More than 20 young people from the communities of Orange Park and Charlemont in St. Catherine were inducted into the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) Environmental Club, during a ceremony at the Charlemont High School on Thursday (March 28).
The students join a growing number of young people, in more than 130 communities islandwide, who are being empowered by the NHT’s Social Development Department to become exemplary stewards of the environment.
Senior Social Development Manager, NHT, Charmaine Scarlett, said the agency deems it necessary to encourage young persons residing in schemes developed by the Trust, to become environmentally aware.
“We have 136 schemes across the island and most of them have environmental clubs,” she informed, pointing out that the addition of Orange Park and Charlemont brings the number in St. Catherine to 10.
Mrs. Scarlett noted that “the environmental clubs have been very successful so far” and have helped to promote pride in self, home and community.
“We try in our efforts to say to persons, it is important that we care for where we live; that we learn how to recycle and reuse, because it does decrease waste; that we keep our green areas, and that we practice proper garbage disposal,” she said.
Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, congratulated the NHT for its initiative, noting his pride in seeing young people integrally involved in preserving their environment for future generations.
Mr. Pickersgill pointed out that it is fitting that the NHT seek to engage citizens in safeguarding the environment.
“In providing citizens with the ‘keys to their homes’, the Trust, through its various projects and programmes, is also assisting homeowners by providing them with the key to better, safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly communities, where families can thrive,” he stated.
Mr. Pickersgill further encouraged the students to continue being stewards of the environment and capitalize on all they will learn under the initiative, while encouraging their peers to also maintain their surroundings.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter