Last month, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Hemispheres Foundation to the inaugural Actions for Earth – Global Youth Summit 2014. Although gone are my days as Young Environment Envoy with the National Environment Agency and Young ChangeMakers with National Youth Council, my attendance at the closing ceremony had sparkled off my spirit of environment protection and youth activism once again.
Held on 15-18 January 2014, the theme for the Global Youth Summit was “Take Action for Earth, Waste No”. I’m highly impressed by the turn out with close to 450 participants from more than 65 institutions in 13 countries. Apart from Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia sent the most delegates. And there were even participants from Oman present at the youth camp.
Environmental youth activists aged 12 to 21 years old were given an intensive four-day programme with field trips to Singapore’s leading facilities – NEWater plant, Marina Barrage, Semakau Landfill and Incineration Plant.
The highlight of the Summit was the announcement of the prize winners. Attended by Guest-of-Honour, Member of Parliament, Tampines GRC & Chairman of MCCY Government Parliamentary Committee, Mr Baey Yam Keng. The top prize in the senior category of City Developments Limited (CDL) – Actions for Earth Award goes to the team “Once Upon A Cow” from Vietnam.
Team leader 18-year-old Dang Minh Hang’s proposal to use empty milk cartons to repair leaking roofs in Vietnam won the heart of the judges for being practical and innovative solution to the problems of overflowing landfills and leaking roofs long endured by the poor living in her country’s rural areas.
Most roofs in rural Vietnam are made from non-durable materials such as zinc, alabaster slabs or attap. Tetra Pak packaging has an aluminum coating, being waterproof, makes it the best solution for patching leaking roofs.
Passionate youths committed to the goal of sustainable development in their institutional and personal capacities, may contact National Environment Agency (NEA) to find out more about the Youth Environment Envoys (YEEs) programme.
The Young ChangeMakers (YCM) grant supports youth-initiated projects that benefit the Singapore community and society. It also helps to empower youth as decision makers to evaluate projects and mentor project applicants. Find out how you can take actions today, here.