On the 21st September 2019 we celebrate both World Peace Day and the International Coastal Clean-up Day. Two seemingly different events linked by the fact that both peace and a healthy environment are the foundations of enduring social and economic growth. The opportunity for social conflict arises when environmental pollution threatens the ecosystems upon which livelihoods depend. Thus, in honor of both international events, the Rotary Club of Princes Town supported our three Interact Clubs at the clean-up of the Caroni Swamp as part of the Environmental Management Authority’s ICC effort.

Twenty-five Interactors from a Cowen Hamilton Secondary, St. Stephen's College and Princes Town West Secondary School assembled at the Caroni Visitor’s Centre at 7 am to undertake a clean-up and waste characterization exercise. The students not only collected garbage but sorted, itemized and weighed it so that we could understand the most common types of pollution and possible ways we can address the issue nationally. The combined effort removed almost 100 lbs of trash in a 45 minute walk.

President of the Interact Club of Princes Town West Secondary School noted, “It was a real eye opener. In just this small area my group alone collected 16 lbs of glass bottles. It really shows us how big of a problem pollution is and that we need to do better to keep the environment clean”. But it wasn’t all work. Guided by the Rotary Club of Princes Town’s Vocational Director, Dr. Lindsey Aziz, the shared experience brought the students closer together. “It was a great bonding experience and a great introduction to what Rotary Interact is about for our new members, said Cowen Hamilton Secondary School Interact President, Chris Ramdeen. President of the St. Stephen’s Interact Club, Lara Lee added “It was a really fun and enjoyable experience. I am glad we did it”.

The Interactors head to San Fernando next for the Rotary Club of Princes Town’s World Peace Day celebrations.