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School Children Inspired To Deal With Plastic Pollution

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Photo 1 - British High Commissioner Acting Nicola Noble and Minister of Education Lanelle Tanangada with some of the school children and their artwork.
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Congratulations to all who attended the UK-Pacific Oceans and Plastics’ workshop. It was a fantastic two-day event, filled with fun and creativity at the Dreamcast Theatre Art Hub in China Town, Honiara.

Children from Perch Christian School, Tuvarufu, Koloale, Honiara Integrated Community School and Coronation schools attended the workshop where they learnt about the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and created beautiful pieces of artwork from plastic waste collected from the beach.

The workshop’s aim was to use art to connect with young people and raise awareness of the issue, changing behaviours towards plastic pollution, and protecting the marine biodiversity in Solomon Islands.

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Supported by the British High Commission together with the British Council and Dreamcast Theatre, students aged between 9-11 years, worked remotely with renowned UK artist Mandy Barker to create pieces of artwork made from everyday plastics. Mandy who helped guide the children through the creative art workshop said:

“I’m really humbled to think I might have made a difference on the other side of the world. Never in my wildest dreams. It makes what I do worthwhile when you can see the results. Thank you for letting me facilitate the workshop to inform them of the issue. It only takes one child to be inspired to become an ambassador for the environment and try to make changes.”

The children’s artwork is currently on display at the Dreamcast Theatre Art Hub in Honiara and is open for public viewing until Friday 21 October.

Acting British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Nicola Noble described the event as a real success.

“It’s wonderful to see the positive impact this unique workshop has had on the children who participated. The Oceans and Plastics workshop is a result of a successful collaboration between the British High Commission in Honiara together with the British Council in New Zealand and Dreamcast Theatre Solomon Islands. I would like to acknowledge the children from Perch, Koloale, Tuvarufu, Coronation and the Honiara Integrated Community School for their participation as well as their parents and teachers for permitting them to attend to learn about this important issue.”

Photo 2 Three of the school children explaining their artwork to the public.
Photo 2 – Three of the school children explaining their artwork to the public.

Speaking at the art exhibition event on Tuesday night, Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, Hon. Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada said:

“This exhibition is a lifelong learning for our young children, who have demonstrated their creativity, teamwork, ownership of their environment and most importantly to become responsible and environmental friendly citizens. Our life in the islands depends on the ocean, we are the ocean and we must at all cost influence others to keep our environment plastic free. On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, I sincerely thank the British High Commission, British Council New Zealand and the Pacific and Dreamcast theatre for taking this initiative to work with our selected schools and their students and teachers. Parents should be proud of their children, as these wonderful children have demonstrated outstanding art work, in the hope to promote our ocean and plastics and the impacts and consequences of plastic waste.”

Photo 3 Two of the school children picking up plastic waste during day one of the workshop.
Photo 3 – Two of the school children picking up plastic waste during day one of the workshop.

Director of British Council New Zealand and the Pacific Natasha Beckman was in Honiara for the two-day workshop and art exhibition and said she was very pleased to have achieved so much in so little time.

“It was wonderful to see the creativity of the children and the pride they had in their own work when showing it to their teachers and parents. From the two days, I hope the children have been inspired to use art and culture to raise awareness of global problems.”

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