More than ten students from different schools around Samoa were awarded yesterday as a token of their non-stop participation in the Educational Environmental section in the Sunday Samoan every week.
The programme is run by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E).
The Chief Executive Officer of M.N.R.E, Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, spoke about the importance of the programme.
He said the programme started in 1999 and over the years, it has grown.
“We’ve seen that more and more students are interested in our programme and we’ve been having a lot of good feedback from the community and parents,” said Suluimalo.
"The purpose of the programme is to inform the children and the community about how to take care of the environment.
“We are the caretaker of the environment and it is our responsibility to look after it.
“And we strongly believe that our programme is targeting the right age group.
"This is a way for us to deliver our message through school activities so that our children can learn more about how vital our environment is so that they grow up to be caretakers of our environment.
“They are the future of our country and I believe it’s best to train and educate them now so that they are well-prepared for the future.”
The special gathering was well-attended by the parents of the students and their families.
The three major sponsors were S.S.A.B, Bluesky and Business System Limited.
The top ten students were awarded with stationeries and other prizes from the major sponsors.
These are the students who participated every week and had put in a lot of effort in the competitions.
The overall top student was Grace Alofa Ah-Young from Vaitele Fou.
The 14-year-old is the daughter of Esther and Seiuli Seti Ah-Young. She is in Year 10 and attending Samoa College.
Grace said that she wants to be an Environmental Lawyer when she grows up.
“I want to protect our environment and maintain its cleanness and beauty,” she said.
“I love the environment and I want to enjoy living in a safer and clean environment as the years go by.”
Grace said she has learnt a lot from the Environmental Section in the Sunday Samoan.
“Especially regarding Climate Change,” she said. “I think the greatest lesson I learnt from the programme is that people are the caretaker of the environment, and that if we take good care of it, there will be no harm to our environment.
“Also the problems (of today) are results of human activities, therefore, I think that if our people are aware of ways that we can do to protect our environment, my generation and the next generation will enjoy a very green environment in the future.”
Top ten winners
1. Grace Ah Young
2. Precious Savea
3. Jeremiah Savea
4. Gideon Mulitalo
5. Shalom Pasese
6. Hailey Rasmussen
7. Hamish Ioane
8. Michael Rooney Leota
9. Betty Jessop
10. Siaosi Galumalemana
1. Amaris Rosana Crichton
2. Felicity Nafoi
3. Emyllia Mariner
4. Tialia Isaia
5. Mulan Theresa Toso