Caymanian teens learned about sustainability this month from the United World Colleges Cayman Islands National Committee’s first “short program.”
“Toward a Sustainable Future” sought to engage young people on such issues as biodiversity, marine environment and recycling, organizers said.
Thirteen young people ages 14 to 16 participated in the program from Aug. 6-9.
Aubrey Bodden, chairwoman of the local chapter, explained why the topic was chosen.
“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 in a press release.
“Though we concentrated on the natural environment in particular, our presenters sought to integrate social and economic considerations to provide a holistic view of sustainability.”
According to a statement from the local chapter, all course participants reported increased awareness of sustainability issues and indicated that they would apply the skills they learned in their own lives.
One participant, Ayanda Jones, 15, said, “We need to be proactive as a community and as teenagers because we are the future.”
Elijah Samson, 14, added, “One person does make a difference and the whole community makes an impact.”
Sponsorship from the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, Rotary Central and various businesses helped UWC to offer the scholarships. A total of $30,000 was raised for UWC’s scholar program.
Minister Tara Rivers, quoted in the UWC release, said she was proud to be involved with the initiative.
“As a United World College alumna myself, I am very familiar with the benefits provided through the UWC educational movement,” she added.
“I believe it’s important to support such local initiatives that provide our young people with diverse learning opportunities where they can grow and develop into global citizens, right here at home.”