Committed to global cause
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.