#YourStory – Giving mother nature a helping hand

Sacred Heart College Eco-Club. Seen here are subject head for geography, Ms Catherine San with Mahin Ali, Tariro Banganayi and Tyron Wei with the International Green Flag.

Sacred Heart College Eco-Club is encouraging everyone to be eco-friendly one day at a time.

The club encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it.

Through the programme, pupils experience a sense of achievement at being able to have a say in the environmental management policies of their schools, ultimately steering them towards certification and the prestige which comes with being awarded an International Green Flag Award.

The EXPRESS met with three members of the club, Mahin Ali, Tariro Banganayi and Tyron Wei. They shared what the club is about and how it has inspired them to be eco-friendly and how they are planning to encourage their fellow pupils.

“I encourage everyone to be eco-friendly because it’s not hard. Recycling one piece of paper a day can help a lot. It is these simple tasks that one can easily complete that can improve the situation we’re in right now.

“One does not need to generate a genius idea that turns waste into paper or glass, although that would be really cool,” said club member Mahin.

Mahin is a grade 9 pupil at Sacred Heart and said being a member of the club helps her to contribute to changing her school into an eco-friendly school.

“I joined the club because the members were so welcoming, but mostly because of the kind of people they are. They spread awareness of different issues regarding the environment and what they were doing was extraordinary,” said Mahin.

Mahin is passionate about the work the club does because its goal is to encourage other pupils to be eco-friendly.

“I care for the environment greatly. I feel helping the environment is very important,” said Mahin.

She said she has no idea what she wants to do in the future, but one thing she is certain about is that she wants to contribute to society and promote equality and environmental care.

Fourteen-year-old Tariro is passionate about unpacking arguments in order to get to the root of a problem.

“The club is tasked with helping and inspiring the learners at our school to care and be aware of the environment around us and all the problems it faces,”said Tariro.

He joined the club as he welcomed the challenge to identify the root of the environment problem within the school and surroundings and find solutions.

“I joined because it gave me a platform to express my views and help make decisions with others about how we can take care of the environment.

“I hope to be able to educate myself and other people about the right way to live like an environmentally friendly human being,” said Tariro.

He said he hopes to study zoology one day.

“The reason I joined the club is because our planet earth is currently dying from all the pollution. Our city, Johannesburg is really dirty and there is rubbish everywhere.

“Global warming is also a huge problem and the environment is in a really bad state,” said 14-year-old Tyron.

“I wanted to help lessen the load of pollution such as littering, water pollution and any other harmful ways that we as humans have inflicted on the earth,” added Tyron.

A presentation about encouraging schools to help the earth inspired Tyron to join the club.

“Earth is the only home we have. By damaging our planet, we are destroying our own home and future generations’ home. I encourage youngsters to go out and make a change that contributes to the conservation of our planet,” said Tyron.

Sacred Heart Eco-Club has just been presented with the International Green Flag Award.

The award acknowledged the school meeting all the criteria for the eco-schools programme and for developing environmental action projects and learning programmes, which have improved the school’s sustainability practices.

The eco-club is involved in environmental initiatives like Generation Earth and the school is now working towards a Platinum-Flag for the Eco-Schools Award.


Busi Vilakazi

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