Com­mit­ted to global cause

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KARO­LINE TUCKEY

Sav­ing the world is within our reach, say a group of Bishop Viard stu­dents who are launch­ing a con­fer­ence to en­cour­age en­vi­ron­men­tal action.

The stu­dents, from year 7 to year 11, are stag­ing the con­fer­ence, Our Footprints – We Make a Dif­fer­ence, this month, and are invit­ing schools from around the Welling­ton re­gion to at­tend.

The con­fer­ence aims to get young peo­ple brain­storm­ing and fired up to find ways to take en­vi­ron­men­tal action and to learn about the way peo­ple af­fect the en­vi­ron­ment in ev­ery­day life.

It was the ini­tia­tive of the stu­dents them­selves, after a group of them at­tended a sim­i­lar con­fer­ence in Aus­tralia last year.

The stu­dents are do­ing all the work to get it up and run­ning.

A de­sign group has been work­ing on lo­gos and T-shirts; a re­search group is putting to­gether the pro­gramme; and a lo­gis­tics group has been ap­proach­ing busi­nesses for spon­sor­ship.

‘‘It’s good for chil­dren to learn these things,’’ Fiaola Pokia, 15, says.

‘‘Apart from learn­ing about the en­vi­ron­ment, we are learn­ing how to or­gan­ise ma­jor events, and what needs to be done.’’

Fiaola has been vis­it­ing Porirua busi­nesses to ask for spon­sor­ship for the project.

‘‘It’s very nerve-rack­ing, re­ally, be­cause you don’t know what your re­sponse will be.’’

So far the team have se­cured a heav­ily dis­counted venue at Hosanna Porirua church; bags from Bun­nings Ware­house; de­sign work from Jem­fer de­sign; and $ 2500 from the En­vi­roschools Foun­da­tion.

‘‘Now we def­i­nitely would like food – don’t re­ally need money,’’ he says.

The stu­dents are deeply pas­sion­ate about the cause, and are do­ing the work in their spare time.

So far Porirua Col­lege, Hutt Val­ley High, Wairarapa Col­lege, and Te Kura Maori o Porirua have con­firmed they will be at­tend­ing, and the Viard stu­dents hope an­other six schools will sign up.

Ul­ti­mately, they hope, an­other school will be in­spired to take up the chal­lenge of host­ing the event in 2012 and make it an an­nual event.

‘‘If we don’t tell peo­ple about what’s hap­pen­ing to our en­vi­ron­ment it will even­tu­ally just die, and then we won’t be able to do any­thing once it’s gone,’’ says Sahil Gor­don, 13.

‘‘ Prob­a­bly ev­ery­one should lis­ten . . . it af­fects ev­ery­one, but these kids are go­ing to be the next adults, the next lead­ers.’’

Our Footprints takes place over Thurs­day and Fri­day, Septem­ber 29 and 30.

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