Friday, December 14, 2007

Cape Times / Vodacom Awards Ceremony

-Ailsa Tudhope –

Fresh from their triumph at the ESKOM Science Expo, Caleb and Sandy Swanepoel were invited to attend the presentation ceremony of The Cape Times Vodacom Environmental Awards programme at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. Since its inception in 1976 the programme has recognised more than 200 individuals, organisations, schools and groups for their work in conservation related activities.

The boys were delighted to find that the Prince Albert recycling/composting project: Think Global – Act Local, was among the finalists: “It was very exciting; we enjoyed talking to and getting ideas from the other participants. Although we didn’t win anything, we were finalists and came 10th out of 86 projects. We hope to continue with our project and make it worthwhile to village life.”

At the Awards Ceremony they met the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Martinus van Schalkwyk, but what gripped their attention was what ordinary people have managed to do and the impact they have made in their communities through protecting the environment.

The awards went to: Environmental Education and Public Awareness Award – SOIL FOR LIFE; Natural Environment Award – BIODIVERSITY PRESERVATION IN THE WINELANDS; Urban Environment Award – FOOTPRINTS RECYCLING PROJECT and Youth Award – INGA VAN WYK – Protecting the Cape Leopard.
Take a look over the St John’s Church fence from Markstraat and you’ll see the Think Global – Act Local project in action. The trench gardens and compost bins are the first steps and the sight of the Swanepoel, Modra and van Heerden children at work has already generated support.

Fred Badenhorst was astonished to see the youngsters digging trenches. He stopped to ask what they were doing and was so pleased to find they were engaged in a public education project - and one that will eventually extend to North-end, that he donated several bags of manure and straw. Nick van der Walt, who constructed the compost bins, gave a substantial discount on the job, to encourage the children. Dr Pete Reinders has given them a training session at his most successful organic garden and provided some plants. The third part of their project, the wormery, where red worms are producing ‘worm tea’ to fertilize crops, is housed at Albert College.

The children are raising the funds spent on establishing their project by waiting on tables at the Lazy Lizard, where an information board can be seen. They are putting their tips into the kitty.

Please visit the site - and keep an eye on it in the months ahead. How wonderful it is that our children are showing their concern for the environment and recognising the need for education about making compost and growing food in Prince Albert.

As the Cape Times journalist who inspected the site said: “What an example!”

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