UN World Environment Day 2015’s theme reaches two St Philip Schools

Both the Hilda Skeene and Ellerton Primary Schools recently received some important visitors…

The United Nations Development Project or UNDP funded an initiative with US$150,000 towards building organic gardens, merging the science and business of agriculture and facilitate sustainable livelihoods through agri-businesses at 30 schools across Barbados. Cash and in-kind contributions from the private sector are needed to match this investment in youth and the environment.

The team also visited the Ellerton Primary School where the Ashantio Sealy Green House was lush with produce grown by the children.  A highlight of the Ellerton Primary tour was the demonstration of the "no fuss" bars, a healthy snack bar which accompanied the mauby, coconut punch, sorrel and other natural juices produced in the REAP "agripreneurship" programme.  Youth are also members of the 4-H Foundation which is very vibrant at Ellerton Primary.

The team also visited the Ellerton Primary School where the Ashantio Sealy Green House was lush with produce grown by the children. A highlight of the Ellerton Primary tour was the demonstration of the “no fuss” bars, a healthy snack bar which accompanied the mauby, coconut punch, sorrel and other natural juices produced in the REAP “agripreneurship” programme. Youth are also members of the 4-H Foundation which is very vibrant at Ellerton Primary.

The Youth Development Programme conceptualised “The Garden Project” in 2010 and has supported its evolution to REAP. This is in keeping with the National Youth Policy, which has identified “The Environment” as one of the key strategy areas for youth intervention and seeks “To get young people involved in educational projects to demonstrate the importance of environmental protection in Barbados.” The Division of Youth has invested in this project and is supporting the initiative to install rainwater catchment tanks at each school.

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network has also pledged their support in sharing knowledge on environmental preservation with youth.

Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC) has pledged contributions of mulch to the project.

Eastern Caribbean Fertilizer (ECF) has contributed pre-planting soil-testing to the project and will test soil again to educate youth on the positive impact that organic agriculture has on the environment.

St, Philip Businessman, Allan Simmons of Simmons Electrical has committed to approximately $15,000 worth of work to “green” the Hilda Skeene Primary school by installing a rain water capture tank for irrigation and non-consumable purposes.

The 4-H Foundation pledges to ensure sustainability as the REAP project comes to a close by launching a strong 4-H club at schools involved in the project. This way the partners ensure the youth continue to grow in knowledge of “agripreneurship”.

Youth Equipped to Achieve! (YEA!) has also supported the project and has been approved to apply for up to BD$100,000 from the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by the UNDP to implement REAP at Secondary Schools from next term.

(From Left) Marsha-Ann Clarke - REAP Project Director, Osmond Harewood - Chairman of 4-H Foundation, Ivan Clarke - Principal of Hilda Skeene Primary, (Center) Jeff Shepherd - Marketing and Sales Manager of Simmons Electrical, Andrea Titus - Project Coordinator for the Youth Development Programme of the Division of Youth, Stefan Knights -  Special Envoy to the Caribbean Youth Environment Network on SIDS, (front) Debbie Rhynd Safety Officer/PRO of SBRC, (back) Hamilton Blackman - Program Officer of the 4-H Foundation, far right - David Bynoe - National Coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by the UNDP with students of the Hilda Skeene Primary School

(From Left) Marsha-Ann Clarke – REAP Project Director, Osmond Harewood – Chairman of 4-H Foundation, Ivan Clarke – Principal of Hilda Skeene Primary, (Center) Jeff Shepherd – Marketing and Sales Manager of Simmons Electrical, Andrea Titus – Project Coordinator for the Youth Development Programme of the Division of Youth, Stefan Knights – Special Envoy to the Caribbean Youth Environment Network on SIDS, (front) Debbie Rhynd Safety Officer/PRO of SBRC, (back) Hamilton Blackman – Program Officer of the 4-H Foundation, far right – David Bynoe – National Coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by the UNDP with students of the Hilda Skeene Primary School

On Saturday June 6, 2015 celebrations continued as St. James Primary took the spotlight at Limegrove. Students of the St. James Primary showcased the drip irrigation system developed from recycled plastic bottles and ice-cream containers used as planters for their organic produce.

Head Boy of St. James Primary Thalma Mahmud explained how a pin controlled the flow of water into the container with support from his team of Cedella Corbin, Tafari Agdard and Leah Marshall. These very knowledgeable young people explained to onlookers how a simple cloth wick drew water into the soil as needed for plant growth so that you can leave your plants and go on vacation and not have to worry that they are getting water. One onlooker commented on the fact that the students’ planter was also better than typical planters because the water was sealed from mosquitoes.

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