer for C&L Fumigation and Cleaning Co., in Uganda, said, “I applied for some other [program], but then [Salzburg Global] recommended this [program], and I think it’s so applicable to what I’m doing because this is my passion.”

The program, which took place as part of the Parks for the Planet Forum multi-year series, focused on four targeted interventions: using play as a lever for economic and social resilience; designing parks for community well-being; influencing the next generation of conservation leaders, and establishing cross-sectoral partnerships.

The discussions which took place were relevant to a project Kalanzi had just launched off the ground – the Hygiene, Environment, Attitude, Relationship, Talent (HEART) stars club. The project aims to equip children with environmental knowledge, skills, and communication tools.

Kalanzi said, “The members are the stars. They use their talents to pass on hygiene and environment messages. We emphasize a good relationship and a positive attitude for the environment.”

The club has been able to grow through money raised by Kalanzi’s day-to-day job. Despite limited resources, Kalanzi’s efforts are already having an impact. She said, “We’ve been able to reach a number of schools in different places in Uganda, and the kids love the program. The fact that we publish their work, their original compositions - they are so passionate about it.”

Kalanzi is equally passionate about entertainment and believes messages can be carried through mediums such as song and dance. Even fashion can play a role. She said, “In this era, everything has changed. You see children have everything… They spend most of their time using gadgets. So, I’m thinking entertainment is a key target… Different things are coming up so you can find a way of talking to these people… to see how to engage human beings, maybe produce something with environmental conservation.

It’s not the first time Kalanzi took part in a program at Schloss Leopoldskron. She attended a Salzburg Global program in 2008 called Combating Climate Change at Local and Regional Levels: Sustainable Strategies and Renewable Energy. Reflecting on her participation, Kalanzi said, “It was my first international experience, and I was so impressed. The staff, the humility [the] people are humble – everything is down to earth. I found it so, so, so appealing and so good.”

This program sought to develop processes for extending useful ideas and strategies to regions and localities around the world to encourage more sustainable practices. Kalanzi said, “After the [program], I think I became more resourceful to my boss then because she started referring me to different meetings… It was my first, but after that, I went to UN-funded programs in Kenya. I went to South Africa… It was really a good experience and, of course, having that certificate from Salzburg, showing it to people that I attended… it added something to my CV.”

Kalanzi said she was grateful for the way participants like herself were made to feel valued in Salzburg. She said, “Salzburg has greatly inspired me. All the information they keep sharing with us, through newsletters, attending meetings… it truly promotes you, and it puts you [on] a different level because the knowledge you get from here… a lot of that can be applied everywhere around the world.”