Global Youth Movement – Guyana recently launched its Berbice Shines Environment Project aimed at promoting clean and healthy communities in regions Five and Six.
At a brief opening ceremony held on Saturday Mark Ross, Executive Direc-tor of the Guyana chapter, said the project was conceived on the heels of the success of the Guyana Shines programme implemented in Georgetown to raise awareness about proper waste disposal. The group is already implementing a $23M Community Environment, Health and Recycling Project in Region Five funded by the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility–Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) the scope of which has now been expanded to include Region Six, a press release said.
Ross and US Embassy Youth Ambassador Lauristan Choy developed the programme for Berbice to address littering and its impact on health. The objective is to enhance and beautify Berbice by training volunteers to conduct training sessions in schools and in communities aimed at mobilizing residents to clean their environment.
In her address Tabitha Fairclough, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, congratulated the team on the initiative, noting that when the Embassy started the project two years ago they hoped to create the widest possible impact. The launch of Berbice Shines is an indication that they have succeeded, she said.
Meanwhile, Ian Kissoon, National Coordinator of the GEF-SGP called on the youths to protect the mangroves in their regions as they augment climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Coordinator of the Pick- It-Up Guyana Campaign, Clint Babulall, made a similar appeal and pledged his movement’s support. Region Six education officer Valika Mohabir Jaikishun also praised the project and thanked the group for including her education district.
Paper waste recycling
At the close of the ceremony, Simeon Taylor, Paper Waste Recovery and Recycling Manager at Caribbean Containers Inc presented the first set of paper receptacles to the New Amsterdam Secondary School where waste paper will be recycled. Fifteen secondary schools and two RDC officers in the region will soon receive over 600 waste paper receptacles via a MoU with Global Youth Movement –Guyana, Caribbean Containers, the Education Ministry and regional officials.
The Berbice Shines Environment Project started on May 31 with the training of over 30 volunteers who will teach students to “reduce, reuse and recycle.” In observance of World Environment Day on Thursday June 5, Berbice Shines volunteers planted 45 fruit trees in 13 schools simultaneously to mark the day. And, after Saturday’s launching ceremony, volunteers from the group joined those from Keep Guyana Beautiful to clean and enhance the roundabout near to the New Amsterdam Hospital, Berbice High School and Esplanade Ground, including Princess Elizabeth Road.
The group also plans to meet with residents and stakeholders to pilot a waste paper recycling project at two RDC offices, establish environment clubs, host environment themed competitions and camps to promote cleanliness. It also hopes to introduce the Pick-It-Up Guyana campaign to Berbice as part of its comprehensive programme.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership of various sectors in 184 countries to address environment issues. Since 1991, it has provided $12.5B in grants and leveraged $58B in co-financing for over 15,000 projects. The funds are used to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programmes.
The GEF-SGP is implemented by UNDP and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services. GEF- SGP collaborates with communities and civil society worldwide to grapple with critical global environmental problems.
Global Youth movement- Guyana is a registered organisation formed in 2011 by youth and works with youth in various communities nationwide. The group is currently undertaking a backpack project and is urging businesses and individuals to sponsor a backpack filled with supplies for a primary school child. The backpacks will be distributed during the August holidays. For more information persons can call 621-2768 or 694-8004 or make contact via the group’s Facebook page.