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Shaline Welcome

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 07, 2019 (SKNIS): Moving towards a plastic free St. Kitts and Nevis is a work in progress, but thanks to the Tourism Education Programme, children as young as primary schoolers are being taught the benefits of recycling in order to sustain the Federation’s tourism product.

Shaline Welcome, Community/Education Tourism Officer, while appearing on the radio-television show “Working for You” on February 06, said that various projects were initiated to teach students about sustainable tourism.

Students were asked to make scrapbooks around the topic “How does pollution affect land and coastal areas and the negative impacts that it would have on our tourism industry?” The second part of the project was the creation of souvenirs from recycled items.

“They used either plastic, including plastic bottles, Styrofoam, wood or rubber, but most emphasis was placed on plastic,” she said, noting that students made creative items such as earrings using recycled plastic bottles. “Coming up with such creative items such as these is preparing them for what is to come next.”

Students were also given the opportunity to present their souvenirs in front of their classmates just as they would present them to other individuals or tourists, said Ms. Welcome. 

“They were able to say what it was made of et cetera. What we do is try to build some sort of interest in the school with the Tourism Education Programme so that we are preparing who we call, our tourism ambassadors. These are the students who would go out in the communities and join community groups, help beautify our communities, and help to reduce waste,” she said.

The Community/Education Tourism Officer added that some students would encourage their families to get on board with recycling.

“So, it starts in the schools; it is sensitized from the teachers as well around the schools. They take it back to their homes. When the parents see how enthused these children are about tourism, then they themselves become very involved. When I look at some of these projects that were actually done, you can see the involvement of the parents themselves in the creativity,” said Ms. Welcome.          

There are presently six schools participating in the programme –four primary schools, one secondary and one tertiary. The schools include the Dr. William-Conner, Tyrell Williams, Tucker Clarke and Sandy Point Primary Schools, the Basseterre High School (BHS) and the Advanced Vocational and Education Center (AVEC).

Approximately 300 students are enrolled in the programme, which has been active for three years. 

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