Students who participated in the CYEN/GIZ Essay writing Competition are being urged to become ambassadors for water conservation and climate change issues on a whole.
The appeal was made by several speakers during the prizegiving ceremony of the competition held at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium.
Minister for Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Transport and Implementation Senator the Honourable Norland Cox in congratulating the students challenged them to turn their ideas into reality. He said, “The demands for potable water is going up, so we have to pay attention to that and manage it as much as possible. It is critical for health, for everything, so this initiative to bring awareness is really important for each and every one of us and the country as a whole. I challenge you maybe 5, 10 years from now that your idea can be a business initiative. Something can evolve from it. I think that is an opportunity that lies right there.”
GIZ Head of Project (G-CREWS) Dr Hans-Werner Theisen urged the students to continually engage in water-wise practices. He said, “I think in the last weeks when you were writing this essay, you became water experts because I think you now know much more about water and how to save water. I read all the essays and I found even some aspects I did not think about.”
Dr Theisen further stated, “I would like every schoolboy, schoolgirl and young person who has an idea about the value of water, so that you become ambassadors for water. We are going to develop something together with you, a concept, so we can spread out what you have listed already in your essays.”
National Coordinator for the Caribbean Youth Environment Network in Grenada (CYEN Grenada) Kerricia Hobson thanked the parents and students for their continued involvement in the annual essay writing competition.
In explaining the concept behind the essay writing competition Hobson said, “the Caribbean Youth Environment Network normally works with young people from the ages of 14 and upwards, but when we started the essay writing competition, we thought it would be good to bring in younger students. I have heard the testimonies from some parents that you do take what you write in the essay and try to implement in your homes which I applaud you for doing; and I ask you to encourage your friends to get involved.”
One of the adjudicators National Focal Point, OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme within the Ministry of Education Karen Celestine commended the students for doing their research and taking different approaches in writing on the topics. She stated, “The students attempted to put their own spin on things at times and that really made the essays more enjoyable to read. Some were very humorous, I smiled, I laughed, and some made me think of my own practices as an adult. I want to congratulate you on taking the opportunity to build your creativity.”
Another adjudicator was Communications Supervisor at NAWASA Jamila Lewis. She said, “I remembered smiling when I saw the categories, they both have a common factor here and that is the underline message of value. The value that this precious resource called water which is the bloodline of any economy and the bloodline of life.”
The topics written on and the winners in the respective categories were:
Category A 10 – 13 years: In what key ways can we reduce our water consumption and become more water conscious?
- 1st place Camron Blache
- 2nd place Najé Drakes
- 3rd place Anisha Howard-Johnson
Category B 14 – 17 years: What are some innovative ways in which water can be used in Grenada?
- 1st place Nathan Telesford
- 2nd place Adhara Salfarlie
- 3rd place Coleen Blache
The 1st place winners in both categories shared their thoughts on the initiative. Nathan Telesford encouraged other young people to participate in competitions like these. He said “Good for them to become more aware of what is really going on in Grenada water-wise. Being part of competitions like these, really makes one very knowledgeable about the water status in Grenada.”
Equally elated to be a participant and top performer was Camron Blache. He said, “I am very happy that I got a chance to express my feelings and bring awareness to other young people that need to know about water and they too can encourage other young people.”
The 2020 competition which began on 14 December 2020 and ended on 22 February 2021 received a total of 27 entries. The prizegiving ceremony was held a week after World Water Day on 22 March 2021.