The Ocean Is The Heart Of Our Planet

Six mainland schools that are part of the Mamanuca Environment Society School Program celebrated World Environment Day and World Ocean Day. The celebration began on the 5th of June with Vuda District School kicking off the celebration with the last school marking the global event on the 24th of June. MES has been celebrating these events with the schools since 2007. Every year the United Nations Environment Program creates a theme for World Environment Day. The theme for this year’s celebration was Sustainable Consumption and Production with the slogan; Seven Billion Dreams, One Planet, Consume with Care. World Environment Day is marked annually every 5th June, a time to celebrate the biggest day for positive environmental action.

World Oceans Day – another significantly important day globally is marked every 8th June. The theme for this years celebration was Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet with the slogan; the Ocean is the heart of our Planet! World Oceans Day is a day to empower others on the plight of our oceans and the need to protect it.

All the six schools combined the two significant annual events into one celebration In total MES organised activities for World Ocean and Environment Day saw 1030 participants which includes students, teachers and parents of TA Learning Center, Nabila Public School, Ratu Nemani Memorial School, Tau Primary School, Vuda District School and Viseisei Primary School. TA Learning Center a small private school spent their World Oceans Day at a local public beach named Wailoaloa Beach from 9am to do a beach cleanup. The 50 students from the ages of four to eleven picked rubbish along the beach collecting a total of 21 garbage bags. The other five schools held celebrations at their respective schools on their scheduled dates.

The program for the half day celebration at each school began with an opening prayer and a speech by the school’s head teacher. Poems on ocean and environment prepared by MES and some by the students were recited by the senior students. At the end of the poetry recital, a power point presentation was delivered by MES facilitator, followed by presentations and demonstrations by the Nadi town council team on the Clean School program and home composting. A game followed called “Siwa” translated as Fishing. The game was employed as an energiser for the students and to assess how much the students have grasped from the presentations on sustainable consumption. At the end of the game, students had a short break.

During the student’s short break, MES facilitators sighted and judged the art and craft displayed by the students. A few weeks before the event, MES facilitators have been working with the six schools on turning trash into treasure through art and craft. In each school, students were categorised into four categories; Years 1 and 2 in Category 1, Years 3 & 4 – Category 2, Years 5 & 6 – category 3, Years 7 & 8 – category 4. Students competed in their categories by creating art and craft from plastic bottles, bottle caps, old card boards, snack wrappers etc, the judging of the displays were done in these category also.

Reconvening for the remaining part of the program, prizes were awarded to students with outstanding and creative art and craft. Prizes included t-shirts, school bag, and ice cream vouchers, kindly sponsored by Goodman Fielder. Students then went on lunch break, and it was time for the teachers pledge, teachers from all six schools took part in the Better Bag Challenge. The better bag challenge is a global campaign for World Ocean Day, on taking a better bag instead of plastics. The reusable bags used for this pledge was sponsored by Jacks of Fiji.

Students then engagaged in a cleanup of their school and surroundings. At the end of the clean up the students were provided refreshments provided by Goodman Fielder from their many flavours of stickline products and fruits provided by Freddy’s Marketing.

MES would like to thank all the six schools, students and teachers for participating in these two significant events and Living the seven billion dream to protect our oceans and environment. Special thank you also to Goodman Fielder, Jacks of Fiji, Frezco and Freddys marketing for your sponsorship.