On April 22nd, 192 countries commemorated the 52nd Anniversary of Earth Day under the theme, “Invest in our Planet”. To raise awareness of the environmental challenges we’re faced with and what we can do to mitigate them. For example, the commitment by COP26 attendees in Glasgow, Scotland to ensure the inclusion of Education on Climate Change. Therefore, recognising education as a society-wide learning process that can equip everyone with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed for urgent action to combat climate change. In keeping with this commitment, Earth Day Honorary Partner in Guyana, Benita Davis through Policy Forum Guyana (PFG) has found new ways of commemorating Earth Day on Friday last, April 22nd with 51 entries being received for its “Trash to Treasure” competition which promoted upcycling and waste reduction amongst children 5-13 years old. Where ‘recycling’ focuses on extending the life of a commodity, ‘upcycling’ focus on producing something new and different by bringing together waste of all kinds. The various entries saw a wide variety of cloth, plastics, metal, wood, bags, bottles, face masks, discarded bits, and even pieces of industrial products employed to produce from portraits to plant pots, from timers to tables, and from hats to handbags. The judge based on creativity and innovation (10 points); usefulness of the treasure (10 points) and appearance of the Treasure (5 points). The 51 entries were divided into three categories (5-7 years, 10 entries), (8-10 years 15 entries), and (11-13 years 26 entries). Judges included an environmentalist – Shevanie Persaud, an upcycling expert – Ms. Christine DeCambra-Foster, a young artist – Ariela Azzaire, and a Policy Forum Guyana Youth volunteer (14-19 years old) – Juwel Van-Buckley. Prizes for each category were First Prize for an electronic tablet, 2nd. prize $5000 gift voucher redeemable at Austin’s Book store and 3rd prize $3000 gift voucher redeemable at Austin’s Book store. All winners received a reusable metal straw along with a copy of our Kyle Learns about Freshwater book. The prize winners included the following: • 5-7 years old Category ➢ 1st Place – Geniah Fraser with the desk organiser (Novar Nursery, Region #5) ➢ 2nd Place – Mia Prittipal flower ornament (East Coast Clean-Up Committee ECD7) ➢ 3rd Place – Geneva Fraser with the hat (Novar Primary, Region #5) • 8-10 years old Category ➢ 1st Place – Avianne Basdeo with the painting (Amelia’s Ward Primary, Region 10) ➢ 2nd Place – Zylika John with the Plant Stand (Eccles Primary, Region 4) ➢ 3rd Place – Dosha Phillips with the stool (New Guyana School, Region 4) • 11-13 years old Category ➢ 1st Place- Feliz Simon with pouffe (North Georgetown Secondary, Region 4) ➢ 2nd Place: Rihanna Danraj with the calendar (New Central High School, Region 4) ➢ 3rd Place: Ashton Stephens with the playhouse (Eccles Primary, Region 4) Prizes were also awarded to: ➢ Eccles Primary School for having the most entries. ➢ Shawn Ageda (6 years old) for the hat and bag made from bottle labels. ➢ Tryvon Dejonge (8-10 years old) for the working miniature lighthouse. On the following day, April 23rd, in collaboration with several schools and youth organisations our Earth Day Partner engaged approximately 30 children in a series of locally created or adapted activities Such as the River Guardians Freshwater Boardgame, Eco-Snake and Ladder, PFG Earth Helper, SDG Memory game, word search, colouring pages, among others. This was then followed by a screening of Dr. Seuss “The Lorax”. After which the facilitators asked questions that highlighted the similarities between Guyana buying bottled water, although our name means land of many waters to the residents of Thneedville purchasing air, where those present won prizes. These events certainly made the participants aware of environmental issues plaguing Guyana while providing them with simple things they can do to reduce their negative impacts on the environment. Moreover, they were encouraged to speak up for nature, therefore becoming Young voices for the planet since it impacts their future.
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