Teens learn about sustainability

| 15/08/2017
CNS Local Life

Camp participants (L-R, standing) Simon Dignan, Javier Ardilla, Thea Foster-Ebanks, Antonia Mena and Connor Childs; (L-R, kneeling/sitting) Dinara Perera, Sophia McClung and Christopher Touhey

(CNS Local Life): The United World Colleges (UWC) Cayman Islands National Committee hosted its second local “short programme” 3-6 August 2017 to engage young people on sustainability issues. Eight residents, aged 14-16 and representing five different secondary schools in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, participated in the overnight summer camp, “Toward a Sustainable Future”.

In addition, 10 junior facilitators, who are all either attending UWC colleges or are recent alumni, helped the national committee organise the programme and also participated in seminars and activities.

The young people learned about economic, social and environmental sustainability from local experts – gaining valuable knowledge about important issues, how the Cayman Islands fits into the global picture, and what they can do today to create a more sustainable future, stated a UWC Cayman Islands press release.

Off-site excursions, including a snorkelling trip sponsored by Tortuga Divers, provided hands-on learning experiences and exposed students to the natural beauty of the Cayman Islands.

Lead facilitator Martina Jackson (Waterford Kamhlaba UWC ‘10) explained, “In a short amount of time both students and facilitators were able to bond and learn from each other. It was inspiring to work with such a dynamic and diverse group of young people.”

On the final day of the course, participants gave a presentation to their families, sponsors and UWC alumni before enjoying a social gathering at the Wyndham Reef Resort, which sponsored the event by providing use of its conference facilities as well as discounted accommodations.

UWC Cayman Islands chairperson Aubrey Bodden (UWC-USA ’04) thanked the many volunteer presenters and facilitators as well as corporate sponsors, noting the nominal tuition rate ensured all local students would have the opportunity to take part.

“We believe it is important to promote discussion on these important issues and equip young people with the knowledge and tools to become agents of change,” she said. “During our first course, in August 2015, we concentrated more heavily on the natural environment. This year, we were pleased to further integrate economic and social considerations to provide a broader view of sustainability.”

All course participants and facilitators reported increased awareness of sustainability issues and that they would be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained in their own lives. A particularly enjoyable component for many was a tour of The Farmacy, a local farm in North Side run by young Caymanian Josh Clarke that raises animals and grows fresh produce. The visit allowed the group to explore issues such as food security and sustainable agriculture while assisting with various tasks.

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Category: Education, Environment

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