Waterford Kamhlaba UWC
Tengetile Tezzy Nhlengethwa (Swaziland
) addresses the special assembly. Tengetile was one of the main organisers of the assembly.
World Environment Day has been the theme for Waterford Kamhlaba UWC students during the week leading up to 5 June. The major events included a special World Environment Day assembly, tree planting, a screening of the film HOME by Arthus-Bertrand and the Glam Trash Fashion Show.
The World Environment Day 2011 Special Assembly
The special assembly included presentations by students across the school from Form One to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. The students recited poems, dramatised skits, sang songs and read speeches. All the presentations focused on this years’ World Environment Day Theme - Forests: Nature at your service. The presentations demonstrated the value of forests and how Waterford Kamhlaba UWC responds to the environmental concerns. The presentations and speeches encouraged students and the entire school community to set targets to conserve the environment. Students shared practical changes they can make in their daily living and the environmental savings that they can achieve through these changes.
There was a short address by Irina Jauhianen (Finland
) a member of the Green Revolutionaries. The Green Revolutionaries are a group of students committed to recycling, to reducing our carbon footprint and to saving trees. Irina’s challenge to the Waterford Kamhlaba UWC community was to reduce the amount of paper used at the school through simple acts like printing on both sides of papers.
Margaret Stratton (USA
) a second year IB student gave a report on the Mpolonjeni Community Service project during the assembly.
The project was initially started to teach a young man with epilepsy
some crafts so that he would have a means of supporting himself.
wanted to find a craft that is original, does not involve costly
materials and can be sold to local shops” Margaret says. “Finally, we
settled on newspaper bags.”
The idea was inspired by similar bags that are used in India to
carry groceries as a replacement for plastic bags that pollute the environment. Being made out of recycled materials the bags are more
sustainable than their plastic counterparts. The plan is to convince
local craft shops to buy these reusable and recyclable bags to sell
their goods in. A dozen young mothers from the community have joined and
are helping make the bags. Slowly but surely the bags are contributing to local
sustainability in an economic sense and an environmental sense.
One of the most entertaining and informative pieces of the assembly was entitled 'The
Engagement' and was directed by first year IB students Mthobisi Sibanze and Tengetile Tezzy
Nhlengethwa. The piece, acted by Grace Malahlela and
Fezokuhle Khumalo, also first year IB students, highlighted how our daily lifestyles can often contribute to deforestation. The piece outlined how, for example, forests can be destroyed to extract gold used to make wedding rings and the carbon footprint of importing a gold
ring from Brazil to southern Africa.
During the week geography students will be hosting a screening of HOME a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, showing landscapes captured from above. The film challenges viewers to reflect on the impact human activities have on the earth and to take measures to reverse this impact. The measure taken by Waterford Kamhlaba UWC students, in keeping with the World Environment Day 2011 theme, is to plant trees on campus on Friday 3 June.
On 10 June students will put on the Glam Trash Fashion Show. The event has been organised by the Students Representative Council and aims to create awareness on how to save the environment. "This is a fashion competition where students have to design outfits that are completely made of what most people would usually consider trash such as used plastic bags and old newspapers" explains Nevil George, a second year IB student. "The best designs will be picked by the judges and then fabricated and showcased at a fashion show. Here the judges will eventually choose the best outfit and the designer will win the grand prize!" The event aims to encourage students to be creative in order to reduce litter and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Waterford Kamhlaba UWC is committed to environmental sustainability far beyond World Environment Day. All year round students and staff take part in the school's Conservation Community Service, Environmental Task Force and the Green Revolutionaries group, implementing environmentally sustainable projects and helping to develop an appreciation of the indigenous flora and fauna surrounding the school.
3 June 2011