BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (MMS-SKN) — Manager of the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project, Ms. Joyce Chang, is lauding the Ministry of Tourism, two St. Kitts based civic organisations, and a Kittitian entrepreneur for constructively engaging the youth during the schools’ summer break.
“It was a pleasure that the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project was invited to make presentations on recycling to school children attending four summer camps in the month of July,” said Ms Chang. “The camps were held and organised by the St. Kitts Yacht Club, Creative Immersion, Ministry of Tourism, and the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network.”
The St. Kitts Yacht Club held a two-week sailing camp on the north end of the Frigate Bay Beach for children 5-17 years in the period July 4-15, and another outreach group on the 16th and National Dinghy Regatta between St. Kitts and Nevis on the 17th, while in the period July 18-22 they did an aquatics camp.
“The last one was a mix with more time for kayaking/stand-up paddle-boarding, swimming, snorkelling and some additional activities of surfing and kite-board flying,” said Commodore of the club and the senior national instructor Mr Nicholas Dupre. “A total of 22 kids attended the camp. Friday, July 15 was the day the Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project officials visited.”
Representing the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project were Project Technician Mr Geofhani Gumbs, and Volunteer from Taiwan, Ms Cecilia Lai, who educated the camp participants on the finer details of recycling as it relates to the items that can be recycled and those that cannot be recycled.
Secretary of the St. Kitts Yacht Club, and coordinator of the camp, Mrs. Lizbeth Burrell, noted that the children played a fun puzzle game, went through the 3 Rs of recycling, which are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and learnt what they can recycle.
In a Facebook post Mrs. Burrell noted that the participants also “learned of the drop-off locations (for recyclable material) and how what we do affect our marine animals, the food we eat and our waters. They (kids) brought their recyclables and got their card towards getting prizes. Teaching our youths to conserve and protect their environment and to be the change they want to see.”
Another two-week camp, Creative Immersion Kids Summer Camp, which was held at Stapleton Garden in St. Peter’s in the period July 11-22 was attended by 21 children aged between ages 6 and 13 who came from across St. Kitts. It was organised by local entrepreneur Ms. Anastasia Elliot.
According to Ms. Elliot, the purpose of the camp was to teach the children how to create entrepreneurship. This included learning skills activities that included jewellery, pottery, and how to make things organically. They did a number of entrepreneurship courses that exposed them to the need to know how to be able to create and run a business.
Officials from the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project were the guest speakers in the morning section on Thursday, July 21. They were Manager Ms. Joyce Chang, Project Technician Mr. Geofhani Gumbs, and Volunteer from Taiwan, Ms. Cecilia Lai.
“I wanted to put in some environmental aspect in what they are doing because every business generates trash and it is always important to have a company where you can do some recycling or give back to the environment,” said Ms Elliot. “The lessons they learned on recycling today and how to take care of the environment were built in where they would have done environmental work on marine care and sea turtles were useful as they could build them into their businesses.”
The Green Tourism Camp was held at the St. Kitts Eco Park in the period Monday, July 25 and Friday, July 29, and the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project officials, Ms. Joyce Chang, Project Technician Mr. Geofhani Gumbs, and Volunteer from Taiwan, Ms. Cecilia Lai, were on hand to talk to the participants on Wednesday July 27.
The Green Tourism Camp, which is organised by the Projects Unit of the Ministry of Tourism, had in attendance 40 schoolchildren aged 8-12 from four rural primary schools, Sandy Point, St. Paul’s, Newton Ground, and Dieppe Bay.
According to the Camp Organiser, Tourism Education Officer, Ms Samantha Boone, the main objective of the camp was for the kids to learn about reducing, reusing and recycling. The camp’s slogan was based on the Four Green Ps, which are: Protecting our People, Plants and Planet.
The final camp, where the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project officials educated the participants on recycling, was the week-long St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network Annual Sea Turtle Camp. It was held at the Sugar Bay Club in Frigate Bay. The three officials visited and talked to the participants on Thursday July 28.
Director of St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, Dr. Kimberly Stewart, explained that the camp which is held every July since 2007 targets children in the age bracket 12-16 from the entire island of St. Kitts. She however added that they have ended up with a wide range as this year they had kids as young as six years.
According to Dr Stewart, the subject of the camp was sea turtles, where they learned about the different species of sea turtles in the world, and both in St. Kitts and Nevis. The participants went through things like nesting behaviour, and especially threats to sea turtles that will be natural or human based threats, and then how they could help the sea turtles.
“We wanted to emphasise marine debris because it is a big problem for sea turtles in the form of ingesting it or becoming entangled in it and their environment,” explained Dr Stewart. “So this is how the recycling programme ties in for us as well because we know if we prevent that pollution from reaching the ocean, we can help the turtles as well. So we are really trying to emphasise this week by making sure they sort their garbage and anything that is plastic or metal, they are kept to the side so that we can participate in this activity today.”
During the camps, the participants were encouraged to bring with them items for recycling and according to Ms Joyce Chang, a total of 244.45 lbs. were collected at the Green Tourism Camp, 18.82 lbs. were collected at the Creative Immersion Kids Camp, 11.83 lbs. were collected at the Sea Turtle Camp, and 4.29 lbs. at the St. Kitts Yacht Club Camp.
“Children are the future and any organisation that gives them the opportunity to take charge of what affects their environment needs a strong commendation from all,” said Ms. Chang. “This project was conceptualised in line with the international community’s rising awareness of the importance of solid waste management, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 – ‘Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.”