Martine Lheureux, a Martinican blue belt

Today, we’ve decided to introduce you to a dynamic Fresker: Martine Lheureux! Maybe you already know her? She’s been a Fresker since 2020 and is a very committed blue belt. She has greatly contributed to the development of Climate Fresk in Martinique, as well as in mainland France.

A totally online journey

Martine discovered the workshop at the beginning of 2020. She was at once taken with the concept: Climate Fresk struck her as the ideal tool to raise awareness of climate change without adopting a judgemental or offensive approach. For Martine, “Climate Fresk is accepted everywhere, and that’s fantastic.

That was back when the association’s first online workshops were set up to help people cope with lockdown. Thanks to these workshops, Martine was able to complete her entire Fresker’s journey without the distance between mainland France and Martinique being an issue. While the online workshops and training do not create such strong personal interactions as face-to-face sessions, Martine’s experience highlights just how much they help promote the workshop. Without these opportunities, she would never have been able to discover the workshop and the association, and help others discover them too! 

Climate Fresk in Martinique

To reach people from all walks of life outside of mainland France, you need to be able to adapt. How do you grab the attention of the Martinique public? There are now about forty Freskers in Martinique, all because Martine managed to introduce a convincing cultural touch!

On the stands that she regularly organises, she decided to present Climate Fresk with symbols that carry weight in Martinique: food, plants and a return to the creole garden. Steeped in history and full of meaning, these spaces are hives of food sovereignty, resilience and respect for nature. Playing on this powerful heritage and the connection with all that is living, Martine felt that she established a stronger connection with the island’s citizens. 

The decision to stress the importance of adaptation during the debriefing

Martine learnt another lesson from her experiences: focusing on the challenges of adaptation in the debriefing made it easier for the participants to realise that they were already suffering from the effects of climate change and thus feel more involved. This way, any solutions proposed would make a greater impact and be more effective in encouraging  people to take action. Did you know that the temperature could be between 3 and 5 degrees lower beneath a mango tree? In fact, planting mango trees amounts to providing a response to both adaptation and mitigation issues. A course of action that wouldn’t have been given as much thought if the approach had been centred primarily on mitigation! 

A blue-belt role taken very seriously

Martine wanted to reach the highest belt level in the Fresker’s journey because she was convinced that this role would enable her to make a greater impact: “As soon as you become a trainer, you become an essential player in continuing to sow seeds and take the Fresk forward.” Helping trainers to make progress is vital for awareness-raising campaigns on a wide scale. She therefore helped a large number of orange belts progress under her supervision

She also got so deeply involved because she realised that her Climate Fresk activities had a very positive influence on her: When you train or supervise others, you always learn something about yourself.During her supervision, training and training support briefing sessions, Martine sees every step as an opportunity to share with different people, who all lead their own lives but are ultimately linked by a common desire: that of fighting climate change at their level.

For Martine, “that’s the magic of this workshop: it has something for everyone, whatever their way of life. The main thing is that what a person is in the process of doing is a result of their desire to pass on this crucial information because they have understood that it was central to our lives.” 

A message for every one of you…

Have you just done your facilitation training and don’t  yet have the will to plunge into your first workshop? In Martine’s view, the key is to do one alongside someone with more experience. Thus, don’t hesitate to observe a workshop, co-facilitate, contact coordinators in your area or take part in community events… This testimonial could also inspire you!

Are you an orange belt, wondering whether it would be useful to pass your green belt? The advantage of being a green belt is that you can  increase your impact significantly. New facilitators are looking for training every day, and only green belts can provide this training!

Are you a green or blue belt and have little time to train, validate or supervise? Many participants are just waiting to be trained and aspiring green belts are eager to be validated. These are valuable actions in ensuring a smooth journey for every Fresker and raising awareness of climate change on a wide scale.

But of course, it all depends on the time and energy you have and we are grateful for what you already do!

We warmly thank Martine for what she accomplishes every day!

Climate Collage is now Climate Fresk!

We are still the same! We just changed our name ;)