Conservation boost from tiny tots
The students, as part of their learning curriculum in school ran an advertising campaign that resulted in the Year Two sale that raised $454.00.
Amelia Cumberbatch, a Year Two teacher at IPS, said the money donated was made in one day during sales at recess and lunch time, where students brought in baked goods, old toys, clothes and DVDs that sold for 50c and $1.
“When the teachers asked who they would like to donate the Year 2 sale money to, there was a resounding reply, “WWF!”” she said.
The students had undertaken a field trip to the Nasese foreshore last month and Cumberbatch said their interactions and the knowledge they learnt from the WWF-South Pacific Volunteers that day had stuck with them.
“The volunteers had been very kind to take time out to educate the Year 2 students on the vital role mangroves play in the Fijian environment,” she said.
“Our students really enjoyed the field trip down to Nasese and to add to that we have also been looking at WWF advertising campaigns worldwide and the students have been captivated by the imagery of the ad campaigns. And it was after all these experiences that I think they realised WWF’s commitment to conservation.”
Cumberbatch in acknowledging the work of the volunteers said it has also given the students a greater appreciation of the various conservation activities that are organised at the school.
“We hope to continue our collaboration with WWF because our students definitely learnt a lot and enjoyed working with your volunteers,” she said.
“We hope our donation will make a difference in educating others about looking after our environment.”
Una Malani, the WWF-South Pacific Volunteer Program Coordinator, in receiving the donation, thanked the students saying the money would go a long way in ensuring volunteers would be able to carry out the various conservation work they do.
Malani said the Volunteers also have their own projects running in synergy with WWF-South Pacific's projects, in which they planned the whole process together with the guidance of the WWF staff and in the process learn to manage their project financials, facilitate community engagements and conduct research and surveys that aid in the development of natural resource management plans in various communities.
“The volunteers in addition to all the other things that they are involved in are also guided in the process of fund raising by planning and running fund raising events such as dinners, walk-a-thons, premier movie nights and fund raising through proposal writing with guidance by staff,” Malani said.
“So for a group of young students to take the initiative to raise funds for the volunteer program is amazing and we are most appreciative of their enterprise.”
Malani added it was important that young people understand at an early age the importance of the work WWF-SP and the volunteers do.
“We try and accommodate the school groups that we get as much as possible because we realise how important it is for their young minds to understand earlier on how vital conservation work and utilizing resources sustainably is,” she said.
There are currently 74 volunteers registered with WWF-South Pacific with most of them being tertiary students from the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University.
There are also graduates and working individuals who take time out to help in the Volunteer projects.
The Volunteers are enlisted to work in mostly the Conservation programme, helping out and gaining experience in workshops ranging from those held at community level with the SCRUM (Sustainable Coastal Resource Use Management) team and to National and Regional workshops.
They also help out and are part of in-house trainings, as well as other events hosted by WWF-South Pacific and its partners.