The Environmental Management Authority’s (EMA) Youth Ambassadors received the National Youth/Community Organisation Award along with Helping Hands at the Hyatt Regency hotel on Sunday.
The National Youth Awards, hosted by the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, applauded young people who have excelled in various backgrounds and provide an avenue for talented youth to be recognised for their contribution to national development.
The EMA Youth Ambassadors were awarded based on their involvement in promoting positive youth development, their creation of avenues for youth expression and the facilitation of youth participation in decision making processes.
This cohesive unit of leaders blossomed from the EMA’s Youth Workshops to promote environmental awareness and education among their peers.
The young enthusiasts communicate their environmental messages through the arts: drama, poetry, artwork, music and film. Since the establishment of the group they have been accumulating an impressive portfolio of drama, artwork and film, all with pertinent environmental messages.
Their work have been publicised through the EMA’s news magazine, website and social media sites, such as EMA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, advertisements and press releases in daily newspapers, airing of films on local TV stations and performances and appearances at national EMA events, such as the Green Leaf Awards and Green Lifestyle Show.
These remarkable young adults also actively participate in the management of environmental issues facing our country. They participated in the National Youth Forum on Climate Change and were part of the Trinidad and Tobago Delegation to the Fourth Commonwealth Youth Forum 2011 held in the United Kingdom.
The EMA Youth Ambassadors are enlightened by visiting various bio-diversity hotspots throughout Trinidad and Tobago, such as the Matura National Park, Asa Wright Nature Centre and Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary.
They regularly participate in International Coastal Clean-ups (ICC) and, more recently, the EMA’s 2012 Student Internship Programme.
The EMA’s 2012 calendar featured the artwork of several ambassadors and they have produced educational material and activities such as posters and spin-the-wheel games.
In February, the group organised and executed the first environmental concert which was held in Trinidad and Tobago at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s.
The concert entitled, OMG! (Orient My Generation) gave the youth group an opportunity to showcase their drama, film and artwork. Through their extensive work at the concert, the group has connected with audiences of every age, and performed in a packed auditorium of over 6,000 patrons.
Three of the EMA Youth Ambassadors were also finalists in their individual award categories, Jochelle Fortune for Youth in Sport, Rondelle Keller for Youth in Leadership and Alexander Johnson for Youth in Media.
When the president of the group, Rondelle Keller, was asked about his emotions behind such an accomplishment, he could describe it as none other than “victorious, ecstatic and fulfilling.”
He went on to say that for a group which was established with little structure only two years ago, receiving a national award was an achievement that he thought to be beyond their scope and dreams.
He thanked Dr Joth Singh, managing director/CEO, the Corporate Relations and Public Education Department and his fellow EMA Youth Ambassadors for their hard work and dedication to the group, and expressed hopes that the group will continue to prosper.
Keller shared that, apart from continuing their present duties, these passionate and creative young adults hope to start an orphanage outreach project, produce an environmental comic book and host yet another outstanding OMG! (Orient My Generation) concert within the upcoming year.
The EMA Youth Ambassadors continue to lead by example as they exemplify the true spirit of volunteerism and active participation. Through their enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring that the goals of the group are achieved, they have freely and willingly given of their time, talent and efforts.
Dr Singh was all smiles when he congratulated the group, declaring that he was extremely proud of their accomplishment and encourages the group to remain committed to sensitising other youth about environmental issues through awareness and education.