Youth partners regularly participate in beach cleanups.
Youth partners regularly participate in beach cleanups.

Youth summer camp to encourage youth to do more to protect environment

From SKNIS

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Young people attending the 35th Summer Residential Camp staged by the Department of Youth Empowerment will learn more about how they can care for the environment while making a positive contribution to national development.

The theme for the July 22-29 camp is “Preserving Our Land of Beauty,” which refers directly to the opening of the national anthem of St. Kitts and Nevis: “Oh Land of Beauty.” The department’s acting director, Pierre Liburd, said that focus will be placed on educating, empowering and facilitating the 150 campers between the ages of 8-16 years to become actively involved in protecting the environment, which in turn can lead to improvements in communities across the federation.

Key strategies and methods to achieve this will be shared by a number of representatives from partner agencies, including the ministries of Tourism, Agriculture, Marine Resources, Sustainable Development and Health. Officials from the Water Services Department and the Sea Turtle Monitoring Network will also engage the children.

Environmental activities such as beach cleanups, tree plantings and beautification campaigns are occasionally coordinated by the youth department and some of its youth partners. However, this is the first time that environmental protection has been so prominently featured at the camp.

“A clean environment helps to foster warmth, happiness, comfort, belonging, a responsibility to and pride in community and oneself, and we believe that we should engage young people in acknowledging and accepting their own responsibility to ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis is kept clean all the time,” said Liburd.

Major sponsors for the annual camp are the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the Sandy Point Art Association (SPARTA). To date, contributions have also been received from Christophe Harbour and the St. Kitts and Nevis Development Bank. The acting director of youth encouraged companies to confirm their commitments as soon as possible, as the camp’s opening is fast approaching. Others willing to contribute to the annual camp can contact the Department of Youth Empowerment at 662-6054 or visit its offices at The Cable Building on Cayon Street.